SET amps (almarro vs decware)


I'm looking to buy a SET amp under 1500  with at least 4 watts.

The two I'm looking at are
Almarro a318b
Decware zen triode integrated

Almarro is super tough to find used right now, and prices seem to have gone way up. I've read posts a few years back about people picking these up used for $1200. Maybe the a205a?

Decware is attractive to me because of the lifetime warranty. If the almarro broke, I'd have no idea what to do.

I am am looking for some opinions between these two amps, and maybe the a205a as well.

Ease of ownership is a factor too. I want an amp that I can keep for many many years with little hassle. 

Thanks guys
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The Almarro requires biasing every time it is used (and usually needs it).
Bias tabs are up-front under tubes so convenient at least.
So much for ease of ownership (it does sound good, however).
I have the Almarro and you do not have to bias it every time it is used. I haven't biased mine in 3 years, I have even checked with my meter . Even the owners manual states when the tubes are new you may have some drift but further down the line it will stay put.

Almarro has a U.S. distributers  so you do not have to worry about getting service.

Here is a link
http://www.almarro.com/distribution.html

 I have even contacted them in Japan when I misplaced my manual and they copied to an email for me.

Love my Almarro
I really like the Almarro (I owned one), but a better sounding more powerful amp is the Coincident Dynamo SE or the Coincident Dynamo SE Mark II, $1,200 to 1,500, which I own and am extremely happy with.  This amp has 2 EL34 power tubes, a 5ar4 Rectifier, and 2 6SL7. Really punches way above the Almarro. I actually like it better with my DeVore 0/96 better than my former Primaluna Dialogue One, maybe even my Cary V12. Best, Rob
Rob,
I believe that the bigger and improved transformers took the Coincident Dynamo MK II from "very good" to superb particularly in its price range. 
Charles, 
I have quite a few Decware products. 2 amps, 2 preamps and 1 pair of speakers. I don't know of a company that stands behind they're products like Decware. I don't know how many companies where you can pick up the phone and talk to the owner.

Decware amps are built like a tank. Most have auto biasing, my ZMA amp has gauges and an ingenious, easy to use biasing system. The sound is incredible and nothing I've heard comes close except my David Berning ZOTL amps.

Hi Charles,
You are absolutely right. The new transformers and power supply makes this 8 watt hard to beat at many times its cost. It's also driving my brother's Harbeth SHL5s with aplomb; quite remarkable. Best, Rob

I love SET amps. Both companies make excellent products. I do hope that after making your amp decision that before you get into tube rolling you will replace the stock fuse with a Synergistic Research Black fuse. Unlike with tube rolling, the SR fuse comes with a 30 day trial. It will definitely give your amp the sense of greater power. Also better musicality.

Best of luck with your decision.

David Pritchard
I'm guessing you'd do fine with either.  I know Decware recently upgraded their transformers and their SE34 Integrated is configurable in a number of ways. Also, there are a number of upgrade options as well so there is a lot of flexibility if you go that route in how you have them build your amp.

Good Luck with the decision.
I agree with Evank above. I hardly ever have to rebias my A318b. I run it at a lower bias (.170) to get a slightly warmer, more laid back perspective (also very easy on the tubes) to a higher bias (.190 or slightly higher) to get more power and more dynamics. It's a very versatile amp, and it does sound great, especially after having Jupiter copper foil caps installed. It takes very nicely to tube rolling as well.
Think I forgot to mention I owned the "A" model not the "B".
As the "B" model is not self bias, I can't see why the "B" would require less manual biasing than the "A". Maybe I had cheap tubes?
Check out the new Dennis Had Inspire amps.  There is quite a lengthy thread on another forum about them.  Excellent amps and very reasonable.