Small size tube amps...any recommendations??

I'd like to know if there are triode or whatever amps out there that use skinny power tubes the size of a pinkie....that don't use bigger EL34 or 6550 size tubes.

I have relatively efficient speakers...Soliloquy 5.3 ...90dB...reportedly will play with as few as 8 watts.

A long time ago I heard a small amp with small-diameter power tubes and it sounded very nice - but I needed gobs of power then for my DQ 10's.

Please recommend some to check out.

Many thanks!

Luis- Though your Soliloquy's are efficient at 90db and will certainly make music with 8 watts of power, I'd expect you'd be rather disappointed if you were wanting of anything more than moderate volume from them. I own 8 watt SET amps and have used them with a pair of 89db monitors and though they were magic at moderate volumes they really were lacking at anything more than that. I was playing that combination in a relatively small room also. I'd suggest if you want to run with minimal power that you draw the line around 25-35 watts for your 5.3's In that range you will be likely looking at EL34 based amps. You did not mention a budget, and as you know the range is wide. I like my Quicksilver Mini-Mites and have owned 4 different pairs of Quicksilver amps and have enjoyed every one for different reasons. The Mini-Mites offer tremendous bang for the buck at $995 pair. If you are looking for an integrated solution my friend has been enjoying his 5.3's with a Jolida 502B. In the integrated realms I might also suggest an Audiomat Arpege.

Not sure why you've fixated on small tubes (most men are quite the opposite). Amps are very system-dependent and the amp you heard years ago may or may not fit in your system in a similar way. I truly doubt you'd be happy with a flea-powered amp and those speakers though. Just one opinion.

To answer your question more directly; My guess is it would have been EL-84 based amp you heard. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is the one Decware makes. Certainly there may be many others, but I am not familiar with any of them, and have no experience with the Decware to speak of. That amp puts out around 5 watts. Perhaps it would drive your speakers, but again, not very loud.

Mesa made an integrated amp called the Tigris which used EL84's and EAR made an excellent amp using just small signal tubes, quite a few of them - can't recall which type. Both got good reviews. Marco is right about finding a good EL34 based amp.
Dynaco (or maybe it was in the days of Dyna Kit) made a small integrated amp with output tubes not much larger than 12AX7. I think it was about 15wpc. The unit was in a case that looked much like a Dyna preamp except that it was deeper. Of course there were lots of amps that used 6V6 tubes, but those are a lot fatter than your pinkie.
Jolida 102b is EL84 - 4 of them for about 25 watts pushpull. Manley Stingray also uses EL84s, 8 of them. About 50 watts pushpull, 25 triode. The Manley Mahi (Mahi) monoblocks are also EL84 - 4 per side for about 40w pushpull or 20w triode.
I'm with Marco in guessing you're remembering an EL84.
Go to and look at the Cayin TA30.
$500-$800 NEW. Looks Great and sound Great.
I agree, the EL84 that you are probably referring to sounds great. Many vintage Pilot, Heath, Fisher, Scott and more used this tube. Very sweet and warm sounding. From what I know, Decware mentioned above uses a Sovtek CV83-not the same. Decware is supposed to sound great. However, you won't get 8 watts out of a Decware. Most are 2 to 5 watts, a few of the models go up to 7.

Check out ebay under tube amplifiers to check out some neat old EL84 based pieces. My old pilot will keep up with most $1500 amps, that's why people will pay $300 or more for a mint vintage piece. Most of the vintage units used 2 EL84's per channel also which should get you 15 to 20 watts per channel.

7189 based amps will work just as well. They are almost the same as EL84's (not identical but interchangeable).

A mono pair of their small amp would rock with the Soliloquy's. These are superb sounding amps.
audio research vt 60 is awesome!
If you are really looking for something small, the ASL Wave DT monos might fill the bill, esp. if you want something inexpensive. 8 wpc, from 2 6BM8/ECL82 per side. Each one is smaller than a shoebox.
You must check out the Sophia amps. They make both an EL34 integratect and an amp they call a Baby amp. The Baby amp is also an integrated amp that is quite musical. With your speakers the Baby amp will work just fine, and it is cheap.
Do the almarro amps sound as good as they look?
VTL Tiny Triodes
Wavelength amps are among the very best and a must for your list.
I have the 5.3's as well, and I've been auditioning SET amps all week. As low as 7 watts in a medium size room, and have not turned the amp past halfway. I don't know if you have purchased an amp yet, but I'd love to hear about what you've auditioned.
Also, I must mention that I have a set of DH-10's as well, and I've been getting MUCH more out of the speakers with Signal Cables shotgun bi-wire setup. In fact, they bested by far some cables that sell for $550, and I paid $180 for a 10' pair with banana plug upgrades.
Hope this is of help to you.
Sophia Baby Amplifier... very small, but delivers 10 watts with excellent frequency range and low noise.
A ten pound beast using all small tubes. Fabulous sounding that destroys my previous tube amps from:
Cary, VTL & Air Tight.
Hard to find to demo, harder to get, even harder to find used...If you're ever near Philly you're welcome to hear mine.
The Almarro 205A is the ONLY one. The KING!