Looking for 50-100 watts of Tube Power (give or take) for my JBL 4349s

I’ve been looking at new and used 50-100 wpc power amps in the $5000 range to drive my JBL 4349s. I don’t have any experience in this price or power bracket when it comes to tubes, and could use some reccomendations.

Here are the amps I’ve been researching (the usual suspects I assume):

Rogue Stereo 100

Cary CAD-120s Mk2

Audio Research Reference 150SE

Audio Research VT80SE

Carver Crimson 275

Various vintage Corad Johnson amps

I’d love to hear why people would choose one of the amps from this list, or what else I should consider that isn’t on the list. I don’t have a preamp yet but will probably try a Benchmark la4 first.

For context, my main amp right now is a Torii Jr, but I also use the 4349s with a Muzishare X7 and a Denon PMA-1700NE. I love the Torii Jr and will continue to use it, but would occasionally like more power. The Muzishare is fine, but I want something of better quality.

My musical tastes are all over the place: rock, pop, jazz, world, electronic, classical. I listen to a lot of symphonic/orchestral music and would like more power to handle the dynamics, but prefer the soundstaging of tubes.

Thanks in advance for the recommendations!




I am an Audio Research fan. I would be looking for a VT or REF. I helped a friend put together a system recently and he purchased the VT80s. Outstanding amp. If you can find a used one I highly recommend stretching if required. I have a Ref 160s. They are powerful, carefully tuned to be natural and musical and communicate music naturally.so the bass is full and nuanced. Conrad Johnson is also a great choice.

If you are looking for the bass to quickly slap your chest instantly in single quick wave… then you are probably not looking for tubes. That is a solid state thing.



4349s are sensitive speakers. 30+ watts of push pull tube goodness should be more than sufficient to drive your speakers to terrifying volume with room still to spare. 

Since you don’t have a preamp, just go for integrated. The good ones in this price range are all integrated IMO.

I am running two setups of Baltic Evolution of 90db sensitivity. One pair is driven with AudioNote Cobra (with Genalex KT77 upgrade) and the other with Lab12 Integre4 MKII. Both are incredibly enjoyable, realistic, and versatile. The Cobra gives a more muscular and more romanticized sound whereas the Lab12 gives an incredibly detailed and natural sound. Both are just priced at $6000 and you don’t need to think of another preamp. 

The 6SN7 hybrid amp we build  ask John Rutan about it at Audio Connection.  For an inexpensive integrated Line Magnetics 22 wpc amp sounds great.



Post removed