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. 
 

128x128bluethinker

@rcprince

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.

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.

@bluethinker If the above is correct you will find that 75 Watts is not enough power. A large room, combined with the low efficiency of your speakers will not allow the amp to play all forms of music without overloading. IME you'll need at least 300 Watts with speakers of that efficiency!

So if you want to use tubes (tube power has always been expensive BTW...) you'll want a speaker that is a good 6dB more efficient. That would put you at about 93dB. 75 Watts would then be able to drive the speakers as loud as the 300 Watts on your current speakers.

The cost of tube amplifiers is why there were so many high efficiency speakers back in the old days (1950s and prior). There is no reason why a more efficient speaker should trade off resolution with a less efficient speaker.

To atmasphere:    Knowing your background of tube design, etc., would you recommend perhaps using a SS power amp with a tube preamplifier?  Or perhaps a ss / tube hybrid integrated?  Thanks.