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. 



Can anyone provide a working definition of "neutral?" In other words, a point from which we can agree is indeed sonically neutral?

Atmas-Phere Wrote:

Neutral equipment makes no editorial of the signal. The Absolute Sound magazine gets its name from the idea that the musical source is the absolute sound; neutral would be exact reproduction of that without coloration of either warmth or brightness- just the music.

Establishing a reference quickly becomes an item of concern. The only way I know to deal with this is to make high quality recordings of musical events at which you were there, so you know how its supposed to sound.


Thank you very much Ralph for your rational and helpful post. I am interested because I suspect my preferences in reproduced music are at least in part aligned with those of the OP, Bluethinker. It seems to me that an actual, factual, emprical personal reference point is essential in determining whether a component is "neutral" or not. 

So Ralph, who makes the sort of Class D amps you describe? Kidding...sorry...I'd like to try a pair of 'em someday so if there's a pair of demos floating around (unlikely as that may be)...I use a superb sounding Pass XA-25 that is allegedly "tube-ish" (according to Nelson) class A, and rotate that in and out with an astonishing sounding Dennis Had Firebottle SEP...I get away with that by using very efficient horn speakers...large room, large sound, a large time is had by all.

bluethinker  i think i have what you are looking for, 

conrad johnson 

et 3se preamp

mf2500a power amp  rebuilt by cj. let me know.......

I want to echo what @vthokie83 had to say about the VTA amps.  The prices quoted for them were fully assembled.  You can save a lot of money if you buy them as a kit and build it yourself.  

Look.  ANYONE can build these things.  I was using a soldering iron at age 12.  You can do it.  But far, far more importantly than saving money is how much more involved you'll be in your system.  You'll get infinitely more pleasure and enjoyment if you build the amp.  

Another benefit is that you'll learn a great deal about tube amps and you'll be able to learn about all of the components that go into making them sound as they do, and then to make choices that suit your ear.  There is no amp, at any price, that can give you that experience.


I have 2 VAC signature 200 IQ mono blocks and I agree with your assessment.  Nice and rich, but not "syrupy".  With KT 150's they really sing and have a lot of lower end punch. No one would confuse this with solid state, except for the great bottom end.  Great sound stage as well.  This would be an excellent choice for the OP to run in stereo mode.