Lush and Romantic Tube Amps

Hi All -

I am on a quest for a lush, warm and romantic tube amp. Ideally, it should be 75 watts and upwards. I’m in a large room and my speakers are 87.5 sensitivity and 8 ohm. The room is large. 

The system:

LTA preamp 

Innuous Zenith music server 

Merason Dac 1 

Cardas Clear cables 


Suggestions are welcomed. 


+1 on the ZMA. Great amp able to use a variety of power tubes to adjust the sound to your preference.

Find a preowned Cary, CAD 808R... not the easiest to find in the "R 12bz7" version. Fill with Genelex KT88 & EL84. The "Rocket 88R" is strong contender for the sound you seek. Checks all the boxes. Just my opinion. 


I have owned the VAC Renaissance 70/70 for 20 years, recently updated by VAC to their "signature" version 5 months ago. I don't consider it to lean towards a warm tuby sound. It is rather transparent, with a beautiful "realistic" midrange and very holographic soundstage. Maybe I am tainted, but it's not a thick syrupy sounding amp at all to me.

I purchased a used CJ MV60SE several years ago. Luckily, it was in mint condition. I have it paired with a ET3SE preamp. It doesn’t have the power you are looking for but I think CJ amps are pretty robust. A Classic 60SE may fit your needs. As previously mentioned, CJ will service older equipment. They will even upgrade caps etc as needed. I spoke with a service technician about my amp a few years ago. I could have a complete inspection and upgrade for just under 1K. Obviously, the cost of a new amp is significantly more than 1K. On the negative side, I’ve read on the CJ owners group that Teflon caps can change the sound and take a long time to burn in. I’m still on the fence but I trust CJ’s ability to recondition older equipment. Personally, I haven’t read any negative comments. Keep in mind, you have to cover the shipping and they prefer original packaging. If you have any questions, give CJ a call and speak with a technician. They are great people.

I have, and love, the Leben CS600x.  I might not characterize it as lush, though it definitely tilts warm in my system.  Another Leben alternative is the CS1000p, which is a 100w tube amp.  Haven’t heard it myself, but i’m a big fan of the brand.