To Hot to Handle?

I have been contemplating the purchase of a tube amp. However, one of my concerns is the possible heat issues associated with running a tube amp (or mono blocs) with 12+ tubes during the summer in the Northeast. I do not have central air in my apartment.

Would it really be unbearable? I would appreciate comments from anyone with such experiences/solutions. Or, are there any 75+ watt tube amps in the under $2500 new/used category that don't run hot?

Thank you in advance,
The nature of tubes will set you in a collision path with your heat issue. Even my 300B tubed amp which produces a mighty 9 watts per channel feels hot. A 75 watts, all tube, you can just imagine! I also live in the NorthEast but have an AC.
If you need 75 tube watts, Berning zh270 is relatively cool running. Relatively being the operative word. I would not want to have it in my house in CT w/o air on those really hot/humid July days. Otherwise, not too bad.
The EAR 509 mkii isn't too hot (relatively), using two PL509 output tubes to put out 100 watts per monoblock. It's also a wonderful sounding amp. But I don't live on the east coast! Neither it or the Berning are under $2500 though. The Berning (which I have had) runs more in the lower $3000 and the EARs run in the mid $3000 used.
I have a VAC avatar super doesn't run hot real easy to bias too
in your price try a belles intergrated $22-2500 new
I have a small solid state amp (Forte' 4a) that runs pretty warm, and I leave it on all the time. I have air, but the thought of trying to deal with a real 'heater' amp in the Summer with no air is a challenge. The heat it produces will be an issue. But if you leave the windows open and use fans... you may not notice much of a difference. Windows closed, you are asking for trouble.
Also, does your electrical supply stand up to the task of running a big amp. (no air conditioning = old building, poor electrical service?)
Is a portable floor standing a/c unit an option? They are effective, and not inordinately expensive.

Also, my upgraded Counterpoint SA-20 amplifier has only two tubes-runs relatively cool, and sounds great.

Other hybrid amps are available that have a tube sound without a large number of tubes.
If heat generation is a major factor to consider, the obvious solution is a digital amp, which are said to exhibit sonic characteristics similar to tube circuits. My CarverPro ZR1600 (good for 600 wpc into 4 ohms) draws about 45 watts with no signal, and, when driving speakers, has an efficiency (Output power/AC power) around 80 percent. Other digital amps would be similar.
75Wpc monos will produce the heat of approximately 180W each on the standby and near 450W each during loud play.
Multiply it by two and you'll get a pretty efficient heater to heat 150 sqfeet room during the beginning of Feb.
Sometimes if I don't have enough heat in my room I can turn on the amps and add some extra watts of heat and be OK.
That's why I bought SS amp that I use either in bi-amp or just single one during summer. My wife is happy as well.
I think that when you go to demo the tube amps you will probably not be buying one. I have a pair of tube amps in the corner of my fairly large living room and they heat the space in the winter quite well. I admit it looks a bit strange having the speakers face me, sitting in the corner of my area warming myself with my amps.......
The VAC PA100 is 100 watts and the difference in heat radiated between it and one of my Classe DR8 solid state amps is neglible. I live in metro Phoenix AZ and do have A/C however heat is a big problem, therefore I don't have 450 watt tube monoblocks.
I disagree with Unclejeff; once you hear tubes you won't want to go back to that scrap-metal SS crap ;-)........Anchor's away! Why not learn to make the heat your friend!? Get an amp with a cage, add a skillet and some eggs and sausage and breakfast is only moments away! Then close the door and windows, roll out the mat and practice Bikram Yoga that's all the rage. Later on you can use the same technique for a nice sauna (I'd advise you skip the steam - those tube amps won't take very politely to a ladle of water being poured on them). So turn that frown upside down! Inside every dark cloud is a tube amplifier! If you've got a bunch of lemons, make some gin and tonics and get yourself stinkin'ass drunk, hurl all over the carpet, fall asleep in your own chunky monkey and wake up 36 hours later with a headache that'll make you wish you'd died in your sleep!


PS An even better solution that I recommend from personal experience: Head northwest young man! Where class A tube amps stay on all day and air conditioning is a foreign concept, and the sky is grey as far as the eye can see all winter long. (That last bit is to keep too many from taking me seriously and crowding our already overburdened highways - but you're welcome Bumpkin! Just clean that bit of puke off your shirt before you come out here!).
I live in the Northeast in an non-air conditioned apartment and I use a 100w/ch tube amp(8xKT88)for the last twelve years without a problem. Don't worry about it. If you want tubes, go for it!
I have a small listening room and live in the Pacific Northwest. No air conditioning. I have a small solid-state rig that I move into the room during the summer months; I really can't take the heat from my vacuum tube amp.
Ahh, Dan.

I can see that you still have upgrade-itis and your taste seems to be changing as well. I didn't think you'd be selling the DNA125 for awhile, but I guess all the time you've been spending with Christy has filled your head with thoughts of warm, glowing...She told me she's gonna be appearing at some Erotica Expo here in LA in a few weeks. Do you mind if I get in some time with her? Heheh.

But back to your system. How do the Europas sound with the McCormack? Looking for a bit more warmth? Have you thought of the Rogue Magnum 120 monoblocks? Do you think the 60wpc BAT VK60 would cut the mustard? I know the VK60 will be hotter than Roselyn Sanchez after eating a bowl of Habanéro salsa. My solid state VK200 runs hot! Maybe the Rogues run cooler.

Good luck, Bro!

I have all the warmth I need when Christy is around, and I mean a-ROUND (OO) if you know what I mean. Too bad she is out doing Tequila body shots with you most of the time.

The McCormack/Europa combo is excellent, no complaints at all. I have also been considering the Gold Revision to the amp, but have been bitten by the tube bug somewhat.

I have thought of the Rogues, 150's though. Well see what I do. Impression I am getting though is that tubes and no AC don't mix too well. Maybe upgrade the McCormack and get a small tube amp for winter, or get an inexpensive SS and a nice tube amp.

If the amplifier is not class A, the heat of the tubes will be minimal. You might be suprised how much heat a transistor amp can make too- sometimes not really a lot less then a tube amp. A lot is depending on how you play the system and the class of operation.

My guess is heat is not a factor here. It gets hotter here in the Midwest then in the Northeast. I have the smallest air conditioner I could find ($75 special from Best Buy- it was either that or rewire the house for something bigger and I am too lazy for that) in my listening room and it keeps up with 28 power tubes (it can be switched from class A to class AB). My guess is you have no worries.
I figure if you're going tubes, get you a 'otl' with about 20 or more tubes per. monoblock. Then figure a way to divert the heat to a collector for your hot water tank.
Thank you everyone for your comments.

I think I am jumping into tubes!!! Heat be damned.

We'll see if I say the same thing come August.


Now ye'r cookin' with tubes brother Bumpkin! I like my burgers medium rare please. A little heat never hurt anyone'eh. Set up some industrial sewing machines in your place, hire some imigrant children and maybe Nike'll give you some work assembling their shoes and athletic wear! Come next February you can finally validate your manhood in a ceremony similar to Qwai Chang Caine. Kneeling before the Cary Rocket (which you've kept piping hot for three days straight playing Swervedriver at 110db) with rolled up sleeves you'll grasp the amp by the tubes between your forearms and move it to your new amp stand ignoring your searing flesh. Then you'll stagger out into the freshly fallen snow and collapse, cooling your still sizzling brands. When they heal up, and that nasty infection goes away you will have the mark of a true audiophile and it will be time for you to soon as you snatch those Shakti stones from my hand. After that you can wander from high-end boutique to high-end boutique seeking revenge upon the ones who sold you all that wretched SS gear. Oh, I pity those poor salepeople, they haven't got a chance when you ferrit them out of their holes in the ground! Let's all just have a moment of silence in anticipation of the hurtin' Bumpkin will be bringing on those folks in the industry! May god have mercy on them when they meet their maker and are told of the grave errors in their ways. They steered you wrong Bumpkin, you have no choice, it was malicious and cruel....they knew better and yet they sold you boat anchors and paper weights and took all your nickel while they all laughed inside. Ah Matty...they'll be telling stories to our children's children about you someday. How you helped rid the world of the evil purveyors of SS instruments of aural torture, and cleared a path for a rebirth of the wonders of the vacuum tube. I don't have any children Matty, but I'll tell my dog and hope he'll pass it on to the canine world. You're my hero Matty. I'm getting some tears in my eyes as I write this, and my upper lip is starting to quiver a bit. Excuse me while I have a breakdown over here in the corner. Just carry on my friend....make us all proud.

Be sure to cryo your credit card before the purchase...and welcome in advance to toobdom!

I have already done the dirty deeed. I bought a pair of AES Six Pacs tonight from Kevin at Upscale Audio, with the Jensen cap upgrade. While only 50 watts, they have a great amount of reserve I am told.

So, we will see what it is like to have a BBQ inside.

Marco, I think you have been too close to tubes for too long, you wing nut. You in the Northeast? If so, give me a yell, I will buy a couple rounds, nice cool beer to calm the senses.

Thank you all,
I solved the problem by sticking with a SET 300B amplifier and using headphones when it is too hot to run the amp! That is only a couple of weeks per year in the SF Bay Area thank The Gods (for they are many).
My folks live in the Nor'east in VT Matty, but I'm clear across the
continent in Seattle. Now if you're having a BBQ with two six packs that
may entice me to come out there on a whim. Those sixers oughta put
some nice KT88 burns so make sure to have twelve of'em on hand come
February. The EL34 option just doesn't get those top layers seared quite
enough. KT88's are easier to grip too and you'll get those nods of
recognition every time you roll up your sleaves.

Good on'ya Bumpkin. That Dennis Had knows which end of the
soldering iron is hot! Heard good things about AES. Let us all know how
it all sounds when you hook'em up and find out what music really
sounds like. Hope you got something tubearific to feed it with?! Yeah,
music really doesn't need to sound like nails on a chalkboard, and you
can stop buying that Costco-sized bottle of Advil every month for those
headaches you were wondering about. Why the savings alone oughta
start you on your way to saving up for those Bernings I see in your
future. Crimighty folks, my laptop battery is dying and my dog's asleep
at my elbow and it's bloody hot here in Seattle. I ougtta wrap this up
and get my silly ass to bed. Night all........

What generates the heat in a tube amp? I know that the tube filiaments, turned on all the time even with no signal, generate a lot of heat. That is their "boil off" electrons. The power transformer heat will vary somewhat with signal, as the current draw varies. There are probably a few resistors that dissipate power.

What else generates heat, and what are the relative amounts?
Actually, the filaments do not make most of the heat, which is a common misconception. The tube conducting makes most of the heat- by that I mean the tube conducting as a matter of its class of operation (class A or AB for example), and conducting due to the signal it is amplifying.

If you disconnect the B+ from the tube so that it is merely lit up but not conducting, you will find that most of the heat is gone.

One exception to this is the 6C33-BC power tube, which has a prodigious filament circuit (which overloads the socket that the tube uses and leads to the failure of the socket; the extreme heat that the socket otherwise sees in service contributes to a large degree to that too, so the smaller pins usually fail first).

So other then the 6C33, the filament is about 15-25% of the heat of the tube. The more class AB the circuit is, the larger the proportion of the heat is filament (since class AB circuits run cooler).
Just an update...

Rec'd my AES Six Pac's yeserday, have them set up and running.

Boy, break out the weenies, they a little bit warm to say the least. However it is workable, fan for the window, etc.

Thank you everyone for your opinion. Maybe I will invite you all to a BBQ over the amps....

Good. Just when you are getting used to them you get to start tube rolling.