"Last" system puzzle piece - Tube amp option

My reference system is pretty much done except for wanting to have another amplifier option. Currently using and very much enjoying a GamuT D200i with a Shindo Vosne-Romanee to drive Verity Amadis speakers. Sources are a Well Tempered Versalex (though an Auditorium 23 T2 SUT), Basis Signature 2500 (through a Nagra VPS), Technics 1500 R2R, dCS Puccini & U-Clock, and Kenwood L-01T FM tuner. ICs are Auditorium 23. Speaker cable is Wireworld Silver Eclipse 6. Power conditioning is via a Running Springs Haley. I made the "mistake" of auditioning the Nagra VPA monoblocks. In a word - WOW! But before I consider buying such expensive amplification to alternate with the GamuT, I was hoping to learn about other tube amplifier options that any of you know or believe I should consider. I listen mostly to classical, jazz, blues, and vocals, and I do like to listen at moderate and above levels. The GamuT does an excellent job, but I am smitten with the VPAs and hence my interest in a tube amplifier option. I would like to keep the cost under $20K and I prefer to buy new electronics. Many thanks in advance for all comments and suggestions!


Showing 1 response by larryi

As a very rough rule, I would say don't rule out amps that are supposedly too low in power for a particular application. I would at least give the Shindo a try. They make quite decent sounding gear. I tend to like the intrinsic sound quality of lower-powered tube amps much more than the higher powered amps. I have not heard a 100 watt or more tube amp using pushpull tetrode and pentode tubes that I really liked much. My favorite amps tend to be single ended triode amps, followed by pushpull triode amps. It has been quite a while since I heard the 211 amp made by Wyetech, but, I liked the sound of that amp and I would bet it has more than enough power for your needs.

If you feel that you do need more than 20 watts, consider an output transformerless (OTL) tube amp. These amps deliver incredibly dynamic and lively sound regardless of the nominal output level. It has been a while since I heard the Nagra amps, but, I would hazard a guess that Atmasphere OTLs would be to your liking; the alternative I am familiar with (Joule) are warmer sounding than the Atmasphere and probably less like the Nagra.