infinity 1b's- should i go tubes for top end???

audio friends,, i have infinity 1b's. a parasound 3500 for the bottom end and a rotel 1090 for the top end. the sound?? i think it sounds great. smooth and clean with great power. everybody says tubes for the top. to do this would mean selling the rotel for maybe $1000 and having to put out another $1000 to get say a 100wpc setup. amps in my range would be something like rogue 150's, audio research vs110's, cary slm100's. lets face it, i would want at least 100 wps for the mid/tweed panels. the BIG question is on just how much of an inprovement in sound is there going to be??. everybody says the rotel 1090 is a great amp, i tend to agree, and it does sound good. i would just hate to spend the time and money without decient results. and the reliable factor. the rotel probable will last for years. tubes?? how much up keep will they be just to get a decient year out of them. can someone convince me either way.
I forget, what are the crossover controls for the 1b? Does it have level for both amps? Is there a phase control?

What you have to watch out for, either tube or SS, is a change in character, mostly around the crossover point which is usually around 100Hz for most of the bigger Infinitys. There are many amps in the 100 watt class that don't come near the "power" of the 3500 and will sound like a dip in the mid bass. Of the brands you mentioned, the Rogue has good reputation for bass comparative to SS. It also has fairly conventional gain and impedance numbers which you should be careful with in older Cary's.

Whether anything sounds better or improved is your call. So are any compromises you face.
Can you borrow a Tube amp from a dealer or friend?
I have a pair of Infinity RS1-B's and have always used tubes on the mids/tweeters. Infinity always recommend this speaker to be driven that way. Holt and Person also suggested tubes as well.
I have tried the ARC VT100ll, ASL Hurricanes and now 2 Mac 275's. Tubes on te top just soften the sometimes bright EMMI's/EMIT's.

thank you for the responces guys. i realize alot of times its just a matter of luck hitting apon the perfect combo. someone along time ago told me, in audio there is always something better. the question is are you happy with what you have now. i guess i am in a way,just dont like the feeling i might be missing out on better sound. rick, have you tried any ss amps on the top to see how they sounded in your system?. the arc vt100. i see them for sale alot. what would you concider the difference between the mac 275's and the arc vt100's thanks again
I have heard this to many times, Tubes on top and SS on bottom. I should think the best option would be to use the same amp's for top and bottom. This would achieve complete symmetry.
thank you schipo. which would you recommend i get the second of. the rotel 1090 or the parasound 3500??
Try using two Classe DR-9 amps. They should work very well for your aplication. You could try two Parasound 3500 or Rotel's. This is a much better option then trying to make two different amp's from different companies with different technologies, Tube vs SS Gel together.
Hi Tom...the ARC V100ll was quite good. Clear, clean articulate. I went to a ASL Hurricane for more power and I got it, although I do not listen at a very high level but the ASL gave me a greater stage and easy of sound. The problem I had with the "original" Hurricane was reliability. Therefore I went with the Mac's. It's just more reliable. What I got with the 2 MC 275's (180wpc) was more "flesh and body" on the bones of music. Yes, it is more of a tubey sound but smooth and sweet. I'm happy.
Schipo, however, is correct. There is the argument to keep house sound with amps so perhaps the same amp (or company) for top and bottom.

Anyway...I'm happy with what I have and best of luck.

thank you rick for your input. i am very happy with the amps i have now so maybe i will go for another one of the two. if i had to pick one over the other i think i would go with the 3500 parasound. heres why, first of all the amp provides top notch strong clean bass. most reviewers would agree with that. second, i did have the 3500 on the mid/tweeter panel once to see how it sounded and it did sound very good there. some folks might say the rotel is a little smoother then the parasound in the middle area but i really cant hear that muself. how some people can hear every little difference between amps i cant figure. i had five different amps on the mid/tweeter panel and to me, they all sounded 99% the same and ive been listening for a long time now. just maybe to my ears,any good amp sounds good. thanks for the help
I just finally started to run my RS-IIb's with a Mac275v on the top and the difference from running ss is very big!I ran Threshold,Bryston, and Classe' on the speaks before but the tubes changed the whole presentation.
I feel anybody running the vintage Infinity's with the emin,emit topends are missing alot without at least trying tubes on top.The 275 has more than enough output for the 2b's and I think it would drive the 1b's quite well.While I own the 2b's or if I venture up the line it will be tubes for the top.It can't hurt to try.


thanks randy, i see you alot on the ak site also. now just do me a favor, send me your 275 for a few weeks. i will try it out and if i like it i will send it back to you and pick up one myself tomt
If you were close enough no problem, but i dought that's the case.Do you not have any options to try any tube amps in your area?I really think you will be quite impressed and I was a skeptic when first reading about this same combition with the vintage Infinity's.But a good deal came my way and WITHOUT hearing the amp bought it and I'm not going to consider a ss for the topend again while I own Infinity's anyway.
Like anyone else I like to try pieces before buying but everthing that I bought the Mac with the 2b's was one of the best investments that I've done.If you can I hope you can try!

Mixing tube and SS amps to the same speakers sounds like a risky, overly complex, and potentially expensive solution unless you really know exactly how well the amp configuration will play with the specific speaks in question based on experience of others.

Personally, I would not go there.

If the speaks are a good match for tube power, just find a good tube amp that fits the bill or, particularly if speakers are not tube friendly or you are tube shy, consider using a good tube pre-amp. Switching to an Audio Research tube pre has produced wonderful results from top to bottom in my system, and the sound is just very clean, smooth and effortless, not "tubey" sounding at all.
Hi Mapman......not a risky situation of mixing tubes with SS amp on these speakers. I have heard 3 RS 1-B systems and they all used SS on bottom and tubes on top. Just need to follow the instructions when connecting the amps to the crossover. Infinity always felt SS amps on there servo controlled woofers were a better match. However, as I said before.....go for you can get a monster tube amp for the bass (say a Hurricane) and one for the top...boy, give it a try!!

thank you all for your responses. im going to try some tubes for the top. my first choice i think is going to be the rogue 150's. they are resonably priced and have good power,something the 1b's like. if anybody thinks they are not a good start, im listening. tell my why. i know there are alot of tube amps out there but im not into paying over $3000 for them. i think these will do the job.

tom t
I have a set of VTL deluxe 300 watt monoblocks listed on here(in your price range). I currently have the IRS Infinity Gammas and used to have the RS1B's. I am near Erie,PA if you want to hear them or........
I have used Bryston 4bs with Infinity RS1-a's and found the bass to be amazing and there to be impact and detail on the high end- particularly with complex passages and very little compression. I also had the 4 towers flanked with a pair of SW-1 Entecs (3 10 inch serve controlled woofers with a 500watt amp per side). Ran it with a Wadia 860.

I like tubes- but my experience so far with an Audio Research VS110 was that there was no slam or impact or clarity at higher levels. It is possible the unit was not broken in- and I have sent it back for a look through as GNS did a mod to improve it. At low levels... it is engaging. I did feel I could not play the system very loud at all without compression...and of course this is one of the amazing things about the Infinity RS1b is that you can get live sounding levels. So I am hesitant to give up the "live sound levels" in exchange for good sound at lower db.

I have two sets of RS1b's now and need to find a great amp combo.. I was thinking of a Audio Research VT200 as I loved the sound of the VT100MKII and found it played quite loud and clean on several other types of speakers.