What are some good tube amps that rock? KT88's?

Hi there, I am currently using an all older CJ SS setup. I fell I need a tube amp to get rid of the grit in my system. I thought upgrading my DAC would do it but it remains.

Its really important to me to be able to play loud, I have been told I would do best with a KT88/6550 based amp. I owned a CJ Premier 11A and loved (Sold it due to budget back in the day). I listen to everything but I play rap,reggae, and rock mostly when I play loud. Im going to be crossing over my speakers at around 60-80HZ

My speakers are B&W Matrix 804's which want a decent amount of current despite their small appearance.

Tanks a million
B56c4f5d 72c5 4cd0 8f70 a0566c1bee64systembuilder
Oh does anyone have any experience putting KT88's in either a CJ Premier 11A or Premier 1?

Thanks again
B&W's are typically better with ss amps. I'm surprised your having problems with "grit" with your system. While a tube pre doesn't typically inflect a tube sound as much as tube amp, and while you have a fine ss pre, if you want to add tubes, I suspect for total system synergy, you might be better off with a tube pre rather than a tube amp. A
c-j tube pre might be a good candidate.
B&W Matrix is just as tough load as Thiel and totally unfriendly to tubes even if you're crossing over to your sub. The only tube amp comes into mind that is stable down to 2Ohms is VTL MB125,225 etc.
If possible check out Octave. MRE 130's are my first thought with KT88's. Now I just read Octave just released an amp designed with the KT120's - the RE 290.

Good luck
Forgot to mention I got the Octave V70SE integrated to drive my Dyn C1's (85db). I mention that because Dyn's love current and the Octave is fantastic.

As far as KT88's personally for the money the Gold Lion re-issue is my favorite. If cost were no object the EAT KT88 diamond is better (but not 6 X the money - maybe 2 or 3 X). That being said my favorite tube (again money is no object) is the original Tung Sol 6550 black plate. They remind me more of the EL34/KT77 mid range magic but with KT88 power.
You might consider a CAT JL-2. A good deal of slam, great controlled bottom end with excellent extension.
I'm currently using a pair of Manley Snappers to run my
Signature 805's. While they don't have absolute control
of my previous amp(Moscode 401) they do sound more holographic
and musical.

Good luck
The McIntosh MC275 mk V retubed with Genalex KT88's completely rock the house in my system and remain clean, solid and liquid even when I'm in the mood to "stomp on the gas" for some rock and roll fun :-)

As for the "Grit" you are experiencing, is it noticable on all sources or just one in particular?

The Ayon Triton II, 100 wpc pure class A in pentode with KT88 or 125wpc with KT120 will most certainly rock! http://www.ayonaudio.com/products/amplifier/integrated-amplifier/triton-ii.html
ASL Hurricanes should be able to rock quite well. I believe those monsters are around 200W.

One of the Rogue amps/integrateds would fit the bill very nicely such as Cronus Magnum, Tempest, Stereo 90 and the 150/180 monoblocks. All very dynamic and the also do a great job with the subtleties of music.

I own Von Gaylord amps and absolutely love them. They used to be Legend Audio. They have a very rich, full, but detailed sound. I pair them with my Dahlquist speakers (20i) and couldn't be happier. I'm searching for a high end dac at this time, and am currently using a cheap Sony player (595) and my system still sounds great.
Perhaps Wolcott?
Like you I loved my 11a and sold it for more power as it ran out of juice quick on my stats.

I bought cj 12's.

The used prices should put them on your short list.

Have Fun!
Since you like playing your music loud maybe the grit you hear is your amplifier clipping. If that's the case maybe you should think about a more efficient speaker.
You are almost right, sadly its more of a low to mid volume issue, at high volume, the dynamics make it where I dont mind so much.

The tube preamp is a though but I LOVE my preamp, its fast as hell and I dont think I could get anything built that well for anywhere near where my budget allows.

I hear lots of mixed views on VTL, I have heard build quality and output transformers were an issue with earlier models, can you recommend some older models, My budget is not going to be higher than 2K maybe 3K and that pushing it to the limit (AKA It aint happening any time soon) but its looking like right around that area is where all the pieces I am going to want are going to be priced.

These are the smaller B&W Matrix 804's, they still want some current, but they dont dip below 4 Ohms

Its a little out of my league, before I bought my preamp I was going to buy an older CAT, dudeman brought into the shop and couldnt find anything that came near it so he kept it (Bummer, but I love my Motif). You have great taste

Sorry I cant answer everyone but thanks a million I really appreciate the help

Can anyone comment on the differences between KT88's and 6550's they have noticed in their amps when using comparable tubes

Also does anyone have experience with a Conrad Johnson Premier 1?

I have the same experience with CJ SS gear, and recently commissioned Jim Nicholls to make a tube amplifier with enough juice to push my Dali 400's. The amp weighs 80 lbs., has 8 output tubes, and can handle el34/6ca7 as well as KT88/6550's. I currently have Electro-Harmonix 6ca7's doing the job, and the amp sounds fantastic. The grain is totally gone, the soundstaging is superior, almost 3D holographic, and the mid-range is to die for. Also, bass is strong and tight. What's not to like? Jim modestly rates the amp at 80 to 90 watts per channel, but his teacher, Lance Cochrane, thinks the output is well over 100 watts per channel. in any event, with the increased sensitivity of this particular amp, I can play music at loud levels and still not strain my CJ PV-15 pre-amp. The amp is also auto-bias, plug and play. It only set me back $1500, and the amp is clearly competitive with more well-known brands costing 3 or 4 times as much. I would suggest getting in touch with Jim and asking him to build you an amp. His webpage is called "Glass with Class", and there is a review of his amps on Dick Olsher's review page. Just google "Jim Nicholls tube amps".
The new Ayon Triton has a hot rod version MK 2
Bigger power supplies transformers are S E Lundahl transformers
And 3 different hiend capacitors being used $ 9750 this will be my new Xmas presentand th preamp section and the short signal path is Outstanding you hear sounds missing in even many good separates,
Also you save monies not needing extra interconnects , and power cords
Try it you will love it ,also the MK 2 is Totally self biasing !!
KT-88s and 6550s are supposed to be a little different. The 'KT' part stands for 'kinkless tetrode' as there was supposed to be no 'kink' in the linearity curve. These days though, KT-88s and 6550s are pretty much the same thing.

The B&W is a Voltage Paradigm device, see:

for more info.

What this means is that the amplifier you use will need some feedback in order to work. The Wolcott is going to be the epitome of this- it behaves as a true voltage source using Voltage Paradigm rules.
I second the Von Gaylord amps. I have the UNI's and they are pretty special.
vac uses kt88's in their $44,000 dollar amps,guess what
gold lion's w Cary CAD 120's and a Cary SLP98 pre. Excellent tube sound and loud. Set the bias at 150.
Any Manley amplifier will rock the house. Their in house built and purposed power and output transformers are best in class.