I always thought the ger from Joule Electra looked pretty neat, a littl pricey for me though. Check them out and check out the new gear from Shanling. They just released a new power pre setup tha looks as cool as the cd player.
Check out the Hovland Sapphire, that might do it for you. If not then some sort of outlandish OTL with LOTS'O tubes and chrome will do the trick. In that case look into the Atma Sphere MA-1 mkII, very cool. As mentioned the Joule Electra OTL's are very sexy. I think the Cary V12 is another candidate. My self I loved the look of the last now discontinued Conrad Johnson Premier series amps like the Twelve.
No Jacobs Ladders, please. They throw out enough hash to screw up the sound of any system!
Why not buy several older tube preamps and amps, and just plug them in, and place them in various spots that look cool. That way people who don't know any better might think it looks cool and retro-tech. Also a few large analog meters would help to complete the "Forbidden Planet" look.
As Boris Karloff once said,"It's Alive!".
Hey Creeper - thanks for nominating my amps! ;-) I was going to mention them myself but I see you beat me to it. Josh is cooking up some other cool amps for his room at the CES/T.H.E. show, a pair of 8W SET's using Eimac 75TL tubes is on the menu I beleive, along with an (even wilder looking) preamp he's doing for me to match the amps. Should be interesting to check out! Terry Cain will be there with a new preamp Josh just completed for him, plus Terry is bringing his own set of 2A3-based monos that look a lot like mine (minus the meters).
The sound is as unique and impressive as the looks!
Here's another pic:
VV45 driving 845 output tube. 83 fullwave rectifier (merc. vapor) rectifying the Vv45, pair of 866s (816's in this picture) rectifying the 845. I have since switched to globe Taylor 866's and a WE 301-A for the 83. the power indicators are also tubes - 6AF6G (tuning eye). Meters are vintage WE/Weston.
Here's more about Josh and some previews of upcoming stuff from him: http://www.6moons.com/industryfeatures/josh/josh.html
Someone help me out here. There was a company that was formed after the owner splintered off from Audio Note UK. They had some rather "different" looking tube based pieces from what i can remember. I think that these guys might have been the first to get "arty" with tube based gear. Anyone recall their name ???
I used to hate the looks of the Atma-Sphere amps, but they've kind of grown on me. Reminds me of the test equipment found in 1950's and 1960's sci-fi, horror and submarine movies : ) I know think it looks kind of "classic".
For your convenience, here are the two links to Ed & Josh's stuff ( c'mon guys, it's not THAT hard to drop in a clickable link !!! ).
These things look like some type of alien space creature to me : ) I would guess that there is a LOT of work put into just forming the chassis let alone building the amps. Obviously a labor of "electron luv" : ) Sean
Absolutely positively the Manley Neo Classic 250! Neo/art deco face plate with cutouts in stainless steel screen to view the mighty glow of 10 el34's in each mono-block amplifier. The glowing Manley 250 insignia in the center of top of the sculptured face plate. If you go to Manleylabs.com you will see what I mean. Mine have the now unavaialble 24kt. gold face plate. But Manleys purpleish/lt.blue anodizing is very cool looking too. It is a beautiful amp from any angle. And sounds better than it looks. 250wpc/tetrode and 100wpc triode. Happy Holidays, Tone R.
Well, I have just recieved some of the original "Krell" Power Amps from Altair4. They look totally cool, and they are able to supply nearly limitless power...
The only problem I'm noticing since taking possession of these amps, is the fact that I'm having nightmares lately, and then upon waking, I find that someone I know has been torn to shreds. It's very odd, because that is the same problem that the original owners had...;-)
Poor old Xwing wants "lots of tubes" and cheap. Most every thing you guys have offered ain't cheap or have nearly as many tubes as a Cary V12. Cary has 12 EL34s, two EL84s and two 6922s. Used V12s, not "i" version have sold for around $2000. That is cheap for a 100wpc tube amp that you can switch on the fly to 50wpc pure triode. Want more? Cary sells monoblock 200wpc v12s. With only one V12i, my system looks like a little city when the lights go down, and sounds truely delightful.