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!




The thing about tube amps is that there is a VAST difference in sound among different types and brands, so you really need to do some auditioning to determine what best suits your taste.  For my own taste, I would be looking for something on the warmer, fuller sounding side, given the sound of your speakers.  At the same time, you don't want to sacrifice the terrific dynamics you get from those speakers.  I think you should also seriously consider integrated amps and not just power amps.  Most tube integrated amps are pretty much a tube power amp with switching and a volume control added to the amp and the gain stage from a linestage is really not needed.  

Your list includes some pretty divergent sound types like the leaner sounding Audio Research vs. the Conrad Johnson amps.  

Let me add another brand for your consideration:  look at Synthesis Audio amps.  They make amps that are on the warmer side--rich, full sound, but not sluggish or murky sounding.  They deliver a "big" sound and do a good job of flooding the room with sound.  They have a lot of punch too.  I particularly like the models utilizing KT-66 or 6L6 tubes.  This sound is so much more vibrant, energetic and alive than the sound of any Decware amps I've heard.

The unrecognized heavy weight that is made in California is canary audio. They are held in high esteem in many places just not thought of in North America. Cheap on the used market. Now beyond them look for a high end brand not kids stuff lol. Audio reseach, cary,vac,Conrad Johnson, McIntosh, sonic frontier, vtl, or bat or pathos. The last two are hybrids.



“My musical tastes are all over the place: rock, pop, jazz, world, electronic, classical. I listen to a lot of symphonic/orchestral

As a JBL owner (4367) I will say don’t starve the speakers for wattage. Yes they don’t need much power to get loud but the bass punch and control seems better with more power. I don’t have much tube experience… just some food for thought. 

I'm late to this thread, but I can throw 2 amps that I've recently purchased that are sounding amazing.....one solid state, and one tube. The solid state is the CODA S5.5, all class A 50WPC 8 ohm, 100WPC 4 ohms, and 200WPC 2 ohms.....100 amps peak power. I've got a review on another thread if you'd care to read it

Second is the Aric Audio Transcend "Push Pull" amp, I've only had it about a week....but it already beats my Tubes4hifi KT120 amp. Here's a review on it


@vthokie83 if you don't mind the question, which do you prefer to sit back and just listen to music with for the longest amount of time - the Coda S5.5 or the Transcend tube push pull amp? And, do you run the same preamp with both amps when swapping amps. ack and forth?