Tube amp rough guidance sought

Hi all,

I've got an about10 year old pair of B&W 805's, a paradigm servo 15 sub, currently running through a NAD T770 amp that used to also drive surround speakers. I haven't owned a TV in years and haven't used the center/rears in years. I've come to the opinion that the 2.1 setup needs to be fairly loud to produce decent sound and is pretty lifeless and flat at low volumes. Currently in a decently large room, tile floor, but lots of soft stuff to break up reverb.

I listen to a variety of things as all would say but mostly jazz, blues, classic rock, latin music and contemporary stuff. From Jim Croce to Ella to Led Zeppelin to Jeff Buckley and a lot that is less well recorded.

In any case, I'm thinking more and more about tube amps as a way to get a warmer sound, more life at low volume, and more just ear pleasing delight. I'm not a slut for sonic purity and I don't love having to turn it up really loud to get rich sound and good energy.

I'm guessing a first step might be to find a local hi-fi shop and take my 805's in and just try some stuff? I'm also fully open to suggestions of all sorts including changing anything else in the system, "selling all that crap and starting over" or whatever else folks can come up with.
"I've come to the opinion that the 2.1 setup needs to be fairly loud..."

IME, your statement is true only because you have B&W speakers which always have sounded mediocre to me. Before going further: What size is your listening room?
B&Ws in general are not tube-friendly, although the 805s are probably one of their easier speakers in that regard. The room size is important- the 805s are not particularly efficient.

BTW if you want speakers that are easy to afford, easy to drive and favor tubes talk to Duke at Audiokinesis.
I suspect the NAD amp is part of the problem, but I don't know that particular NAD. A tube amp would probably help to tame one of the biggest problems of the N805's, those "sizzling" tweeters, but then the 805's also like a fair amount of power.

What's your budget? "selling all that crap and starting over" might be the best, if you can afford it. And if you want to use tubes, pick tube-friendly speakers. BTW, I bought used N805's once, & didn't even like them enough to use in an office system.
My budget is variable but I'd prefer to come out even certainly not invest a ton more. Perhaps $1-2k more than what it's worth now but I'm not that interested in a major investment.

As far as the room it's in now, it's probably 15' x 45' with a partial wall that breaks it into 15x30 and 15x15, give or take.

As far as what I like in the way of sound, if it makes sense, I like energetic and warm sound, rich and full, and I am not a fan of loose or heavy hitting bass nor shrill highs. I find that the 805s are a bit shrill until they get turned up and then it balances out better...

Any recommendations for hifi shops to visit in the San Francisco Bay area to start listening and learning more?

I appreciate the advice... just trying to learn what I can and get headed in the right direction :)
It sounds like you need a higher quality solid state amp. Forget about tubes and look for any used Levinson amp and preamp. Levinson works well with B&W and it should give you the sound you are looking for.
The room is way to big for the 805s. My thinking is that you need a much larger speaker a floor stander and a big amp to power them. Taken your pick nSS or tubes. Ilove tube gear and most of my equipment is tube powered. I don't do it for the syrupy slow sound of the old tube amps I do it for the crystaline halographic sound whic is often said to be magical and I agree. Get a big Atmaspere amp from Ralph and have Duke build you speakers that will have sifficient bass. The investment will be substantial but magic doesn't come cheap!
Thanks for opinions and thoughts offered! I am leery of buying speakers based on matching this room as it's a rental, though I'm not leery of buying speakers based on improved sound, so we'll see what is in the cards.

I guess the next step is to visit some dealers and try some various amps with and without my 805's. My thoughts are to check out Rogue Tempest III and Prima Luna Prologue Premium Integrated amps at local shops. Any comments on those options or others in the price range that I shouldn't miss?

Any comments on my sub - a ~10-12 years old Paradigm Servo 15?
Antshrike, you would not be buying speakers for the room, you would be buying speakers to match to the amp. If you have a tube amp in mind a speaker that is more efficient would be a good thing whether you move or not.

Duke at Audiokinesis makes speakers that are easy for tube amps to drive and they are reasonably priced as well as musical and revealing. Most of his models play good bass too- you may find that you don't need the sub.

BTW here's a link that talks about some things that relate directly to matching amps and speakers: