For my suggestions you would need to go used ... Musical Fidelity A308 or A32 or A3 integrated amps. When I moved up from a NAD C320BEE to a MF A3, it was like wow and I played cds all the time. Now I have Prima Luna tube amps in 2 of my systems and even with the 30 second warm-up feature, I warm-up for longer as the tubes sound less scratchy, if I wait.
If you have the coin I would put the LFD at the top of my list. The LE IV is a match made in heaven with your Compact 7's. I have YBA Classic amp/preamp with my 7's. Both of these amps will make you forget tubes forever.
I really appreciate the information on the MF and LFD. I'm going to look into taht. I read a bit about the MF A32 as well as the LFD gear and have heard only good things about them. I'd be curious if anyone has experience with Luxman. I was interested in Accuphase until I saw the price. I'm thinking $4k tops in hopes that this would be an amp I live with for the next 20 years which would get me to retirement.
I feel like a complainer but sometimes when I get home from work, I really want to listen to an album and enjoy a glass of wine without waiting 20-25 minutes for my amp to warm up. I don't want to get rid the Rogue because I do love it. I think I would prefer the Rogure to be my Friday and Saturday night amp which is when I usually spin music for 5 - 6 hours at a time.
I'll take the opposite point of view. I use C7's with a Mastersound compact 845 tube integrated. while it takes the tubes a few minutes to warm up, so do solid state amps.
I brought an LFD mkIV home to try and didn't like it. Sounds pretty much like Naim stuff to me. Sorry, no tube magic.
A few hundred bucks every few years is minimal for the enjoyment of tubes. As too the soft bass response - clean power will fix that up - dedicated line, outlet, power cable - and some lean front end tubes - try Mazda/Cifte, Telefunken etc. You mentioned tube rolling - I'm assuming good NOS.
I never understand this waiting 25 minutes for warmup. I have had tube amps for 60 years and never had one that I didn't enjoy the moment I turned it on. Currently I have a VTL ST-85 and there is almost no change in sound from cold start to hours of listening. My Shindo preamp also sounds great from cold start. Just relax and enjoy the music.
I have a novel idea: Sell everything and buy an NAD C317 and pair of B&W DM 602s. My little NAD 7225 stomps all over many of today's gear in musical terms and has stood the test of time for the very reason you mention...it makes you want to listen to your CDs.
If the warm up time bothers you and you were happy before you made the switch you are not a tube guy. I've had both, have loved both but am solid state (NAD, no less) now. Either a c370 or newer or one of the other options mentioned above will probably help get you back into the music. And that's all that matters, isn't it?
Also, don't forget to look at the higher end NAD's if you are moving up the price ladder.
Point well taken Meiwan. I do have dedicated power and even a cryoed outlet ( I was going through the freak phase ). What I need to do is get a chance to listen to some of the options out there and up until now, I haven't had the chance. The Rogue Cronus Magnum is my first tube amp, and from what I've read it doesn't sound that tubey. I've never heard a 'tubey' tube amp so I have nothing to compare it to. There was a point in my life that I didn't think about this stuff and just listened to music and loved it. Quite honestly I miss those days. I know I like what I have now and I liked my old NAD / B&W kit and to me they don't sound that different. That leads me to believe my hearing is horrible or my Rogue indeed is not a tubey amp (or the NAD is a tubey sounding solid state). My Rogue takes a good 20 minute to sound it's best which isn't a long time unless I only plan on listening to one album.
On another note. I had new Rotel separates before the Rogue, the best they make right now. These were the top of the line Rotel amp / pre-amp combo. It was the most shrill sounding gear I've ever herd in my life. AT first I thought I had to break it in. After 3 months and no difference in sound, I took a bath and dumped it fast. At first I thought it was my B&W CM7's so I brought my DM601's up from the basement only to find out it was the Rotel. This was of course my own fault and I learned a big lesson. That's when I bought the Rogue and the Rogue took away so much stress that I didn't even care about the money loss.
Agree the Rogue would not be my first choice for a tube like sound. It's also not priced that much above the NAD stuff, so may not be a huge improvement. KT88 tubes are the least tube like as well.
Best I can offer is with SET EL34 or 845 output tubes, the Harbeth's are magic. You might look a the Mastersound dueVenti (el34, 20wpc) or the Unison S6 (el34, 30wpc.) Either of those would move you up a to a whole new level.
If you are sweating the tube thing, the Pathos Classic One MkIII hybrid or one of the Unison Unico hybrids would also be a great match.
I've heard the rogue.
A good Class D amp like Bel Canto or Wyred For Sound may be the ticket. I hear significant similarities although the BC has very high damping resulting in most clean and articulate bass. I leave mine on for extended periods between listens. The high efficiency and low power consumption when idle lends itself well to that.
I wouldn't let tube usage stop me from listening ever. They're SUPPOSED to be disposable! The way I look at warm up time is: even cold it's likely damn good sounding. After an hour it's magical and after a few hours downright beguiling. I'm talking about a Dynaco ST-70, with a pair of Dahlquist DQ-10's; as much as I like this system, it's nothing fancy, and I'd bet your system sounds much, much better. I'd just get depressed even trying to quantify how much better I bet your system sounds- enjoy it. If you're determined to make a change amp-wise though, I've had both NAD and Luxman. Nothing against NAD- it was better than I expected it to be, and if it was all I had I'd be totally content. I still have Luxman- and when I hook it up- I LOVE it. Every time.
I think I hear differences with warmup but its always hard to determine these cause/effect type things conclusively.
I think I hear warmup having a bigger effect with my SS gear (which is less problematic to keep on during idle time as well luckily) than I do with my tube gear. Tubes seem to "warm up" faster. Good thing too! Quality tubes for hi fi audio are EXPENSIVE already these days and will probably only become more so over time.
Turn that thing off when you're not around, you wasteful boneheads! I think the "warm up myth" has ensnared too many at this point, and lends credence to the question: Do you listen to your gear or the music? If everybody tells you their gear heap sounds better after being left on for 37 hours, you tend to jump on that boat...and as we all know, no serious gear head EVER turns their AC wasting precious pile off. Unless it's tubes where somehow the Tube Head gets a pass. I not only pass on this, I turn off that road entirely. Example: I keep my phono preamp off all the time (except when it's pressed into service) as it presents an otherwise unnecessary signal to the inputs, that bugs me, and it's my personal cross to bear. The other day I HAD to listen to Lowell George's solo LP and although my pre was only on for exactly 18 seconds prior to the needle dropping, I enjoyed the living crap out of the LP. Would it have sounded better with electrons running around the phono pre for the geek designated appropriate warm up period? Maybe a tiny bit, maybe not so much that any sane person would wait for it...but so what...would I have enjoyed my hero, Old Dead Lowell, more? No. My tube amp sounds great all the time (as does the SS stuff in front if it), from turn on to turn off, and the degree to which any of this may sound better from warm up is far less than the effect of my ever changing mood, ear wax buildup, ambient humidity, the sequins on my cowboy shirt, my rock hard pecs, and the sound reflected off the back of the butler I use as a footstool. I say "tune in, turn off, drop out."
I remember when I first brought home my Rogue. Everyone told me to let it warm up first (and I think the manual says that too) but of course my wife and I couldn't wait so about 3 minutes after I turned it on I turned up the volume. It was seriously very disappointing, but after another 20 minutes of listening I was practically in tears. That's why I normally wait 20 minutes before I begin playing music.
I'm not used to have to wait very long for a tube amp to start making music. I start the system up first thing when I get home and within 30 seconds its sounding fine.
There are things that can cause a longer warmup time, like bad filter caps. Any chance the amp just needs service??
I put a Rogue Cronus Magnum up against my Audio Refinement separates and stayed with the solid state. I like to leave my gear on also. Have a nice little system page, take a look if you get a chance...
For the record, I'm not thinking of selling my Rogue. I'm just thinking about having both solid state and tube. On a happy note, I just swapped out my 12ax7's with some JJ Electric cheapos that Rogue sent me (long plates) and they have a much more liquid sound than what was in there. I'm not sure what was in my amp prior to these because the paint is wiped off. These new 12ax7's cost about as much as a pack of cigarettes in New York and holy cow they're smooth sounding. I just listened to some Pink Martini and I almost fell asleep as though I was being rocked. Now that's something I love, especially with some Pink Martini or Melody Gardot etc. It's when I want to play Jack White that I feel I need to have a solid state amp. I listen to a wide range of music and tubes aren't the way to go for some of it.