Solid state or tube what to do??

My system is Arcam A85 DIVA, Quad 12L speakers, NAD 521i CDP, Audioquest interconnects, and Type 4 Speaker cables. I purchased the Arcam 7 months ago but now have the itch to go tube. I have the option of trading my Arcam for a Cayin TA-30 that is fully modded except for the Auricaps. Also included are 2 sets of Svetlana tubes (one pair already on board) and the others to sweeten the deal. Am I making a bad move here by doing a straight trade or should I take the chance. I have no way of auditioning the Cayin as the owner is several hundred miles away. Being new to tube, what would I be losing by giving up my Arcam and/or gaining by getting the Cayin. Also, the little Quads are 6ohms. Could this cause a problem for the Cayin?
My recommendation is to throw a few tubes in the mix somewhere. The Cayin at 30 watts should be fine here, unless your head banging to metal or like it loud.

I can also highly recommend the Manley Stingray if your budget allows ( <1500. used) then you can build around it later on when your ready to upgrade other components. This amp is awesome and will rock and boggie! and has 5 ohm output which is perfect for your quads. Just MO.--Ken
By the way, the listening room is 21 feet long by 13 feet wide and 8 foot ceilings.
I have not heard the Arcam, but I own the ta-30. Before the Cayin I was on a ratrace with various SS amps. The cayin put a stop to that for the last year and a half. I do miss a little of the power sometimes, usually when I've been drinking and feel the need for excess volume and bass slam. The presence of the tube amp and amazing full bodied character and imaging I really like. Maybe try to buy the Cayin or borrow it for a time- compare the two and tell us all what you think... you could always sell one or the other when done
Having used ARC tubes since 1990 (CL-60, VT-100 Mk-I, VT100 Mk-III) and Almarro A205A SE integrated until recently, I find myself using the super-nice Parasound A23 (SS, 180 w/ch @ 4 ohms) to drive my Thiel 1.6's.
The Parasound amp is so sweet I hardly miss the VT-100.

My advice is this:

If you tend to extended listening sessions, go with tubes.
If you listen for shorter periods (a couple of hours after work, etc.) go with solid state.
Transistors have a little more pizzaz in the short run.

This is why we need two systems!
if your as you say itching to try tubes then sell the arcam outright & hunt down a more powerfull tube amp,a 30 watt tube amp dont leave you many options at all & your bass response will suffer not to mention the lack of any headroom,unless you always listen at lower volumes you will end up missing the power of the arcam with a 30 watt tube amp.

keep in mind that only on rare occasions do mods add any value to a peice of gear unless its a cap upgrade,one more thing to think about,30 watts is 30 watts no matter weather it be tube watts or ss watts.

Dear Randelldoyle: Your Quad speakers are not very efficient one: 88db, and their nomonal impedance is 6 Ohms ( but they go as down 3 Ohms ).

These speakers characteristics tell to any one that it will best matched with SS electronics.

You can choose a tube amp but you never really could heard the real great Quad 12L sound reproduction performance through tubes .

Every tube amp ( any ) has a high output impedance that preclude a steady ( frecuency response ) performance.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Go tubes - you will not be sorry.
keep your arcam
I took a bite from the bullet and traded my Arcam A85 Diva for the little Cayin TA-30. Some called me reckless and others were less kind :) I too have invested a great deal of time and effort into solid state amplifiers and decided to take the plunge into the world of tube. I have not had a great deal of time with the Cayin (actually, just a couple of hours), but already I cannot believe the level of transparancy from this amp. In addition, why doesn't every tube amp have that great feature known as "Focus Control" This allows you to tailor any speaker to the Cayin, adding or diminishing unwanted harmonics as you go. I guess it could be compared to an EQ or tone control on SS amplifiers. By leaving it at the 12 o clock position, it is the same as stock without the focus control knob. Bass is obviously not as tight as with the Arcam but definitely more natural. Highs are not as crisp as with Arcam but once again, dido. Mids are remarkable and the soundstage is incredible. All of this from a <1000 tube integrated. I can't even believe that it compares to a $2000 Arcam integrated that some high profile reviewers said was one of the best SS integrateds they have ever heard. That includes the Krell 300i etc. I agree that as SS goes, the Arcam competes with just about anything in its power rating, however,they definitely got it right with the little Cayin, snatch one up if you can find someone to sell it.

Thanks for the information,

Hey Randy..Congratulations on the Cayin amp. There is something indeed wonderful about a well designed and executed tube amp that just sounds so right. I did the same last year after downsizing from a 250W Plinius SA 250 monster amp to a little Manley Stingray integrated. The level of musicality went up so drastically. It was amazing.

Best of luck and enjoy your Cayin amp!...Ken
Dear Randy: How many hours of live music usually do you hear each month? and which kind of?

Regards and enjoy the music.
I have no idea why you are asking that question but I will play along. I have been the lead singer and rhythm guitarist in various bands since 1992. So.....I listen to live music quite often. Mostly classic rock or folk type music. Sometimes I will listen to some blues bands here in the city I live in but there is little in the way of blues/jazz here locally. Why do you ask?
Dear randell: I yest wondering. Don't worry. Nice to know that you are really on the music like singer and guitarist: great!!!

+++++ " I will listen to some blues bands here in the city I live in " +++++

Where is this?

Regards and enjoy the music.
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada