Lean him towards the PrimaLuna if 35watts is enuf. Great little idiot proof tube amp. Perfect for newbies to tubes. Nothing to fuss over.
25 responses Add your response
For under half your budget you can get a used Antique Sound Labs AQ1001DT. I have had one for almost 2 years (a record for me). Reliable, sounds great with no mods (but does benefit from good tubes), and drives most speakers easily. I 'upgraded' to the Audiomat Arpege, but still preferred the ASL AQ1001DT, and sold the Arpege. Currently I am finding it preferrable to a Plinius 9200.
Aronov LS960I is another choice, sounding "real" and musical at the same time, accompanied by marvelous bass detail, texture, and extension. No adjustments, or requirement for tweaking. But, any unit one purchases can benefit from proper choice of power cord, underlying support decision, and power directly from the wall.
Alternative tube choices ("tube rolling") can sometimes enhance tubeaholic listening pleasure, but which replacement tubes are the "best" for the unit your friend ends up choosing can be a separate subject for debate.
Modified Jolida 102; el84 makes around 15 to 20 watts and sounds very good. Hard to beat for around 575 new.
The Audiomat Arpege/Prelude is a spectacular unit and in another class but over twice the money used. I've listened to these extensively in a reference system; it hung right in there with an original Kondo Ongaku fully updated with new capacitors and wiring.
I can't believe that know one has recommended the Cayin Ta-30. I am listening to it as I write! Emotionally involving, human, sweet, and with low end that will knock your socks off for a 35 watt integrated tube amp! Oh, and midrange vocals that will change your mind about spending more than 800$ bucks! I forgot, it images like a champ!
I would third the suggestion for the Primaluna Prologue Two. If you are moving from a mid-fi solid state amp, you will notice a huge improvement in midrange, warmth, dynamics, note decay/attack. Simply a fantastic amp.
It is also pretty much plug and play. It is a very easy amplifier to work with. Finally, it looks good and the build is top notch.
I usually don't appreciate the hype a lot of equipment gets but this one is for real.
Was curious if alot of people that are recommending amps have actually heard some of the jolida modified amps in this price range or even unmodified for that matter?That information would be of great value to the poster and to me as well.I had a modified Jolida 202A from parts connection that i just parted with that i thought was an excellent start for me into the tube world.I have now acquired a Jolida 707A used .To my ears the 707A beats the 202A hands down even without the mods but their is something that the 202A had that makes me think about modding this one.I guess that is the blacker background and inner detail.While the 707 has the mid presence and plenty of punch i think it may be lacking some of the inner detail and black background that the 202A had.I think that maybe better capacitors and all the good things that come with a good mod may be the trick.I know you can get the fully modded Jolida 707A for the $1500 mentioned and was wondering if anyone has even heard this amp since they are recommending others?The 707A is said to "try" and replicate SET amps(which i haven't even heard yet).I am using a large horn speaker and 15" woofer that is rated at 101db sensitivity.sorry for the long wind.Just was wondering if there were people that had heard the jolida amps that are recommending these above or others to come?
Thanks and i think the original poster could benefit from this info as well : )
The old budget does not allow me to go crazy so i was led to the Jolida line.Just trying to get the most out of this tube endeavor(nirvana) as possible without going bankrupt in the process.I don't mind spending a few hundred more to take it to another level but thousands gets a bit prohibitive for me and i am sure several other GON'ers.
Enjoying the Ride !!
Indeed, I have heard a modified Jolida 707A. It was fantastic. The largest Jolida dealer in the country is near me, and the 707A was apparently created with much input from him. He has his own set of mods he does on it (not sure what) that bring it to another level entirely. I heard it driving small Maggies with no problem at all.
I'm refering to Dave Hare at Stereo Unlimited in Walnute Creek, CA if you're anywhere nearby. It's worth a listen, I think.
If everyone has not heard those new high end Class A integrateds from Dussun / the V8 (250 per ch) and the V6 (150 per channel), you soon will!
Unbelievable sound, power , build quality and ridiculously low introductory prices- $1600 for the V8 and $1200 for the V6.
I had read about these amps from the CES show and I have talked to people in the industry who heard these puppies at the show and were absolutely blown away by the neutrality and power of these integrated amps. I got to audition one in LA and I concurred. I bought the V6 and am coupling it with my new Consonance 2.2 Linear CD Player and my Joseph Audio's RMS22I's...I will let you know how it all works...