Tube Integrated for Zu Cable Druids?

I would be very interested in hearing suggestions for a tube integrated to mate with my Druids- I spoke to Sean at Zu and he suggested the Almarro a205 or a Dared 845 as very good matches. (NB: trying to develop a system keeping a very tight budget to see what I can come with).

Truth is I was hoping to find something with a remote (yes, I am that lazy) but it isn't make or break if the quality of the (no remote) integrated warrants it.....

So, I have short listed the Almarro and the Dared....on my own I looked into the Cayin 50t and was favorably impressed after a recent audition (see below). I also saw that Dared now has a 2a3 SET at a very competitive price.

Any thoughts on these or others that might be a good fit would be very much appreciated....

Some thoughts on the Cayin: really very impressive build and sound for $1300; I demoed it at showroon where it was hooked up with $14k Sonus Fabers- very good though I did feel that the Cayin at times did sound a little grainy....on the one hand, there is something to be said for an integrated that can hold its own in this kind of set-up and on the other it may be a little unfair to expect not to find fault within the context and level of the much more expensive Faber's. Did sound good though....

(Btw, back in the day home trial and demo's were fairly common- when I asked this dealer if I could try it at home I was flatly told that it was not possible; only alternative was for me to buy it and if I was not satisfied to return and pay a 20% restocking fee....argument was that the Cayins are selling like hotcakes and so no demo's and substantial restocking fee- I don't know but feel that if I am going to buy new I should get a chance to try it- if not I might as well hunt down a used one....anyway, this is a whole other topic).
I have used the following with my (soon to be sold) Druids. (have upped to Definitions). These are in descending order of preference for sound quality (best favored first).

Ergonomics, price and power delivery are NOT part of this ranking, which of course do make a difference, just not in the below list. These are just the tube amps; I have also tried several ss amps. As you can see, the list is heavily biased (no pun intended) towards integrateds.

Manley Stingray, triode mode
ASL MG SI 15 DT, triode mode*
Manley Stingray, ultralinear mode
Golden Tube Audio SI50 MkII *
Dared MP2A3C
Yarland FV34 AIII (disclosure: I have this for sale here at the moment)
Dared VP300B *
Little Dot II
Onix SP3 MkI
Primaluna Prologue II (go figure)

The asterisked ones are known or suspected to have QC issues, so I probably would not actually recommend them. The Manley is by far the priciest, and figuring that, some might drop it in rank. The GTA is the only remoted one. IMO remote is nice, but any more to get SQ and remote along with reliability seems to vault you into pretty high price ranges.

The rankings are only my opinion, and only with these speakers. No doubt others' opinions could differ.

Have not tried the Cayin but a trusted friend did and he sold it within weeks, but YMMV. Have heard very good things about the Almarro and probably will try it, even tho the Defs probably deserve even more. Considered the Dared 845 but due to heat issues I don't even want to try it. Narrow-minded I suppose, but that's me.

Good luck. Feel free to email if you have specific questions.
As Kck says...
That manley would probably be sweet....And Honestly will hold probably the best value and name recognition of the bunch if you decide to move on from it..
However not to sure you can get a remote on that unit?
ARC VSI55 integrated which uses a passive preamp is a honey of a component! and reliable. You might not need the 55 watts a channel but the staging, imaging, and bass control are amazing for any amp much less something this inexpensive that INCLUDES a REMOTE!
Very familiar with the Cayin line of gear. Fantastic build quality and stunning sound for the money. My friend loves his 70T and I just picked up the new 80A hybrid 80WPC class A monster. Build quality and sound is Incredible for the price ($3,000).
6 Moons reviewed a Melody 2A3 integrated amp with Zu Definitions. No remote though.
There might be an amp in the Audio Space line from Gini Systems that suited your needs. They are very well-built, high value amps from Hong Kong. I have the AS-3i integrated in my bedroom and I like it a lot.
The Melody is probably nice, but at $3K, not what I would call a budget amp. IMO you can put a lot of money into amps behind the Druids or not so much, and each way you get terrific sound. What the higher ranges buys you is the audiophile stuff like depth, refinement, etc. But the Druid is such a foot-stompin' pleasure machine that it is not *necessary* to drop that much cash, just nice if you got it.

From my own experience, YMMV, I would advise anyone who has just purchased these speakers to start small (ie cheap) with amps and carefully observe what the steps can do for you. You may reach a point where you find it's as good as you want it (this is excluding the obsessed audiophile, and I know none of them live here) and you only laid out a few Franklins.