Tube Integrated or SS for Usher Be 718's?

Am a newbie who recently purchased a pair of Usher Be 718's. Would like to add some sort of tube-like quality even if i buy ss, most likely with a tube dac.

Most likely looking at integrated due to budget concerns. Budget is $1100 to $1600 (used or dealer demo/closeout only), although will go as high as $2000 for something really special.

Would really like "excellent quality" sounding amp to not only match the high quality sonics of the Ushers, but use their full potential.

Usher Be 718's are relatively hard to drive, 87 db at 1 watt. Concerned about using low watt tubes, possible poor bass response and the difficulty of biasing and maintenance.

Have been looking at the Musical Fidelity A5 or A308 for ss, but somewhat clueless when it comes to tubes.

Would prefer a tube integrated that is about "the same level" audio quality wise as the A308 OR A5.

Heard about the following tube integrateds:

Cary Sli-80 ($2300)
Jadis Reference ($1800)

Rogue Tempest ($1300)
Prima Prologue 2 ($1200)
Cayin A70 ($1300)

Consonance Cyber 100 ($1200, dealer closeout) (40 or 50 watts)
Consonance Reference 80 ($1500, dealer closeout) (70 watts)

Ming Da ($1200, new)
Pacific Valve ($1200, new)

Also get the impression that the Consonance integrateds and Ming Da and Pacific Valve are a level lower than what i am aiming for-- is this the case or do they have similar audio quality to the Primaluna and the Cayin?

Anyone have much exp comparing the Ming Da, Pacific Valve or Consonance with the higher level amps? Consonance dealer is available somewhat locally-- about 2 hours.

Finally, am i just as well getting a consonance or Ming Da vs. a Rogue, Primaluna or even the Jadis or Cary? Are the Chinese manufacturers really putting out equal products at lower prices? Have noticed that they don't have great resell values--

Which would provide a better audio experience, a Primaluna Prologue 2 or Cayin A70 or a Musical Fidelity A308?

Or would the Jadis or Cary be a "higher Level" sound than the Musical Fidelity amps?

I've read about the generalities-- tubes will be a more lush, lifelike sound, while SS will have better bass, and more quick and likely detailed.

I am also a complete newbie. Never biased before, don't know anything about it. Will i be just as well with a Musical Fidelity and run everything through a TADAC (tube DAC)?

Plan to purchase a DAC, a TADAC (Tube Audio Design) or a Bel Canto DAC2.

While i am at it, plan to purchase a speaker cable for about $200-400 and interconnects for about $200-$400 as well (used), will this price point be sufficient to bring out the true details while using a great amp and the Ushers?

Thanks for the help.
I've got a pair of the Ushers in my second system currently being driven by an MF A300 amp and I've tested them extensively in my main system with the A5 amp as well as with two Cayin amps (a 50 watt tube A-88T and 80 watt hybrid H-80A). They definitely sounded best with the solid state power of the A5 and the A300 (150 w/ch) and really didn't open up with the lower power tube amps. I think you could go with either the A308 or the A5 and be extremely pleased with the sound and if you want more warmth, you could go the tube DAC route (look at Audio Note and MHDT as well as your suggestions).

Good luck with it.
I had the Ushers and they like current, current and more current...Not tubes at any price I could afford.
I use Rogue 150 Mono blocks from time to time at 150 watts ultralinear...doesn't work well with Ushers. They need SS power.
Huh, that's funny, when i auditioned them at the dealer, they used tubes and they sounded great, almost otherworldly.

I also asked the guys at Quest for Sound, and they said that they are demoing it using a 15 watt tube amplifier.

I've also been reading archives and a lot of people say that may 55 watt tubes will drive most speakers and that 70 to 80 watt tubes should be enough to run almost any speaker. There's even guys who talk about hard to drive speakers with 15 watt amps. How your experience differ?

They say the ratio is 2 to 1, so that would be 140 to 160 ss watts.

How much would a tube dac impart a tube-like sound compared to a tube integrated? And how much compared to none at all?

Looks like i may have to go with a tube pre and a ss amp. Btw would you recommend this as having enough power?

I'd really like to add some sort of tube element.

How exactly did the Ushers sound with tubes? And how did they "improve" with more power? Would one feel greatly disappointed driving the Ushers with a 50 watt integrated tube amp? More detail on this would be greatly appreciated.

Indiesound, don't get me wrong - the Ushers can sound terrific with tube amplification! For me, the issue was that the room they are in is reasonably large (15' x 18' x9') and I had to turn the volume control up to 11am to get decent sound pressure. But I always had this sense that the amp was sweating too hard to get these levels whilst the speakers weren't even out of 2nd gear. The midrange was palpable with the tubes but the bass was slower than I liked and seeemed to get too loose.

By the way, whilst the published sensitivity of the Be-718s is 87db, they've been measured to actually be closer to 84db, so really need a bit of power.

With solid state amplification of 150 watts (A300) or 250 watts (A5), the bass tightened up and integrated better with the mids and highs. The amps seemed to be able to control the speaker better and I didn't have the sense that the speaker was craving more power.

I don't know if it's just the watts or a combination of watts, amps and higher damping factors that enabled the solid state amplification to bring out the best in the Ushers in my room. It might be worthwhile to try a tube amp with 100 watts and a low output impedance to see how this might combine (something like the Cayin A100-T or one of the more powerful Rogue amplifiers).

If your room is on the smaller side, perhaps a 50 watt tube amp would cope better than in my system/room. Hope this helps flesh out my earlier comments.