Oh does anyone have any experience putting KT88's in either a CJ Premier 11A or Premier 1?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.