Look at the Primalunas, should be able to find one in your price range used. Great sound and the PL2 gives you a range of tubes you can use from kt88 to el34
13 responses Add your response
i would look at the prima luna's and the jolida's. i have a couple of the jolida hybrids for my den and family room and i like them very much. i have the usher x-719 teamed up with the jolida 1701 and the jolida 1301 with totem in-walls. i have replaced the original tubes with better tubes and use a quality power cable for the 1701.
No there is not an amp for 700 to 900 that will compare, sorry.
There is a Jolida 502brc for sale right now for $1,250.00 It was modded by response audio, a well respected audio dealer, builder and modifier. It was my amp last year. I also made the wood panels that are selling with it.
A change of speakers and audionervosa is the only reason I sold it. If you liked the 302 you will love this 502. It is a wonderful integrated amp.
Tube amps are normally chosen for a "romantic" high end i.e. smooth and melifluous. The Jolida hybrids also have that type of sound.
I am not sure if you will find a tube amp bright enough for your tastes. Have you considered a solid state amp? They usually sound a lot brighter in the treble.
Also condsider that the Dynaudio (esotar, esotec etc) tweeter if far sweeter and more mellow sounding than the equivalent Focal metal dome...so mating Dynaudio with a tube amp may give an overall sound that's too romantic for your tastes.
I don't think the more modern genres sound awful with my set-up but it's certainly not the last word in speed, treble extension, and transient snap...for that you might need different speakers and/or a different (kind of) amp (I am thinking a Focal speaker with a Bryston or Parasound amp would give that type of sound). Still, the Dynaudio/tube amp combo might be worth trying to see if you like it.
Just got the March 2010 issue of Stereophile in the mail. The issue includes a review of the Dynaudio Excite X12.
Let me start by saying that the speaker's published measurements are superb (as per usual with Dynaudio) but they do reveal some significant changes in this Excite line compared to previous Dynaudios.
1st and formost, the new models do not appear to be impedance corrected (despite what is said in the article per the manufacturer). The Excite X12's graph of impedance vs. frequency shows no correction. This contrasts with all other Dynaudio models who's measurements have been published (compare the impedance plot of the X12 to other Dynaudio models in Stereophile's data base).
This change is important when it comes to matching a Dynaudio speaker with a tube with a typically high output imdedance. The Excite X12 won't sound as balanced with a tube amp as previous (impedance corrected) Dyaudio models.
Another crucial change in the Excite X12 is lower sensitiviy. Stereophile measure 84.8 dB/w/1meter (again despite the manufacturers claim of 86 dB/w/1meter). Contrast this with Stereophile's 86.1 dB/w/1meter measurement of the Dyaudio Focus 140.
This reduction of sensitivity is important again when choosing an amplifier and suggests that a tube amp might not be the ideal match for speakers from the Excite line. A better choice would be a used Audience line speaker or one of the current Focus, Contour or Confidence ranges.