I would do some research on the Cayin 50T. A superb amplifier overall and incredible for the price point, assuming 35 tube watts is enough for you - 88db or higher sensitivity and smooth impedance on your speakers.
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A Jolida integrated amp is just what you are looking for. These amps are great sounding for the money you pay for them & price-to-performance is even better when they are used.
I say this from personal experience as I have a Jolida 502A 60W/ch integrated. Very reliable, no remote. It is NOT self-bias - you have to turn some pots to set up the bias when you 1st install the amp & then you forget about them. For the few years I used the Jolida 502A, it's bias never drifted.
Send me an email thru the Audiogon system as I have a 502A integrated amp for sale for < $1000. It was on sale on Audiogon & the ad just expired. I've been very happy w/ it & I believe that you will too.
(sorry for the sales pitch at the end - it looked this topic was just down that alley!)
I just had it in on extended audition. I gave it a good workout on all my speakers:
Proac Response 2.5
PBN Montana SP2
DeVore Gibbons 3
Meadowlark Heron i
My main source was Metronome CD2V-Signature cdp.
Cabling is Wireworld Gold Eclipse and Argent Audio Pursang interconnects, and Reality spkr cables.
This is one amazing lil amp....probably the best I have heard below $2k. It excels at midrange clarity and image solidity. It is coherent top to bottom, with a good dose of liquidity and musicality. It is quite neutral and naturally detailed, with a slight leaning toward a warm and organic presentation. No grit, no glare. There is a texture and a palpability to the music....harmonically rich and full with nicely saturated images.
For its power rating, it has astonishing control, grip and punch. On my larger floorstanders it did not have the bottom end heft and weight of larger amps, but apart from the Herons, it drowe all of them seemingly without effort. I sense the power ratings are conservative as this amp breezed through everything, even on the big multi-driver speakers. Dynamics and punch were great. Many friends who listened were astonished at the power and finesse produced by such a "tiny lil amp". The bass was beautifully articulated and detailed. Very nice sparkle, shimmer and air in the treble. In my largish room I easily got to 90 to 95 db with no strain, compression, or other nasties with volume pot in the 1 o'clock region.
The noise floor is almost bottomless and the background is beautifully black. I don't think I've ever heard a tube amp this quiet, regardless of price...and I have heard a lot. In the "silent like tomb" department, right up there with SS.
Build quality seems very very good. Dead quiet the entire time I had it....never a tic, pop, hiss, sizzle or boom. Along with the noise floor, reminded me of SS in that regard. But when listening, you know you are basking in the thermionic glow.
Apart from Herons, very good match on all speakers above. Especially nice on the Bachs, Proacs and Spendors.
If your speaks do not require an arc welder, and you seek a sound that is rich, full organic and musical, yet still detailed, give this baby some serious consideration. It will have you listening to music not sounds, and it will leave some $$ in the bank!
I like it lots.
My GF loves it.
Put my $ where my mouth is and bought it for her system, where it will be teamed with VA Bachs and Cary 308-T cdp. Sweet lil system!
I second Bombaywalla's JoLida recommendation - not to dismiss Cayin or PrimaLuna. Have had a 502B for years now. It was my introduction to tubes and I am very happy with it. It has been very reliable. Yes, bias is manually adjusted but that is not a big deal. Upgrading tubes has taken it "up a notch". I'm not associated with BBW in any way but think his offer is worth exploring.
Having a close friend who owns a Cronus, I can't say reliability is its first virtue. Here is a list of the problems encountered in the first 4 months.
- Defective headphone jack (out of the box)
- Defective on/off switch (the unit can't be turned off) after 4 months
- Unstable bias (has to be ajusted every few days)
As far as sound is concerned, this integrated is great. Midrange is plain fantastic and low level listening is a pure joy.