i'll just wait for mc to answer...
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The Lore specs from the website:
You could start by looking through the Audiogon classifieds for a lightly used amp. With a $2000 budget you'll find a larger selection if you go used.
Would you consider a used Raven Nighthawk integrated to be a better move than buying, say, the Parasound A23+ new and using my m2si as a preamp? This is kind of where I'm at decision-wise.
I ask this particularly as I have (supposedly) very high sensitivity speakers and right now I'd rather have fewer watts that sound better than the other way around.
A long time ago I had a much better audio system and I know I'm missing a lot when I play recordings that I know really well. For instance, on Holly Cole's train song I know the person doing all the funny percussion effects moves around the soundstage from right to left and front to back and you can clearly hear that on a good system.
I miss that level of clarity. Everything is kind of scrunched up and fuzzy right now, sound wise. Can I fix that at least partly without spending over $2K?
Right now I am running Roon to a Chord Mojo, the m2si, and then to the Tektons which I really like. I really like the Mojo too, actually, so it's the m2si that seems to be the weak link.
Upon study, it seems I am looking for something like a First Watt amp but you don't see them for sale very often and not at my price level. I had a Linn LK280 some years ago and that was a great amp but it ran so hot it burned the boards which is what keeps me from buying a used Klout.
I think like 10 watts class A used or the like is what I want, used.
Would you consider a used Raven Nighthawk integrated to be a better move than buying, say, the Parasound A23+ new and using my m2si as a preamp?A tube integrated would be a better way to go than using the MF as a preamp.
Raven builds highly regarded components, you should check user reviews of that amp.
I second adding Quicksilver and Decware to your list.
I'd love a Raven but that's out of my budget and I don't see any used models available, unfortunately.
You are saying I'd be better off buying a tube integrated than using my m2si as a preamp and buying a tube amplifier to add to it? I was thinking at least that would get me into separates for later upgrading and I'd not have to count out the m2si entirely.
Would you consider a used Raven Nighthawk integrated to be a better move than buying, say, the Parasound A23+ new and using my m2si as a preamp? This is kind of where I'm at decision-wise.My answer to this question was to stay all tubes and not buy a Parasound.
Separates is a great way to go.
Use the m2si and find a used tube power amp. Quicksilver comes up for sale pretty often.
A rebuilt Dynaco by Will Vincent is a great amp. It has that classic tube sound.
A very highly regarded amp...
Ok, thanks guys! I know very little about tube amps but I have super high efficiency speakers and I think I'd like tubes -- we'll see! :D I do believe the smartest thing for me to do is to go used and trust what you, the experts, say is a great buy so that's what I'll do.
I'm still leaning towards just an amplifier rather than an integrated because it will give me a better upgrade path, so I'm considering either of the two on Audiogon posted above. Thanks to @lowrider57 for the help!
I'm not sure I can afford one of these until the next round of stimulus money comes. But maybe I can. Not sure yet. If I don't get one of the ones listed now can I come back and ask about other tube amps that might show up here or on other sites?
Of course you can keep this thread going. I'll second Jolida, aka Black Ice as a possible amp for you.
I recommend you message the seller of the RM-10 and make inquiries, he's the original owner. Ask to see more pics. I expect this amp to sell quickly, they don't come up for sale very often.
Will Vincent regularly posts his restored Dynaco's.
shawn, the seller seems to have provided good CU pics of the amp. It’s very clean and he states it’s only 3 years old. Not much wear happens in that short amount of time except for tube life.
The questions I have are answered on the Music Reference website including:
"Each unit is hand wired with point-to-point wiring."EL84 is a very smooth, sweet sounding power tube. 12AX7’s are the input tubes and are widely used and not too expensive.
P to P wiring is preferred over using circuit boards.
I would ask how many hours are on the tubes, will they need replacing soon, is there a user manual, is there any transformer hum? (Some tube amps have a low-level hum that does not come through the speakers. It’s in their design). Ask if you can speak on the phone since it’s your first tube amp.
It’s a good price, probably because of the chip in the wood body. Definitely not a deal breaker.
I see your m2si has preamp outputs, so you're ok with just about any tube power amp.
I just purchased the RM-10. Hopefully it’s 35 watts of pure bliss. Thank you to everyone here for your feedback and help.
It will be interesting trying out a tube amp. Many years ago I had a VK-5i preamp but I never thought it had any sort of a "tube" sound. However I did agree with one reviewer I read who said it was a bit "dark".
If asked today I could never explain to anyone what "dark" meant but it is the word I’d use looking back on the sound -- not in a bad way, just the particular coloration it gave to the music. It was clear as a bell though. I bought it via Audiogon about 25 years ago, back when Audiogon was young like me. ha!
Thanks again and I’ll post my impressions when I get the new toy. :D Special thanks to @lowrider57 for your expertise.
2K gets you into amazing used Manley Mahi Mahi mono blocks. EL 84 based, these rock out with 40wpc and changeable modes for triode. You can vary the timbre of the amp with small switches.
They tube roll well and mine were very reliable and stable. They are quick and delivered solid bass. Lots of fun for 5 years.
I'm getting a sporadic scratchiness from the left channel of the RM-10. I'm guessing I need to try replacing some of the tubes to see which one is the problem? Anyone want to give some tube replacement advice for this amp?
The amp itself sounds wonderful but I'm breaking in some new cables now and still trying to re-EQ my room, so I won't comment totally until everything gets in place and worn in. So far it's clear is can be and with better cables I'm getting some decent bass now. You never know how good your speakers are until you give them a good signal though.
Thank you to everyone who commented and offered advice -- I read it all but I could only afford one amp so I went with this one. I did get exactly what I wanted though in 30 great watts instead of 200 so-so amps. Thanks again to everyone for your help. I feel like I have achieved entry-level audiophile status now. :D
Listening to Steve Gadd Band right now -- linked to this from Michael Landau's Liquid Quartet Live on Roon radio. Both really good.
Damn, there's that scratch again!
good advice and a fantastic amp designed and built by a true audio engineering genius and music lover Roger Modjeski.
great advice on swapping tubes. RAM tubes is the place to go, Roger was also an innovator on computer testing of tubes, matching / grading. His designs feature thousands of hours of operating life. I have his breakthrough RM-9 but you have an incredible amp in the RM-10.
make sure your input cables are not creating the scratch you hear, tight clean connections. There is factory help and tube sales for your amp and a cadre of techs at former MR dealers to help also.
reach out if needed.
finally, the RM-10 is highly desirable, so if it doesn’t work for you, easy resale.