First Tube amp suggestions

I am thinking of buying my first tube amplifier and really have no idea where to start.  Years ago I listened to a Sophia Electric  el34 amp (SET) driving a pair of Joseph Audio rm7si bookshelf speakers in a very well set up room and could not believe how sweet they sounded together for the price. (It really felt like James Taylor was in the room).  I regret that I never pulled the trigger on that system and do not know what a good entry level system would be nowadays.  I listen  mainly to male and female folk rock and an occasional classical or jazz album (Cd's and streaming from Tidal)  My current speakers are Triangle Borea BR03's  -90 db but am open to swapping them out. and the listening room is 14' x 20'.  There is a lot of internet chatter about low cost tube amps like the Reisong A12 and the mid priced Williston R8.  Are these amps worth buying or where should I start?  Thanks in advance!


I’ve had a Krell FPB 600 class A for the last 8 yrs. I recently bought the Audio Research REF 750s mono amps and I am in heaven with the tube sound. Everything u have ever heard about tubes are so true. I was just listening for 6 hrs. And I am not one bit fatigued. I could never have done that with my Krell amp. 



Sounds reasonable.

I took out my first loan in 1979 to buy a Threshold s500 ($18K in todays dollars)… designed by Pass.. the finest solid state amp of its time. Over the next forty years I upgraded to a Pass x350 and have had extensive experience with Krell, Boulder, Luxman, and Mark Levenson and Rowland over this time.


When I upgraded to an Audio Research Reference 160s and Reference 160m monoblocks my audio world completely changed. The musicality is simply overwhelming. What was I screwing around with solid state for 45 years… wow, what a waste of time.

Hi tritube,  just curious what you ended up doing.   I was in your position 2 years ago and can empathize.  The good folks here on Audiogon also provided me great advice like they have above here. 

Black Ice Audio came up as something for me to look into.    I can vouch for everyone's positive comments on Black Ice Audio.  I started out with their F22, as it was the most I could afford.   Then, I found a used F35 and pounced! I have rolled tubes to TungSol KT-170s to maximize the power, as I am driving ATC SCM 11v2 speakers - albeit in a small 8ft x 10ft home office.  So, this set up works for me.  

In addition, I own their FOZ SS-X, and their DAC.  I am happy with all of them.

I also have had awesome experiences with the customer service.  Jerred (CEO) is very passionate about their products. I have traded emails, had phone conversations, and have had the pleasure of meeting him and Mike on a few occasions.

My 2 cents as a customer of their products, FWIW.