Thinking about going tubes

Hey all,

Looking for advice before I take the plunge. My 2 channel is listed below and I am wanting to try tubes out as I have yet to really have any experience with tube amps. The focals have a minimum impedance of 2.9 ohms so the amp would have to be stout. Looking at picking up a tube integrated vice specifics. Trying to keep price below 2500.

My reasoning for wanting to switch is I am trying to expand my horizons and see what suits me the best. I like my TEAC amp but so far I have had all SS and just want to try out some new things. I listen to mostly prog rock on my 2 channel (Genesis, PG, Jethro Tull, Yes etc). Looking into giving the Rogue Cronus Magnum II a shot. Also looking at alternatives such as the Primaluna prologue premier or Line Magnetic 216ia which are both less powerful but I have been led to believe 30-40 watts is plenty out of a tube amp for moderately efficient speakers.
2 Channel
BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

Living Room HT
Sony XBR65X930E I Marantz NR-1608 I Q Acoustics 2020i I Q Acoustics 3090c I FXI-A4's I DIY 15" Dayton SW

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Comments

  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 7,181
    ^^^ Agreed.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,003
    What are these toobes of which are spoken here?

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,003
    edited January 17
    Actually, with transformer coupling, low load impedance isn't really the issue that it is for you boys used to direct coupled soiled state amps. Dead short circuits shouldn't phase a transformer-coupled vacuum tube amplifier (although open circuit outputs are best avoided).

    That said, if one goes with a tube amplifier with high output impedance (e.g., one with no global NFB), then the load impedance will be "felt" much more by the amplifier. This isn't a problem, but it does make matching amplifier and loudspeaker more important for best (audible) results.

    The sensitivity of your loudspeakers is a factor of interest -- despite some of the hooey on the interwebs, a watt is a watt.

    Some watts just sound better than others :)
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,860
    I'd start with a good tube pre-amp if you want to dabble in tubes.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • tratlifftratliff Posts: 650
    I agree with what has been posted. Snatch up a tube pre and see how you like it along with the SS amp.
    2 Channel
    Legacy Focus SE, McIntosh C50, McIntosh MC601's, VPI Prime w/SoundSmith Zephyr MIMC, Parasound Halo JC3, Marantz SA-14s1, Oppo BDP-105, Technics RS-1500, Furman Elite 15PFi, Douglas Connection Alpha Interconnects, Douglas Connection Alpha Speaker Cables, Pangea Power Cables

    Theater
    Yamaha RX-Z9, Legacy Focus SE (same as 2 Channel system), Def Tech C/L/R 2500, Def Tech BP-2X, Def Tech Pro-Monitors, Vizio M-75

    Office
    Teac NP-H750, Parasound Ztuner, Audio Engine P4N, Grado SR80, Grado iGrado, Audio-Technica ATH-M50, PC running High Rez files

    Living Room
    Yamaha YSP-4100 digital sound projector, Sharp Aquos 60"

    Bed Room
    Yamaha YSP-5100 digital sound projector, Sharp Aquos 70"

  • EmlynEmlyn Posts: 2,128
    May be worth your time to reach out to Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio. He seems to have experience with the speakers you are getting and gear matching. He identified in his view that they are not bright speakers. Primaluna is his thing. Could go preamp, integrated, or tube amp. I think he usually recommends a tube amp.
    1. Polk LSiM707, 704C, 703; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A23 amp; Oppo 205; Toshiba HD-DVD Player; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Parasound JC2 Preamp; Sonic Frontiers Power 2 amp; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Oppo 105D; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio P1000; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Pioneer Elite SC97 receiver; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; MIT S3 cables
  • scubalabscubalab Posts: 2,385
    Zach, did you see this?

    https://cnj.craigslist.org/ele/d/rogue-audio-cronus-integrated/6461473490.html

    A little dusty, but seems like a good price...
  • mikeyb128mikeyb128 Posts: 2,745
    Rogue audio and Primaluna seem to get rave reviews. I’ve even toyed with the thought of downsizing to one of their integrated amps. The problem is my not so efficient Focals dip into the 3 ohm territory, they seem to love tons of power from the SS with a tube front end.

    The problem is tubes are addicting and expensive. You start off buying cheapy RCA’s and GE, then the crack addiction starts... you WILL find your self sinking 200$ into a pair of sought after tubes to try. Once you find your flavor you will be scouring the internet trying to stock up on said flavors. You’ve been warned.
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, Core power technologies balanced power conditioner, Akiko Corelli power conditioner with Akiko Audio HQ power cable, Nordost heimdall 2, Frey 2, interconnects, speaker and power cables, Focal Electra 1028 BE 2, Auralic Aries Femto, Black diamond racing cones, ingress audio level 1 roller blocks, JL Audio E110 with Auralic subdude, Primacoustics room treatments.
    Theater:
    Focal Aria 926,905,CC900, SVS PB ultra x2. Pioneer Elite SC85, Oppo BDP93, Panamax M5400PM, Minix neox6, Nordost Blue heaven LS power cables.

  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 7,181
    ^^^ Resistance is futile
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,003
    dromunds wrote: »
    ^^^ Resistance is futile

    ip9lfo9l8n1v.png
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 782
    Thanks for the suggestions and opinions everyone. At this point I am keeping my options open, I am certainly willing to consider going separates with a tube pre/ss amp. What are some recommendations for these pieces keeping my cost in budget?


    I have heard great things about the Cary SLP03 but that is well above my budget, at least with new prices and then I'd have to find a amp to compliment everything.
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

    Living Room HT
    Sony XBR65X930E I Marantz NR-1608 I Q Acoustics 2020i I Q Acoustics 3090c I FXI-A4's I DIY 15" Dayton SW

  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,718
    Schiit Saga and Freya worth checking out from a cost of entry standpoint.
    Got Dayens?
  • haimochaimoc Posts: 1,016
    A few months ago, I sold my Plinius P8 amplifier, and I still have my BAT VK-30 preamp.. I am considering to sell my BAT VK-30 tube preamp that includes optional BAT remote control & internal phono card if you are interested.
  • marvda1marvda1 Posts: 3,183
    Talk to dskip and see if he will sale his preamp
    Amplifiers: MasterSound Compact 845, Ayre v6xe, Consonance Cyber 800, Usher R1.5
    Preamp: deHavilland Ultraverve 3
    Transport/Dac: Cayin Venus cd-100i, Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkI
    Speakers: Rosso Fiorentino Volterra
    Speaker Cables: Analysis Plus Black Mesh Oval 9, Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Interconnects: Analysis Plus Copper Oval-In Micro, MG Audio Design Planus Cu2,
    Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Power Cables by: Cullen Cables, 6sons Audio, Swiss Cables
  • mikeyb128mikeyb128 Posts: 2,745
    I might be offloading my SLP03 to buy a 05. Im In Canada so the price would work out nice for you.
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, Core power technologies balanced power conditioner, Akiko Corelli power conditioner with Akiko Audio HQ power cable, Nordost heimdall 2, Frey 2, interconnects, speaker and power cables, Focal Electra 1028 BE 2, Auralic Aries Femto, Black diamond racing cones, ingress audio level 1 roller blocks, JL Audio E110 with Auralic subdude, Primacoustics room treatments.
    Theater:
    Focal Aria 926,905,CC900, SVS PB ultra x2. Pioneer Elite SC85, Oppo BDP93, Panamax M5400PM, Minix neox6, Nordost Blue heaven LS power cables.

  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,524
    I'm in complete agreement on the tube pre/SS amp set up. That's what I currently run. I have a Joule paired with a Butler 2250. I would suggest looking in to the Butler amps as they are hybrids. Unique design employing tubes along with SS.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,761
    Try a tubed Pre with the SS amp you have now. No need to buy 2 pieces off the bat.

    I think though....once you hear a good tubed Pre, no going back to SS.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1430 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • mikeyb128mikeyb128 Posts: 2,745
    I’ve listened to a lot of SS and tube preamps, I find you get a better performance to price ratio with a well built tube pre. You often have to spend double to find an SS pre that sounds as good or better than a tube preamp.
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, Core power technologies balanced power conditioner, Akiko Corelli power conditioner with Akiko Audio HQ power cable, Nordost heimdall 2, Frey 2, interconnects, speaker and power cables, Focal Electra 1028 BE 2, Auralic Aries Femto, Black diamond racing cones, ingress audio level 1 roller blocks, JL Audio E110 with Auralic subdude, Primacoustics room treatments.
    Theater:
    Focal Aria 926,905,CC900, SVS PB ultra x2. Pioneer Elite SC85, Oppo BDP93, Panamax M5400PM, Minix neox6, Nordost Blue heaven LS power cables.

  • Viking64Viking64 Posts: 3,272
    I'm thinking about going DOWN THE tubes.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,003
    16187794927_269abfcf2c_b.jpgDSC_0132 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,718
    edited January 17
    Good call. That's cool that his TEAC has a "bypass" input so that he can use it just as an amp.
    tonyb wrote: »
    Try a tubed Pre with the SS amp you have now. No need to buy 2 pieces off the bat.

    I think though....once you hear a good tubed Pre, no going back to SS.

    Got Dayens?
  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 782
    Once again, thanks everybody. My options are open at this point. I'd still greatly prefer to stay with an integrated amp even if just for convenience/simplicity sake. First thing I am going to do is go put my ears on a few integrated tube amps, there is a pirmaluna and Line magnetic dealer near me so I am going to give them a listen. The place I bought my speakers from also has the Mac hybrid integrated I can put my ears on to see if that sound suits me and if it does I will spend more time looking at pre/amp combos. The issue I see is getting a good tube pre/ss amp in my price range means absolutely going on the used market as the 2500 dollar price I set out includes the money I expect to get out of resale of my current integrated.
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

    Living Room HT
    Sony XBR65X930E I Marantz NR-1608 I Q Acoustics 2020i I Q Acoustics 3090c I FXI-A4's I DIY 15" Dayton SW

  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 782
    BTW mikey I sent you a PM
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

    Living Room HT
    Sony XBR65X930E I Marantz NR-1608 I Q Acoustics 2020i I Q Acoustics 3090c I FXI-A4's I DIY 15" Dayton SW

  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 782
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    16187794927_269abfcf2c_b.jpgDSC_0132 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    This picture makes me want to go tubes all the more. The cool factor is just out of this world
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

    Living Room HT
    Sony XBR65X930E I Marantz NR-1608 I Q Acoustics 2020i I Q Acoustics 3090c I FXI-A4's I DIY 15" Dayton SW

  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,524
    If you're wanting to stay with an integrated you might want to check with Skip, I know he has some interesting things going on with integrated stuff from Mastersound. Pretty sure he has a couple of things in the price range you're looking to be in that may be pleasantly surprising.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 782
    He has already reached out to me and I am mulling over some of the options he presented. I just really want to get my ears on whatever I buy before I buy it but I may forgo that rule if I decide over the course of listening that tubes are for me.
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

    Living Room HT
    Sony XBR65X930E I Marantz NR-1608 I Q Acoustics 2020i I Q Acoustics 3090c I FXI-A4's I DIY 15" Dayton SW

  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,524
    They are for you. I did the same thing a couple of years ago, just wanted to get my feet wet and see if they were for me and I couldn't go back. There is a bit of a learning curve with them, but, nothing that I couldn't handle...and I'm challenged! It's a whole new world to explore. Embrace it!!! :) :)
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • stangman67stangman67 Posts: 782
    scubalab wrote: »
    Zach, did you see this?

    https://cnj.craigslist.org/ele/d/rogue-audio-cronus-integrated/6461473490.html

    A little dusty, but seems like a good price...

    I did not see that. I texted the guy and hit him at 800, if I can get it for that I think it would be worth it either way, even if I did not like it in the long run
    2 Channel
    BlueSound Node 2 Streaming Tidal I Marantz SA8005 I Music Hall MMF7.3 I Lounge Audio LCR Mk III I Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 I B&K Ref 200.2 I Focal Aria 926 I Wireworld Eclipse 7 IC's I Acoustic Zen Satori SC I Pangea AC14SE MkII/PS Audio AC-3 Power Cables

    Living Room HT
    Sony XBR65X930E I Marantz NR-1608 I Q Acoustics 2020i I Q Acoustics 3090c I FXI-A4's I DIY 15" Dayton SW

  • headrottheadrott Posts: 5,298
    haimoc wrote: »
    A few months ago, I sold my Plinius P8 amplifier, and I still have my BAT VK-30 preamp.. I am considering to sell my BAT VK-30 tube preamp that includes optional BAT remote control & internal phono card if you are interested.

    If you purchase this pre-amp (VK-30) and the VK-200 I am selling (in forum for sale ads), you won't find a better amp/pre for the price.
    Relayer-Big-O-Poster.jpg
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:

    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion." :\

    "Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru"- Jon Anderson

    "Have A Little Faith! And Everything You'll Face, Will Jump From Out Right On Into Place! Yeah! Take A Little Time! And Everything You'll Find, Will Move From Gloom Right On Into Shine!"- Arthur Lee
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