I am new to tube amps (I've had several tube pre-amps) and was wondering what people's thoughts are on the following: VTL-ST85, VTL TT-25, Anthem AMP 1, Rogue 88 and Quicksilver Minimites. I'd like to keep the cost around $1500
HEY ROBK, IF U CAN STRECH YOUR BUDGET A BIT, U SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET A PAIR OF USED ROGUE 120 MONO BLOCKS FOR UNDER $2000.I DID AND CAN TELL U FIRST HAND THESE AMPS ARE GREAT FOR THE MONEY. REPLACED A FINE AMP IN ITS SELF(MCCORMACK DNA-125) BUT NOT GOING BACK TO SS. GO FOR IT!!!!!!!
Rogue is the best of this list to me. I am not that big a fan of VTL. Especially their amps with LOTS of tubes. Too difficult to coordinate all those tubes into a coherent piece, in my opinion. My recommendation would be to get another of the Quicksilver products. Try the KT88s or the Silver Sixty. Should fit easily into your budget. A bit more tubey than the Rogues, if you like that sort of sound.
Hi Robk No one mentioned the Anthem Amp1,and from reading the reviews this unit is probably great bang for the buck. I will have one in my system by fri(jan 5). Give me a little time to burn it in and I'll let you know.
Tubes are not the whole story. I am as guilty of this generalization as anyone here. But, look at Air Tight as an example. They can use KT88 or EL34, depending on which model. Why is it that Jolida, Rogue, CJ, etc. cannot do the things that an Air Tight can? Transformers, circuits, parts(and quality thereof), wiring, etc(all of the stuff we usually talk about with ss products). We tend to focus on tubes because that is the one area of a tube amp we can easily alter. I compare it to gas in a car. We can't switch out the engine, but we can change the fuel.
I have the VTL 225 with the audible illusions M3A pre amp,and Alon 5 speakers,it is wonderful with air,depth,sound stage etc.The VTL is low maintenance and will give you many years of dependable service and is very rugged,not fragilelike some of the higher end stuff...just an opinion.
Trelja, I agree with you on the Rogue tube amps. I have yet to delve into the world of tubes. I have only owned SS amps, the last being Clayton M70 monoblocks.(Bel Canto EVO another)These are very fine amps but I yearn for more. I have upgraded all of my IC's and speaker cable to Homegrown Silver Lace and have really noticed a remarkable difference. BUT, I have not found the right amp with my Martin Logan Requests. I think after owning several SS amps I am ready for a transition. Thinking of auditioning Quicksilver,Mesa Baron and Wolcott's. Any others you might recommend? I have a dealer close buy who has Rogue, Airtight and a few others I can demo.
I am also having quite a time with the amp game. What would one use to power Proac Response 1sc's. Pair of VTL MB125's with a 2.5 preamp or Pair of Classe 10's with a Classe 5 preamp. I've never had tubes before and there is no local VTL dealer, I have to buy off the net. I am currently using a Classe 5 pre w/ a Model 70 power. Not bad but not quite right. Helllllpppppp!!!!
JAB, while I agree with your feelings on the KT88, I do prefer the 2A3 over the 300B. I used to think the 300B was as good as it got. 2A3? 3 watts, 5 watts? Well, I took the time to really get into it, and have to say it is better than the 300B to me. Also, surprising bass for as little power as it supposedly puts out. And transformers, NOT tubes are the most important(and expensive) part of a tube amp. Not sure about what an Air Tight goes for used(maybe $2500 - $6000), but they are several levels better than Jolida, Rogue, Golden Tube, Quicksilver, and VTL. And there is no bigger fan of the cheaper brands than I. Just have to give the Devil his due...
Thanks to all for your comments. I listened to an ARC VT-50 and VT-100, and a CJ MV-55 and Premier 8. I liked the tubey sound of the CJ equipment, but felt the ARC had better defined bass. My equipment is BAT VK-30 pre-amp, with, yes, power hungry Aerial 7B speakers.
Hey, Jab. Mesa still is a strong company. They just tired of hi-maintenance audiophile types, like me ;~) They had been designing underground, cult favorite audio gear since the 70's and decided to bring a couple of products to the more conventional market some 20 years later. I have found service, support and attitude to be fantastic. They still do the "tri-tube" upgrades. And, if a tube goes bad within six months, they send a new one free. Good guys with as many or more patents for tube designs than anyone else out there, whose business will still be going strong after many more companies we know are gone. Talk about industrial build quality, the Baron makes an excellent addition as fitness equipment since you can use the "roll cage" as handles for raised push ups. Not joking about this! They may not be designing and selling new products, but Mesa is most certainly going strong. Happy New Year!
had one it was superb and improved greatly once a tier 1 line stage was feeding it. i suggest you contact SF and ask them if the capacitor problems have been solved, mine would let go every year or so...SF took care of the problem immediately when it did occur. good luck and good listening
Hiflyer, I suggest an Atma-shere otl. Maybe MA-1MK11 or M-60 MK11. Both you may can find used at a good price(if you're patient) I've tried just about every amp on the earth SS and tube. I was avoiding OTL's because of the bad rep. they have ( thanks to a man named Futterman). I finally decided to take the plunge. I wished I had done it long ago. Whole other realm of enjoyment. This is not hype. If you don't believe now, you will believe later after much spent $$$, that if you believe now the $$$ you save can towards an OTL.