Check out the Schiit Saga+. It meets all of your criteria -- small footprint, has a tube that is easily changed, and is only $400 new. I have one in my system and have been very pleased with it -- extremely quiet, very low distortion and a good frequency range. It also comes with a remote. It is direct order only, but Schiit offers a two week trial. They do charge 5% if you return it.
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We started 'making' one recently. Actually I built it to be a small amp for my bedroom system. It make 5 watts per channel. I didn't want a cheap SET; I wanted something that was low distortion to full power (SETs aren't), wouldn't be making a lot of heat and would fit on a sheet of paper with room to spare. This started as a one-off but it was almost the same money to get 10 chassis built as it was for one. So I guess we've got a small tube amp now. Mine was done in blue; we're also doing chrome and black. Here's a link:
We've not announced this as a product. My goal was to make something that wasn't made of cheap parts so it would be reliable- I didn't want it to be getting into trouble if I fell asleep listening to it at night. So its built with nice parts throughout, unlike a lot of the inexpensive fare coming from China at this point. Its also low distortion, and I've compared it to SETs of the same power; in a nutshell SETs are physically larger and don't sound as musical.
atmasphere9,154 posts02-15-2021 10:26amWe started 'making' one recently. Actually I built it to be a small amp for my bedroom system. It make 5 watts per channel.
I really like your approach, cute little unit. Your getting 5-8 watts with 3 12AX7s and they don't run out of gas like a SET... That is cool.. My biggest complaint about SET, they sound great until they don't.
If you keep turning them up.. I continue to loose more and more interest..
Single ended is ok, BUT I'm still a push pull guy. Some I like a LOT more than others and inherently, run cooler..
Compliance and heat are the issue for sure with SET.. If your gonna sell the stuff, anyways..
What about a cool dozen for the driver valves.. 15-20 watts? Be a looker for sure, SR71 stuff... Desk top V24? :-) Now I got an Idea.
A 5U4 and OA3 valve (glow tube) for a quieter ride yet? Might have to do that twice, but I bet with a 12 pack of 12AT, X, Y, Z or 12BHs, Things could get lively. I think I would like the look and idea V12 or 24. Be nice to be able to bias lower for a lower valve count, like Cary does. Great idea. Can run 2, 4, or 6 valves per rail, just by re-bias. Maybe in quads.
50.00 - 100.00 quads are quite plentiful. 3 sets of quads per side.. or just 1 set with a re-bios. Sure look cool!..
Wow volcano mouth, eruption!!! Clear the joint out...:-)
@ atmasphere, are you saying I should use you amp as a preamp?
@ oldhvymec, I apologize for my ignorance, but you lost me.
I may not have made myself very clear. I should have said, I am inquiring about the really small, and cheap tube preamps like sold on Amazon under $100. These pretty much fit in your hand almost. I'm wondering if there is anything like these, only truly well made with quality parts? They are perfect for a laptop system, in size.
@flaxxer, since you want something smaller in chassis size and want to tube roll, would suggest you try out the Chinese clone of the Marantz 7 tube preamp. Its a line stage only, has excellent sonics and you can tube roll and capacitor roll to your hearts content.
Remote PRT-07B stereo 12AX7 Tube preamplifier base on Marantz M7 preamp L12-46 | eBay
Oops, my amps just changed. And my preamp needs MAY have because of this. So i need some advice on the best way to go about getting volume control for these Icepower ASP1000 amplifiers. I've read about the high input impedance. I use a computer for my source playing Flac, wav or hi-res audio files. I'm using a very simple dongle Style USB DAC that sounds okay. I have choices, but do not know what my best bet is. For simplicity, it would seem I should just buy a better desktop DAC, such as and SMSL M500 and use the volume control knob on front. Or ANY other DAC with a volume control for that matter. I know I can use my volume control the USB. Provides through the keyboard on my computer. But with amplifiers this powerful, I figure I should have a volume control to prevent issues such as full volume noise blasts, which have happened before when the computer glitches. My second option would be to purchase a regular preamp. This would be the most expensive option, as I would want something at least as good as the Schitt Freya +, and that is $900! I would still need a decent DAC upgrade. This gets expensive with my health issues at hand. The last way I could go, is something like an all tube gain stage. I would still need a DAC, but a simple gain stage kit should only be a few hundred at most. The other two options I can think of, would be the pass B1 buffer clone kit preamp for 150 dollars, but I don't know if it would play nice with a high input impedance of the icepower amp. The most simple and cheapest route, would be be using the Sure digital volume control option. But I do not know how high fidelity that would be. I could really use some help. I've been out of this hobby for about 10 years now. I feel a bit lost and appreciate everyone who has helped so far.