Mid-fi tube vs high-end SS

Hello everyone. I am new here but not new to audio. I’ve been meaning to buy a high-end permanent SS amp for 2 years now. But not sure how much improvement I can get.


A little about what I have. I use a high-quality tube amp I bought for around $1,500. 55 watts per channel Class A. With upgraded tubes it’s a little over $2,000. The amp I have is the Musical Paradise mp-501 I’ll link below. Using upgraded Kt-170 tubes along with some nos 5693 red tubes and 717-a tubes.


My audio knowledge and listen ability has improved substantially these past few years thanks partly to this tube amp. Sorry for the long-winded intro. My actual question is, how much improvement should I expect going from this tube amp to something high-end SS like the Gato 150 and the incredible DVA M225? Very little reviews on the Gatos, I’m hoping I could get some help here, even anything about the Gato 150 from users would be helpful. Ty




I like your amp, would not consider it mid-fi, a very nice mid-powered tube amp, which I suspect sounds very nice. A bit more power than my Cayin A88T using KT88s 45wpc.

now, your BEAUTIFUL speakers, sensitivity 86 db is NOT easy to drive from a watts/sensitivity perspective, I think the designer is meaning, it's mostly constant 6 ohm impedance curve is not hard to drive.

Probably so, but I would want more power reserves for any speaker with low 86 db sensitivity, for instantaneous peaks, or bi-amp them.

IOW, unlike some KEFs, etc which are difficult to drive, with very low dips of impedance, yours's are consistently near 6 ohm, easy only by comparison to difficult speakers to drive..

So, I would consider the speaker, not the amp.

1st, I would try stuffing up the port. 

It is a transmission design, seems a nasty thing to go against it's method of achievement, however, perhaps it's bass ability is masking it's mids.

a. partially with soft diffuse material, across the face of the port

b. fully with some dense foam

Perhaps with some bass cut, the mids will be very nice.

2. move on to other speakers, higher sensitivity, and one not trying for too much bass which I think can be a mistake people make when reading numbers.

Thank you everyone.


@mm1tt77 I’ve seriously considered the Coda 8 (whichever the new version is) at used price. One of the well hidden gem, lesser known in America. With the very limited information about the Tyr as of now, The Tyrs are on the level of the Coda, that is very high praise. There’s gonna be a stereophile review of the Tyrs in January for what it’s worth.


@decooney The DVA M225 is 3.4k, The Tyr silvers are very close to 3.9k after tax and shipping which I’m not super thrilled about. I’d love any suggestions even near the 4.5k price range.


@elliottbnewcombjr Yea you’re right. I love this freaking tube amp. Mid-fi in price but not in nature. It has given me many beautiful late night listening, Borderline unforgettable. I’ve tried eq’ing down the bass and the problematic 200-400 hz range in youtube. Long story short there’s a massive difference between music on youtube and lossless. Youtube has this muddiness in the said hz range and lowering the EQ on those brought up the clarity substantially. Funnily enough, running lossless on amaon HD with no EQ, the background is extremely black and a calmness to the music I could never get from youtube. This is a rare review of our two amps.


The Coda 16 is on another level.  If you are looking at the Coda 8 - put Krell in the mix, I found the 300xd outperformed the Coda, was a step up.  To be fair, haven’t heard the 16 but from what I have read, it’s an End Game, magical amp.  There has been a 15.5 on US Audio Mart for quite awhile upgraded to the 16.  That could be a great option at a great price.  Seller lists it as the “Gordie Howe” of amps.  


FWIW, John Atkinson gave a very favorable review of the Tyr in the latest S-phile issue, favorably comparing it with the Benchmark and even his Parasound Halo JC-1+.  

Where do you live, I wanna hear that amp and those speakers!!! I’m in Plainfield, NJ, 07062

I might try a graphic equalizer, to ascertain if either boosting the mids a speck, or lowering the bass a bit would get a preferable sound out of those speakers. People tend to try this and that with the controls, too much messing about. I had one, found just a touch here or a slight touch there was enough.

this one has a 32hz band, better when trying to tame bass, many equalizers start higher, i.e. 60hz lowest band.

used one, inexpensive, hear results, go from there. you can learn a lot for $45.


independent controls for L and R help if room surfaces, etc vary which is often the case.


My speakers have 2 L-pads, I can adjust the mid horn relative to the woofer, then adjust the tweeter horn to that mix. Old days, they all came with level controls. Speakers didn’t know what space they would end up in. Adjust for your room, move to another space, re-adjust them for that space, or your preffered sound, or your individual hearing

I use an inexpensive SPL meter, combined with a Test CD with many 1/3 octave bands. After that, adjust for preference, your hearing, ... by ear.

Meter on tripod, ear level, listening position.




tracks 9 to 38

expensive, I bet I could find you a copy.