Used/New Tube Integrated for $500.000

Good morning,

I am replacing my current desktop setup with a better system.

I will be getting some small monitor speakers probably Wharfdale Diamonds 9.1, EPOS ELS monitor, or Tekton single driver speakers.

I am buying an external DAC to hook to my Macbook Pro’s optical output.

I need a tube integrated for around $500 to integrate into this system. Used is fine. I have been looking at Chinese imports but I am, hesitant to take the risk of importing.

I have also tried to find Onix Sp3 or something similar to no avail. What about Dynaco St70 and a PAS 3? Any nice used suggestion for my 2nd system?

Thanks as always.
A non-modified Sophia EL34 integrated amp can usually be had for $450.-$500. and provides excellent bang for the buck if 30 wpc is enough power. If you modify this unit, as I did, you can take it to another level. On the negative side no remote and not the most attractive unit.
Before buying another, more powerful Chinese-made integrated amp, I had considered the SE34i ($449) from tec-on audio. I'm not familiar with the speakers that you've listed so I cannot say for sure that it will meet your needs as it is rated at 8 wpc. Tec-on also offers the model 55 ($398) which has a built-in DAC, if you're so inclined. Pacific Valve and Electric has a couple of lower-wattage tube amps in the price range you're looking at (both are made by Ming Da): the MC-84C ($525) and the MC84C07 ($385). I have bought from Pacific Valve (in fact I'm using the MD34AB) before, and would recommend them.

If you're interested, here are some links that you may find useful:

tec-on audio Model SE34i
Review of the SE34i on Affordable Audio
tec-on audio Model 55
Review of the Model 55 on Positive Feedback
Review of the Model 55 on Affordable Audio
Pacific Valve - Ming Da MC-84C
Pacific Valve - Ming Da MC84C07

I'm not biased towards the tec-on, it's just that there is a dearth of reviews on Ming Da equipment in general. (FWIW - I'm very happy with the MD34AB I'm using.)
Hey Guppy. I am looking at an EL-34 locally. What can you tell me about it and what type of upgrades did you go for? Best