Depends on how much flexibility you need for the "integrated" part. I had a pair of Air Tight ATM-2 monos, which included two inputs and a volume control - so just enough if you use one digital and one analog source. They certainly had real bass and could drive your proposed speakers with no issues, but would probably run you about $26k today.
I'd put my bet on Modwright's KWI 200 at 200 watts/channel. Their amp's bass is tuneful, punchy, and dynamic. Can get one with phono and with dac built in.
Aronov LS-960I has done this with notable success for me for many years. Compared to today's high prices for The Right Stuff, this item falls into the used bargain category, perhaps the $1200 to $1500 range, as a guess.
When you check online mentions such as audioreview.com there will be comment about the uniquely wonderful bass performance.
Most importantly, there is realistic sound throughout the entire sound spectrum.
So something does exist. That's good. Modwright is mentioned quite often on this forum. They must be doing good things.
Two inputs are just enough - one for phono and one for deck. You can run digital through deck monitor if you have to have it.
The KWI-200 is a neat product, but entirely solid state, so it does not match the OPs criteria.
I took a look at the Modwright, it's transistor design not tube.
A tube integrated with real bass?? I would suggest looking at something that has KT120 or KT150's as output tubes. I will admit EL34's lack the punch in the lows and the sparkly highs but do have mids to die for. I would consider an Octave V80SE followed by the V110. The V80SE has KT150's as standard output tubes where the V110 uses KT120's. BTW Octave had adjusted their US pricing in the spring due to the low Euro. Yes I owned the Octave V70SE then upgraded to the V110. BTW Octave is built like a tank with great output tube protection and easy biasing.
Cary CAD 120s amp, maybe bigger woofers is what you really need.
Define "real bass". Don't most tube integrated amps have it? At least if used in a smaller room and/or with suitable speakers?
The problem is more likely that there are relatively few speakers that can do bass really well with most tube integrated amps. Ones that can are likely very big and very expensive.
When the amp has limitations, the speaker has to take up the slack (easy load, high efficiency, etc.). That's the case with tube amps.
With SS amps its the opposite. Speakers can be smaller and less efficient, which the evidence indicates is what most people prefer.
Doesn't make one better than the other necessarily... just different "paradigms" as they say.
I think the PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium HP (high-powered) would do the trick for you. You can use EL34, KT88, KT120 and KT150 tubes and run it into ultra-linear mode or triode. It will do 96W X 2 into 8 ohms running ultra-linear with KT150 tubes.
vote 2 for Air Tight products ... I have the "Acoustic Masterpiece" M101. Only 8w but great bass even compared with my 200w/ch Lyngdorf SS integrated into 89db 2way floorstanders
I have heard "real" bass with ARC, ROGUE, and VAC integrateds driving PSB, Magnepan, Sonus Faber and other popular speaker lines at least in a modest not large showroom. 80w/ch + or so needed. No low pipe organ notes in any demos I've heard though so can't speak to those.
Those are the three lines I have heard and like most that I would go for. I'm sure there are others.
I bet a lot of people would like to see Atmasphere offer an integrated.l I think I asked Ralph about this once and he said it was a possibility.
I'm very satisfied with the bass I am getting from my VAC Sigma 160i integrated amp driving my 90 dB, 5 ohm speakers.
It is not as earth rattling as some bass I've heard from some large SS amps from the likes of Krell, Plinius, etc. However, to me it sounds more real or natural. Sometimes I think some of those SS monster amps emphasize the bass region, which will please some, but it is a coloration nonetheless.
Only OTL direct-coupled amps can have real bass on speakers that don't require large current.
Even taken that as a fact, solid states would still do better in that department.
8 Watts and great bass with the right speakers? That's incredible. Air Tight and VAC are on the very top, as I understand. Lamm doesn't have integrated, Vladimir Shushirin just doen't accept the concept, I guess. But I bet his integrated would be a success.
Anyway, the other day I was listening to my modest set-up, and everything sounded quite well. In fact, everything sounded wrong. And the cause is quite clear to me - it is solid state. Tubes all the way for the future serious upgrades.
I would bet on the Rogue Cronus Magnum II KT120 Integrated to fill that bill. I have the Rogue Stereo 100 and it's very powerful, extended and articulate in the deep bass. My friend has the Cronus Magnum II and it's got great bass too. And it sounds quite musical and detailed in the midrange and highs as well. List price of the CM II is $2495 and I don't think you can go wrong.
I use my Rogue on the Legacy Focus SE speakers, which has two 12-inch woofers per speaker that extend below 20Hz... I previously used very good solid-state amps to power them but I like the Rogue KT120 amp better--yes, even in the bass!
I will say that regarding most OTL tube amps, they do have ample bass if they provide enough power, but they will also accentuate the bass quite a bit at the speakers bass impedance peak, which is neither natural or real--only overblown.
Amazing how many here bit at what is a silly and pretentious question (OK…I'm biting)…but I'll state (or re-state) the obvious: the frequency range of most well designed modern tube amps provide plenty of bass if matched with speakers designed to reproduce it. Also obvious is the benefit of a good sub to any system other than one with a large and efficient main speaker (Tannoy? ZU? Vintage Altec?). If you have the clams for it, the Rogers integrated KT150 200 watt per side is pure muscle…I've heard one…pricey but cool. Tube amps, if they have some cajones in the design, seem to have more muscle than SS amps, but I could be basing that on how they sound…weirdly.
Sorry Inna, I didn't see tube in your request. My fault.
If I were to go with an integrated tube amp to replace my Luxman 505ux (which has much better bass response with my Harbeths than the Rogue Cronus Magnum), I would check these out.
Its worth noting that they may be all you have to go with but efficiency specifications are quite loosy goosy typically and hard to bank on either way.
Usually, if speaker is small, chances are bass will be limited with most tube amps. Those speakers that can do extended flat bass out of a small box always require more power and current to achieve it. No free lunch here that I have ever seen or heard. If it appears too good to be true, it probably isn't. if you punt on the extended bass aspect of things though, things become pretty easy. Low bass is where all the hard work happens ie large efficient drivers and or smaller drivers and more power/current to move them. Its basically the limitations of physics that cannot be undone even with the best and highest quality designs.
Cronus Magnum is respectable with most speakers I have heard it with. Use a powered sub or two with it (or most any tube amp) and cross it over properly and you are golden.
+1 to the Prima Luna Dialogue Premium integrated with KT-150's. Unless you are a pipe organ enthusiast you will do just fine. If you want accurate bass below 30 hz, plan on spending the cost of a small cottage
Give Mapleshade a look. There are some HH Scott integrated (EL 84 tube) amps they modify that may fit the bill. Read their description and user comment sections.
Jadis DA60 integrated has absolutely impressive low-end slam.
It's a honey of an amplifier. I've own/ed a lot of amplifiers, tube and solid state. Top to bottom, it's the best I've had in my system.
I would guess the DA88S replacement would follow-on in regard to its bass.
I have never read of Jadis having great bass. Have I read wrong things or they improved in this area?
Some used to call Aronov amps Jadis with bass.
+1 on both Rogue and Atmasphere. Great bass is non-negotiable for me and both really delivered with APPROPRIATE speakers.
Coincident dragon monoblocks . (Almost) Purity of SET with great bass. Lot of set enthusiasts also use this as a bass amplifier .
I will add that some 845 tube based amps will also give excellent with less efficient speakers - the Viva Solista and Mastersound Compact 845 are the only two I have used at home.
I think the key to Air Tight amplifiers great bass lies in their choice of transformers
As Jmcgrogan says above, VAC will get you great bass which will vary based on tube selection. If you want hit you in the chest bass and tubes you might look at integrating a good set of subs into the mix.
Any tube amp with descent active subs in the mix will have real bass.
Any tube amp with descent(sic) active subs in the mix will have real bass
Czarivey, my apologies if my post was incomplete or obvious. I was attempting to convey that it will be difficult to get the level of bass that may be desired with tubes (and only moderately efficient speakers), and it may be worth considering subwoofer(s). I offer this observation in the spirit of helpfulness.
Inna, "I have never read of Jadis having great bass. Have I read wrong things or they improved in this area?"
Most definitely, you've read wrong things. Mostly, you don't find much to read about Jadis, as the US distribution over the past 20 years has proven lousy. There just aren't many owners out there.
Not to change the subject, but if you look at the Jadis power amplifiers, the transformers come across like Goliath compared to most other tube amplifiers.
I have 3 Jadis integrateds: the Orchestra Reference, DA30, and DA60. Though on par with most tube integrateds, the JOR and DA30 do not stand out for their low-end performance. The DA60, however, is an 85 pound beast, and when it comes to bass, a world beater. Though not on the same level as their power amplifiers, the transformers are a step or two above representative tube integrateds. Not to mention names and get folks' backs up, but I've owned more than half of the products suggested in this thread, and with the exception of a pair of burly monoblocks very few people have come across that were more or less its equal, the DA60 easily outmuscles everything else I've owned, tubewise - stereobloc, mono blocs, or what have you.
85 pount beast must have bass!
Trelja, I see. So some Jadis are up there too. I heard that Jadis has a cult following, like VAC or Lamm.
Many high end European companies are having problems in North America, many are not even represented. That's unfortunate.
Hi Trelja, happy there is someone here with such wide-ranging Jadis experience. By chance, any familiarity with the newish I-50 integrated? Sounded great with Spendor at the Newport show; 50wpc with KT150 tubes (and upgraded transformers to handle them). If I determine that it can handle my hybrid stats, it would be at the top of my list for next amp upgrade.
By the way, I happened to talk to a Jadis aficionado a couple of years ago who described their bass prowess as `propulsive'.....
Inna. Just curious. What is your problem with hybrids? They could be the answer to your question.
Mr_m, I don't think that I have such a problem. I initiated this discussion not because I am about to upgrade or even that when I do upgrade I will only go with all tube design. I am interested in what other people think and their experiences with tube integrateds. I see this forum mostly as an opportunity for communication not as free consulting service.
My possible "problem" with hybrids might be that I believe that to truly experience tube sound you need tube power amp or tube integrated.
Is tube power supply important or could be solid state?
Is tube amp with solid state power supply like QuickSilver M60 considered to be tube or hybrid?
Inna. Sorry about my poor choice of word, saying "problem" Was not my intent to offend you. Just curious. If total tube sound is to your liking, so be it.
Of course not, it didn't sound offensive to me at all.
PrimaLuna - Read this months Stereophile review of the YG Acoustics Carmel 2. Stereophile editor John Atkinson won't even use tube amps to write speaker reviews because they measure like crap but did not get satisfactory bass from even the Parasound Halo JC-1 and $24k MBL solid state mono amps.
He had a PrimaLuna HP integrated there for measuring and a review and recalled how well it measured and tried it. In triode mode, no less which is only 36 watts. And the results were so good that's how he finished the review. There's a thread here somewhere from a guy that said it was better than his McIntosh MC601 monoblocks which impressed me enough to buy.
Here is my list of tube integrateds with good bass to name a few..
- Viva Solista Mk3
- Vac Sigma 160i SE
- Einstein The Amp Ultimate
- Unison Unico 150 (tube hybrid)
My Ayon Triton integrated has good bass, at least I like it. The Kimber PK10 Palladian power cord helped too.
Unison Research Performance.
If Hybrids are OK with you then the Pathos TT, providing you maintain a speaker with similar specs to those you mention.
If there's a real bass in class D amps(fact!) than there's no real bass in tube integrated or what is real bass after all?
Ayon Triton is a great suggestion for tube amps with speed and bass.
There are many others but typically tube amps which try to do too well in bass lacks the magic in the mids and highs. Many examples exist. So you probably need to find a good tube which can drive your speakers in a reasonably sized room. Bass speed is the criteria to look for, not exactly how low it goes. 60 watts push-pull should be a good starting point.
I asked about only one aspect of performance, but of course there are many others. If an amp or any other piece in the chain doesn't do rhythm and dynamics well I don't listen further, no matter how otherwise glorious the sound might be. I equally dislike sleepy and hectic sound. This just has to be right. And any good tube amp will do certain things well, so I wouldn't worry about it much, though some will do them better than the others.
I took a look at the websites of the companies mentioned here. If I was ready for an upgrade now, wanted to keep my new amp for ten years or longer and had no opportunity to audition any of them, I would take a guess and get VAC Sigma, $5000 used. NOS tubes would be next upgrade. In any case, I'd rather wait two/three more years and get a great piece.
Jadis looks like Cartier, a royalty. Question is can it rock and do jazz/rock fusion? Or is it fast enough to follow McLaughlin's guitar? Or able to reproduce the raw energy and at the same time sophistication of El Camaron's flamenco singing? I would have similar reservations about Italian amps. German equipment I have no idea of, never thought of actually. Air Tight looks very esoteric, very elite, with some music would probably be the best. As I understand, Rogue is a great bargain, but as any bargain it most likely can't compete above certain level. Talking used pieces, $1500 for Rogue vs $5000 for VAC, $3500 difference for ten years? There is no difference, if you wait a little longer.
German Octave did catch my attention too, not sure why. In reality, if you want to do it right you have to audition them all in your system, of course. And of course it is not very realistic unless you are prepared to buy them all one by one and then sell them all but one.