Review: Houston Mini 2 Tube amp
I had been seeking perhaps what is the audio Holy Grail for some time and the thought of buying a vacuum tube amplifier was not prominent in my thought process. I am certain that Audiogon members are all seeking a Holy grail also,namely a musical,natural and involving sounding component which is bespoke in quality,pleasing to the eye and merciful to the bank account and which does not create domestic disharmony.
I believe that the Houston Mini 2 amplifier meets these criteria and is loved by all in my household.
My musical tastes are broad but I certainly like well recorded female vocals and the first cd I played on the system was Eva Cassidy's Songbird cd- Fields of Gold and Autumn Leaves provided confirmation that this was indeed the desired device. A time continuum ensued with Nora Jones-Come away With Me and nearly a dozen other cd's ranging from Celtic lullabys to Deep Purple and J Geils Band. This is however not about my CD collection -I am trying to convey the ability of the Houston Mini 2 to play all types of music,even that which I do not like,with grace and class. Most of all, you are connected with the essence of whatever you are playing,at all times. It is difficult to use particular terms to describe the sound except to say that it just seems "right" and you are completely comfortable with it-just like a good friend or a family member.
Previously, I have owned many amplifiers and I do not want to enter the tubes versus solid state debate as I believe audio components should be judged on their intrinsic worth and sound,however ,I have yet to hear any solid state integrated amplifier at anywher near the price [950 US dollars}which is so musically satisfying.
This amplifier will make music with any type of disc you care to hear,it is sufficiently powerful to drive speakers of lower efficiency i.e 86db as my own speakers are, to very high levels in a large room and always with charm,character and plenty of spine tingles.What more can I say?
Go forth and listen ,take it home and audition it in your own room and enjoy the music.If you do not agree let me know-if you do agree,let me know- that is why I love audio buffs,we are all seekers of joy not war and we make the world better--kind regards to all who use Audiogon
ProAc Response 2.5 loudspeakers--AudioSpace 8HT vacuum tube CDplayer--AudioSpace Buffer amplifier--Z Squared AG/AG interconnect cables--ZuCable Wax speaker cable.
Jolida vacuum tube integrated--Musical Fidelity A3 and many others