Take a trip to Ebay.Search for:Mini Tube Integrated Amplifier.You will find several different choices of small foot print,all tube integrateds that should fit the bill perfectly.I just 2 weeks ago bought a FANTASTIC tube I/A from Ebay,shipped direct from China & am absolutely lovin it!
You want a separate power amplifier, not an integrated, correct?
I have owned about 19 amplifiers since I bought the Baby (I am not kidding, I sat down and counted the other day). The Baby absolutely stomps on so many other amplifiers, it has sent a Nelson Pass Aleph J, a PrimaLuna, a Pathos, and a RedWine Audio packing. I can't stress enough how beautiful sounding this amplifier is, I have several 300b amplifiers, and frankly the baby amp. has all of the sound but more dynamics, it really is hard to beat. Spend the money on the sophia coupling and power cap's, they are worth it. The Sophia really is one of the best bargains in audio, one of those components I bought almost out of curiosity, but I will never sell.
Tubes are not common at all of course, but Sophia still sells them for $60 a quad.
And by the way, I think the sophia is one of the best looking amplifiers out there.
Lars - yes, I want a power amp, not an integrated, thanks.
I would put a Music Reference RM10 (EL84) on your list.
I realize its not what you want but I have a fully tweaked out Sophia Baby in great shape that I have in storage with original shipping box etc that Id let go for $500 plus shipping.
I paid $1100+ for it new directly from Sophia.
Cayin 50T. Great sound and value.
Pubul57 - thanks for the RM10 recommendation. It looks like a great amp but I think I'd be lucky to find one for $400 since the new price is $2,000.
Lak - I'll look around at any options that come up but thanks for letting me know about your amp. I may be back in touch.
Buconero117 - thanks. Is there a power-amp-only version of the Cayin 50T? I can find links only to an integrated amp.
Mrovnak - that's great information about the Sophia amp, thanks very much.
Did you install the cap upgrades yourself or is it necessary to have Sophia do the work?
Kana813 - the Dodd amp looks very nice, and I do have an SLA battery around I used for a modified T-amp, but since the Dodd is a brand new product I don't think I'm going to find one at anywhere near my budget. I'd love to hear one, though.
The Almarro A205A is a very sweet, musical little amp with drive beyond what the rated output might expect.
A friend even used one with his AvantGarde Duos in spite of the price mis-match.
The Almarro and Glow Amp would be two of my favorites. The el84 is a great tube and they both run it single ended/class A. The Glow even has a USB port if you want to work it into you computer.
Pryso and Onemug - thank you very much for the recommendations of the Almarro and Glow integrateds. Is there something similar you could recommend in a power amp? I'm quite happy with the NuForce Icon as a preamp and DAC and wasn't really looking to replace it with another integrated.
The Dared MP-5 is an altogether fabulous little amp. I've never heard anything that can touch it for the money. It has all of the timbral truth and dimensionality typical of tubes but with reasonable extension in the bass and treble. Bass dynamics are very good for an amp this size. It is not weak or wooly as long as it is matched with suitably efficient, easy to drive speakers and is not asked to broadcast high SPLs into large spaces.
I've owned the Almarro A205A, and it can easily be used as a power amp by just turning the volume pot all the way up. I used it that way with a variety of preamps, and I agree with Pryso and Onemug that it's very sweet. However, I would disagree with Pryso about its drive; I think it's a very competent 4.8 watts, but no more. Your JB3s aren't very efficient, so it would all depend on how loud you want to listen. If you get one, roll the output caps. It's an easy mod, and the difference is night and day.
The Glow does have a volume control but I think of it more as an amp with a gain control. To me, a true integrated has several inputs because it is a combo of an amp and preamp and what preamp would just have one input for source. The Glow just has one set of inputs like an amp does, the volume control just allows someone to hook up one source, like a cd or tuner, and not have to buy a preamp. Like Armstrod, I use it as an amp and leave the volume control wide open.
Thanks again for the good information, everyone.
The Almarro, Dared and the Glow amp sound like interesting options. It's true that the JohnBlue JB3's are not very efficient, the 12 watts of the Nuforce Icon seems to be just enough but a little less tube power would probably suit them fine in my office space.
They're incredible speakers, by the way, and one of the reasons for wanting to retain the Icon as a DAC and preamp is that the combination of the JB3's and the little Nuforce subwoofer is pretty remarkable.
I like the small rouge products, built tough sound good and if there is ever a problem the factory is after all a short ride from nyc.
911audio - thanks, yes, I had a Rogue Cronus integrated for awhile but didn't find it as nice sounding as the AES/Cary amp I had and it seemed to really push the tubes much harder, particularly the input tubes.
You're right, the service from Rogue was exemplary and I would recommend them to anyone as a great company to deal with. Is there a Rogue power amp you would recommend that's close to my budger?
Get yourself a JWN tube amp. There's one on the bay right now. Easily the best small tube amp you can buy. Jim Nichols makes some great little tube amps and backs them up with great service if it should ever be needed.
I bought an amp of his, never even heard of him or heard one of his amps. All I can say is that I'm a believer!