Baby Steps back to Tubes.


I have been thinking of doing this for a while now so I descided to go back to tubes gradually. I just bought a cary sl98p . I would like some recommendations for solid state amps that work well with this pre. For speakers I have NHT 3.3's so obviously, well to me anyway I would require at least 150 watts a side preferably more and high current. I am using a Musical Fidelity Tri Vista 300 integrated now and listen to more vynil than cd,s and have a Graham slee Reflex era gold for the phono end of it with a Michel Gyro SE mk II , Rega Exact II MM . Digital is an Esoteric DV 50S .I Primarily listen to rock and blues mostly 60's and 70's era.The room is 15 by 27 with 9 ft ceilings. I got away from tubes back in the late seventies when I first got married and now single and happy again thought I would give it a try again (the tubes that is!). Your experiences are much appreciated. Cheers!
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I would certainly consider an all tube power amp as opposed to a solid state amp. Tube amps that utilize the KT-88 type tube have a great sound. They have adequate power, control, bass and a liquid characteristic only found in tube amps. The tubes are also readily available and affordable. Remember that a tube watt will play (4) times as loud as a solid state watt. Of course there are other scientific reasons you might favor their sound quality.
As to power ratings, if the first watt is not any good, how many more of them would you want. I would even go so far as to recommend a SET amp that uses a 6550 or KT88 tube. If it uses (2) tubes per channel (like a parallel SET) it would still have adequate power for most speakers.
Recently, there was a Master Sound integrated amp like this made in Italy for only 1500 on Audiogon. (I realize that you have the Cary pre) Even push pull amplifiers with this tube type will wipe the floor with solid state amps in my opinion. Just do an audition some time and go with what your ears like best.
I have sold Hi fi for 26 years and have experienced both solid state and tube technologies and personally like the tube amps better. Thanks for listening and best regards.
Remember that a tube watt will play (4) times as loud as a solid state watt.

Hadn't heard that quantitative comparison before.
"Remember that a tube watt will play (4) times as loud as a solid state watt."

Gee, and all along I thought that P=EI, where P is power, I is current, and E is voltage. I guess we need to rewrite basic physics in light of this discovery....
So- He should have said something like, "a tube amp WILL GENERALLY SOUND louder than a SS state amp of the same wattage." Some things are difficult to quantify, but- still facts!

Just how much are you looking to throw at an SS amp, BTW?

Mono blocks? Stereo?

I'd think a natural mate would be the Cary 501s.

Does that pre go out xlr and rca?

on a budget, you could do worse than an odyssey Extreme, or for less, the Stratos Plus.

For the $$, and with your pre, I think you'll be suprised!

A BAT vk500 would be nice after that... BAT pack preffered of course.

Pass too might give you as much bass.

those 402 Mcintosh' amps sound pretty good and keep their value... but they're pretty hefty.

for that matter the Krell FPB 200 has great botom end and is very neutral. your preamp will definitely have an influence.

I enjoy your musical tastes, and would mention the Dodd MK II or even the ones out now, depending on how much is in the till for this adventure... with the cap upgrade, blues, R&B, complicated jazz, etc, should sound great! BTW, the 120 wpc MK II do seem to have a bit more on tap than does the Odyssey Stratos Plus at reportedly 180wpc...; or it sure seems that way.... it isn't 4 to 1 though.

if you want to stradle the fence some, try auditioning the Butler 2250. outstanding imaging and quite natural sounding. Plenty of that PRAT business too. Very nice IMO.