Will tubes rock?


I have to get a new amp, my acurus A150 was destroyed in a recent move (don't ask). What survived of the move were my spicas, acurus ACD-11 and parasound pre.
I keep seeing great deals on tube amps, and wondered if as a class I should be auditioning these during my search. I've heard some Cary and VTL products in systems that sounded wonderful but were way out of my league. 70% of my collection is rock with less than stellar recording...the rest is jazz, folk, and orchestral. Any thoughts?
pinetop14a89e
BTW I have perused the "tube amps with balls" thread, but didn't feel like my oranges were comparable to their clementines.
JoLida makes a very nice 100-watt integrated tube amp that retails for $1700, the JD 1000A. The Rogue Audio M-120's (120 watt monoblocks) go for $2500 a pair, and I've heard them sound very good on Vandersteens. Not to get too much into tube lore here, but the JoLida uses EL34's for output tubes, which excel at midrange, and the Rogues use 6550's, which aren't as sweet in the mids but are more powerful. I sell the JoLidas. I think the Spicas would work well with either the JoLida or Rogue.
Pinetop: How large is your listening room? This will help determine what amps may and may not work. And yes, I feel that tubes do rock when paired with the right speakers (my 7 watt per channel 300b tube amp does anyway). I also have an inexpensive Musical Fidelity SS amp that has a wonderful midrange. I dont agree with many of the sterotypes :-) given to both SS and tubes as long as the components (including the room) are well matched.
Pinetop:

Dunno if this exactly qualifies, but for my secondary system I am running an older (like 15 yrs?) NYAL Moscode 300. It's a hybrid tube amp (tubed input stage, ss output) and I have found the thing it does best is rock! It's no slouch on classical and jazz, just lacking in the crisp definition I'd gotten used to on my primary system. But feed this amp a little r-n-r and crank up the pots and yikes - "you are there"! I also think that comparative lack of definition helps with the poorer recording by emphasizing tone over detail. For example - I have a cd with horrible sibiliance (demo cd by a co-workers' spawn recorded by technically challenged friends) but on the NYAL it is significantly less distressing to listen to, even at rock volume. The trade-off is that (again, comparatively) the bass notes tend towards sliding into place, rather than snapping from note to note. I am listening to a good recording of Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet" the Fantasy Overture, as I write this, it has a kettle drum pounding away at one point and it sounds like a staccato rumble - you hear each individual beat, yet the overall effect is a constant throb. With Led Zepplin (musical tastes run the full spectrum in this house) I may not hear the pluck of the string, but I do get the full bass line underneath it all, and for most rock recordings that's all you're likely to get anyway (said with a grin, folks!). Naturally, results vary (the bass "slide" is less pronounced on Paradigm Monitor 9's than on Silverline SR-17's, but the 'digms are only down to 46hz, while the SR-17's work down to 38hz, and I am flying sub-less here).

That's a long answer that only needed to say "Yes, tubes can rock, and be forgiving of source material". But hey, I've had two cups of coffee already.

chas
A minor correction; Rogues don't use 6550's they use kt88's.
Using my Sonic Frontiers SFS-40 with Paradigm Studio Monitors (the big guys!) in my 17' by 12' by 7.5' living room I can honestly say that for rock music it just didn't cut it. My Bryston B-60 was a much better match when the volume needed to be upped a little. But your speakers are probably an easier load and if your room is on the small side, a medium powered tube amp like mine could be enough for you. The biggest area that suffered with the tube amp (if you can call it suffering - it still sounded good), was bass slam and ultimate control. The mids and highs here gorgeous!. My advice would be to get a good sounding solid state amp that has the power you need, and only buy tubes if you can afford big beefy tube amps where power is not a concern. A used pair of Sonic Frontiers SFS-80s (monoblocs) might be the ticket. Hope this helps.

Allen
Pinetop, what Spicas do you have? I would concur with the Rogue monoblocks. Also, VAC PA160 monoblocks are an excellent value on the re-sale market if you can find them (I prefer the MkI's to the MkII's). Also check out the Mesa Baron -- maybe the rockingest (new word?) "affordable" tube amp out there.
Almost all guitar amps used by rock bands are tube amps.If they are good for these guys there good for everone.I use Rogue 120 rock with the best of them.
Music Reference RM200 Tube amp by Rodger Modjesky was $3600 retail-purch. new. $2300. 6550C in it now. JJKT88 about to roll. This push pull amp has never failed to rock from whatever was played thru it. Satrianni to space music. A little laid back for some. This room is not to large (13X25) w/burbur carpet. Rest of sytem: Sound Wave Point Source 4.5, 2.5 & Diolog center speakers by vero research inc. w/Vandersteen 2WQ subs. ARC LS10 ss pre & Anthem AVM2surround/AVC3amp & Straightwire Crescendo/BlacSilc/Seranade/Infolink cables. comprise 2ch. & theatre.
Pinetop, check your tangeloes, biased ortho-citrus, and get back to us.
Hi Pinetop; I feel like I've got to "tippy toe" here 'cuz for the most part I don't feel that a good tube amp can rock like a good SS amp can. I say this because I recently compared, head to head, a Sonic Frontiers Line 2 (110 wpc), and my McCormack DNA-2DX (300 wpc). BTW each of these amps lists for $5K. And while the SF tube amp had much going for it, it simply lacked the rhythmic drive and control of the bass like the McCormack has for R&R music. The bass of the tube amp was plenty deep, but lacked quickness and control, in fact it was no contest. I listened to the SF Line 2 for over three weeks, and enjoyed it very much on music that did not depend on quick, articulate bass. I'd recommend a good SS amp such as McCormack's DNA.5 or DNA-1. I should note that I use Sonic Frontiers Line 2 pre-amp (tubed), and like the combination very much. Happy Hunting. Craig.
.......major Typo above, Line 2 should be POWER 2, except for the last sentence which is correct. Sorry.
Music Reference RM200 Tube amp by Rodger Modjesky was $3600 retail-purch. new. $2300. 6550C in it now. JJKT88 about to roll. This push pull amp has never failed to rock from whatever was played thru it. Satrianni to space music. A little laid back for some. This room is not to large (13X25) w/burbur carpet. Rest of sytem: Sound Wave Point Source 4.5, 2.5 & Diolog center speakers by vero research inc. w/Vandersteen 2WQ subs. ARC LS10 ss pre & Anthem AVM2surround/AVC3amp & Straightwire Crescendo/BlacSilc/Seranade/Infolink cables. comprise 2ch. & theatre.
(this is for my brother, Pinetop14) The listening room is approx. 14x12X14
Given the room dimensions (though it's pretty square which can be a big problem) you could feasibly rock with a little 2A3 3 watt/channel amp if you paired it with efficient speakers. Most any linear (as neutral as you like it) push/pull amp would widen your speaker options. I have already experimented with different tubes (output and driver) in my 300B amp and can extend the frequency extremes, though with losing some midrange roundness, just by changing the 6922 tube.
AUDIO RESEARCH VT 200