I have been hesitated some time now between buying new speakers or a new amplifier and have decided I will buy a new amplifier.
My list of demands:
It will take EL34, KT77, KT88 and 6550. Bonus if it takes KT120.
It will give at least 35 w with EL34 and 45 w with KT88.
It will have easy biasing using a screwdriver and with somekind of build in meter. In worst case autobiase will do.
It will use tube rectification and not solid state rectification (because I have heard solid state rectification takes away the tube sound).
It will not cost more than aprox $4000.
I have had a Line Magnetic LM-34IA once but had to much problems with the quality (bad solderings and bad balance between left and right).
First I thought it sounded quite good, but after have heard a Audion Audio Stirling EL34 SET amplifier I changed my mind. Now the LM-34AI sounded just OK.
I was told that Stirling EL34, with 12 w should be enough for listening at normal volumes with my 89dB speakers. But it was not. So here I am…
(And yes I know; a push-pull amp will never sound as a SET amp).
I have read about several amplifiers but none of them seems to fit my demands.
Here are my notes:
Line Magnetic LM-88IA - Just KT88. Bad experience with LM, both quality and sound.
Audio Research I/50 - Just 6550 tubes. Too much hassle when adjusting bias.
Rogue Cronus Magnum III - Very mixed opinions. Solid state rectification.
Raven Blackhawk Mk 3.1 - Just 6L6 tubes. Have to be imported from the US.
Tsakiridis Aelos Plus - Just KT88 tubes.
Fezz Silver Luna Prestige - Just EL34 tubes.
Fezz Titania - Just KT120 tubes (and maybe KT150 and KT170 too).
Cary SLI-80HS - Many bad opinions. Solid state rectification.
Jadis - Either too weak or too expencive.
Primaluna - ???
What makes me a little ”worried” is that Primaluna has so many build in features which are supposed to make my life as a tube amplifier owner easier.
I mean, doesn’t these fetures affect the sound? ”Less is more”?
If you have any thoughts or experience about this, please let me know.