Atma Sphere S30 amp

I got my S30 amp yesterday and got in 12 hrs. of listening time with it.

Having started off on this audio journey with tubes I got lost somewhere down the road with SS amps. A friend of mine sent me a demo AA PX25 to try out with my Zu speakers and I was in shock on how organic sounding this little 6W amp sounded and I soon realized ( in 5 min.) I screwed up big time. My amps sounded plastic/fake and after reading a review about the AS S30 being a better all around amp than the PX25 and with more power I bought the amp new.

Even with stock 6sn7 tubes this amp is a keeper for me. I could have had listening to a OTL all this time and feel I wasted alot of $$$ and time on my SS amps. You never know until you buy and try.

This amp is not for everyone but for Zu owners I would encourage you to try this guy out.

Thanks to all you OTL owners who have posted here in the forms and for Pubul57 whose knowledge of these amps made my purchase an easy decision.

Hiphiphorray I am back with tubes and loving it.


As I mentioned I owned the Joule VZN-80. For the most part it was a wonderful amp although occasionally a little shrilly in the highs and I wouldn't call it a full spectrum sounding amp, and it ran HOT. I will say that it provided wonderful mids like no amp that I've ever owned. I should have kept it and sold the Berning instead, but the 15 lbs Berning is so portable I can take it anywhere or use it for my A/V setup. I sold the VZN-80 to fund an Ars, and then sold the Ars in less than a month (granted it was an SE, but not the newest newest(!) version). I've been seeking to regain the wonderful textured midrange with a lack of sharp or thin highs.

It's good to hear that the S-30 easily drives the VSM. It would surely be worth a listen.
Dpe, I think all the amps under consideration are going to be good. What did the Ars do that wasn't your cup of tea? By the way the Music Reference gear, both RM10 and 9 is neutral, even though the RM9 uses EL34s. I have all three, Atma and the two Music References - I love them all. But I guess if I had to only have one I would go with the Atma-sphere. If you love the S30, I can't imagine you won't head towards the M60s down the road, though they too run hot as to be expected from Class A Triode with all those tubes.
Glory, congratulations on your S-30 purchase. It's a great amp. I suspect that if a lot of the flea power owners had the opportunity to try it in their systems, they would never look back.

Like Clio09, I own Audiokinesis speakers (Planetarium Betas), which Duke voiced with the S-30. These replaced far more expensive gear (SoundLabs and Ayre MX-Rs), yet I've never been happier with my system.

Bottom line - if you have relatively efficient speakers with a benign impedance load, the S-30 deserves serious consideration.
Welcome aboard. I'm an S30 owner going back to early 2000, just a few months after it's introduction at the sterophile show in Chicago.

I just had mine upgraded to 3.1 status from mk2 and it's a "wow". If your an Atmasphere owner I highly reccomend the upgrade(in fact, it's kind of a no brainer). When time allows I'll post further.

Glory, you may want to contact Shawn at Zu. We were discussing the Essence and apparently they are capable of producing a main driver with an even higher impedence from 16-24 ohms for OTL owners. That would be ideal for the S30. I have no idea if it's available/retrofitable for the Presense but it's certinly worth a phone call.
Any firsthand experience using the s-30 with the Zeros?? As the recommended minimum impedance is 8 ohm, I would assume that this would preclude a great many speakers being used. The Zeros would solved the impedance issue, however do they in any way impart a deleterious effect on the sound?