Recommendation Tube Integrated

At this juncture (nearly 2024) what are folks' best recommendagtion for a tube integrated amp.  Constraints would be $10K (preferrably $5K or less), at least 35 watts per channel.  New or used.  Goal would be smooth, creamy sound.  My current system, which I would consider very good solid state sound, can still be a little ...hard.... to my sensitive ears at times, and I'm thinking a tube option would be nice.  Thanks.


I have only ran with separates for going on 30 years; however, I am generally pretty happy with the Cary Audio tube gear I am presently running, and here is their page on integrated:


BAT and VAC are great recommendations to which I’ll add the Audio Hungary Qualiton X200 and the gorgeous Pathos amps from Italy.  Best of luck.

I had the opportunity to hear a Leben CS600X.  Really loved the sound.  Warm, rich, natural sound.  It was a bit out of my price range at the time.  But if I had the $$$.....

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A great brand isold for years  Aesthetix Mimus integrated  amplifier.

under $8 k and a excellent made in U.S.A Built like a tank and sounds excellent 

Amost impossible to beat a Decware ZMA.  Not easy to find.  Multiyear wait but there are a few on the secondary market.  Like me, some people move from ZMA to SET.   The ZMA has a tremendous power supply so it can provide an honest 35 watts with high current.


I had a Prima Luna(s)* and got Rogers High Fidelity KWM-88. And if you don’t want more wattage here’s  another. eBay takes 13% so a call would save you that. Yes I’m a fan. Read the reviews. These are tip-top. The both can be controlled from a phone or pad. 

*the PL Floyd looks interesting but I haven’t heard one. 

The Quicksilver Integrated is only rated at 20 watts per channel, but with four EL84s per side, and big bespoke transformers, it’s going to sound like a lot more than that. Plus the EL84 is one great tube and it only costs $2,500, made entirely by hand, entirely in the U.S. 

If you want a good amp at a great price, check out the VT-70 (35 w/ch from EL-34 outputs) for $1,300 and their VT-150 (60 w/ch from KT-88s) for $3,000. I had a VT-70 and it was an excellent amp. They are only available online from Underwood HiFi. Great reviews from several publications, including


“At this juncture (nearly 2024) what are folks' best recommendagtion for a tube integrated amp.  Constraints would be $10K (preferrably $5K or less), at least 35 watts per channel.  New or used.  Goal would be smooth, creamy sound.  My current system, which I would consider very good solid state sound, can still be a little ...hard.... to my sensitive ears at times, and I'm thinking a tube option would be nice.  Thanks.”

I will give you a sleeper to look for and it’s the Audiomat Arpege EL34 integrated that has 30w per channel.  The EL34 is that tube that gives you the midrange warmth you are looking for and has plenty of power for most speakers.  I use mine with Holland metal based EL34’s and 1961 Mullard 12ax7’s and it was incredible on my Quad ESL57’s.  For incredible tube midrange the EL34 and 6550 tubes are great.  One of the posters mentioned the EL84 tube and its great as well but only so much power you can get with the EL84 tube and depending on speakers you have may not be enough and might be a bit lean in the bass.  You may want to post your system or at least speakers you have or plan on using with the amp.  I will tell you with a 5k - 10k budget you open up a lot more options with separates(all tubes:)

Good Luck!

Thanks everyone. To cfarrow’s questions, current system is Harbeth 40.2 fed by LFD HR-ii integrated, Lampizator Pacific DAC (I just listen to digital). For years, I ran ARC separates, but wanted to be free of the bulk and all the tubes, and the LFD sounded almost as good, in a far more compact and economical package. But the tube itch has sort of returned, and I want to believe there is an integrated out there for when I really want a bit more warm and fluid sound.

Harbeth speaker need power to control its bass.

Someone in the following thread reported good result between Harbeth and Line Magnetic 508 or 805.




I am UK based and have been fortunate to have been demo'd the VAC Phi Beta 110i on quite a few occasions, as a result of a friend owning one. 

I have been familiar with my friends system before the VAC was introduced and have heard it in use with both Vinyl and Digital Sources as well as ESL and Cabinet Speakers. 

Being a member of a HiFi Group and having meetings at different homes, I have heard other Amp's used in this system as well.

The VAC is not a Amp' that reveals an individual sensitives to frequency extremes. It is not bloated or overwhelming in the bottom end frequencies, neither is it a Lean Sounding Amp'. It is able to encourage long periods of listening without creating detractors. 

The VAC I am referring to can be found for sale on occasion, very close to your preferred $5K.

I feel very confident in use, it will be a very attractive experience and one happy to be lived with for a very long time. 

Synthesis - a real sleeper in the high-end world. I first heard them with Harbeth speakers at Dejavu in northern Virginia and they sounded fantastic.

I have the Synthesis A100 Titan integrated, KT66 tubes for 100w channel. This is a wonderful amp in the classic style of tube amps. Big, bold, dimensional, flesh on bones. Highly recommended. More info:


You can find an ARC VSi75 in your price range, great amp and only six tubes to deal with. four power and two preamp.

Some very nice recommendations mentioned & here’s another one: Rogers High Fidelity. They’re pricey new around $15-$16K but they have two of their big amps used direct from the factory w/ full lifetime warranties. They’re very well built w/ high quality parts all point to point  wired ( no circuit boards!), very powerful & sound excellent! They do operate in full class A so they run pretty hot & are pretty big & heavy too if those are issues. I really enjoy mine & works flawlessly for two years now. Check out Roger’s videos on YouTube- very informative!

I'm looking at the McIntosh MA 352 and MA 252 for a second system. I think they have the Sound you're looking for. The 252 is even Creamier than the 352. Hybrids rule.

Quicksilver or Decware would be on the top of my list at $5K or less. Also consider Octave. Unison Research. I have had a couple of McIntosh Tube integrated and they did not stay for more than a minute. Just not to my liking.   


For Tubes, LTA ( Linear Tube Audio) make great integrated units and great tube gear.  Aric Audio is a Boutique custom Tube gear house that if you search this site you’ll find a lot of love for.  Primaluna (I had the Evo400 integrated for several years) is great option but not in the same league as LTA, Aric is also likely a step up based on the custom, quality parts but Primaluna is really easy to use. Audio Hungry and Cary previously mentioned make fine integrated units as well.

Have you thought about a hybrid design?  Can offer the best of both worlds.  Also don’t sleep on SS integrated amps with the sound signature you are looking for.  I was lucky enough to compare SS and Tube gear.  I found some SS gear to be more “tube like” than Tube gear.  Krell makes a great integrated 300i, you’d likely be hard pressed to find an integrated that matched your desired sound signature description better but has the benefit of SS control, grunt as well.  Krell, Pass, Coda and other class A amp integrated’s likely worth a look.

Good Luck. 

@mathiasmingus Ah Um. A bit more about Rogers High Fidelity AMPs. Some work with a phone or tablet to control them. Look for antenna on back. New or certified ones from Rogers High Fidelity also have a life time warranty.  Roger is a mensch (sp?) and a pleasure to deal with.

At 86dB efficiency the Harbeth's would benefit from a more powerful AMP than 35 WPC. Your lower mids and bass would especially improve. If your room is medium to large same thing.

Mingus Plays Piano is a great album and is a perennial favorite.




Only recommendation I have actually heard in a system I know, Decware Zen ZMA and I think a ZTPRE preamp.....paired with Tannoy speakers, and Furutech DIY cables. Truly an incredible set up....though a new purchase could be a two year wait for the product to be manufactured. It could however be customized to your preference (wooden case, knobs, upgraded caps, etc.)

I know it's not an integrated, and with the cables is about $11,000....but for me would be an "end game" purchase

I would think carefully before changing from SS to tubes for the Harbeth 40.2's.

I recently bought the 40.3's and even with gobs of power my Rogers High Fidelity EHF-200 did not sound good with the big Harbeth's. 

It's not about power it's about damping factor/impedance matching.

I switched to a BAT VK3500 (hybrid tube/SS) and they sound amazing, but  this was an expensive lesson for me.

Quicksilver amps are Anything but "creamy"......very harsh.  Decware is good if you can find one.The Harbeths need power. I wouldn't go with anything tuby unless it's a MAC Hybrid w/ 150 watts min.

@macg19 I couldn't agree more. I have a Cary SLI80 HS paired with Volti Razz and I am over the moon with the set up. In my opinion I'd need to go the route of pre-amp and monoblocks to significantly improve where I am now. There's just good musical synergy with my current set up. 

I'd normally highly recommend the Cary most of the time. However I feel the Cary SLI 80 would not be a good match with the Harbeth's. Perhaps the Cary SLI100, on sale now at Cary Direct starting at $3897.00. More if you fully option the unit, which I did, and do not regret in the least.  

+ 1 for Rogers.  I have an EHF 200 Mk 2. It’s amazingly powerful for a tube integrated, all class A operation, so it runs hot and is not easy on output tubes.   I believe that its quality of workmanship is unsurpassed.  

I find the Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III a very high quality integrated amp for the price. To quote their own description, "A Triode/Ultralinear switch allows for on the fly switching between Ultralinear operation and pure triode. Ultralinear offers the most power and a commanding grip on the bass while triode provides a slightly softer and more romantic sound. "

The chances of anybody contributing having heard the Lampizator Pacific, is quite slim. 

How the Pacific is. to Interface with a Valve Integrated, with potentially a Valve Pre Stage, is a wide open conjecture.

Tallking or writing about the assumption of how it will work, is a little bit Spooky, with $5K - $10K being a budget. 

I myself am a Valve DAC user, and Tube Rolling on the Power Amp and DAC, was required to dial in on the Sonic I was to become most attracted to. 

The support I have been given with Tube Rolling is not a commonly available experience. 

I strongly suggest the Amp > DAC to be tried in advance of a purchase. 


I have not heard them, but on a bang for the buck scale, the Black Ice integrates have always intrigued me. And they have a 45-day return policy, so you’d have plenty of time for the tubes to burn in, and decide if they’re your jam.

About 5 years ago I bought the big Prima Luna Evo 400 integrated amplifier. Within a week I upgraded all the tubes to KT120's and Mullard 12AU7 for the preamp section. Very glad I bought this unit and tubes back then since everything has gone up in price dramatically.  I am very happy with sound and durability of this amp. Highly recommend this brand .

Save your $ & get a Cayin CS-55A...Made by the folks WHO MAKE Prima Luna...
 With this amp you can EASILY switch between EL34 & KT88!!!EASY to bias,compact,BEAUTIFUL build quality & superb sound REGARDLESS of price(under $2k)...

The only thing in common with the PL is that the Cayin is built on and in the same contract production lines and factory. PL is a European design and is built to a higher standard using higher quality components than the Cayin. Labor is the only parallel to be drawn here.

Depends a bit on your room. Saw someone recommend a Leben 600 but for the right space the little Leben 300 is absolute magic. Well in your budget and you could build quite a system around it. 

Ayon has the best build quality and transformers, chokes which is the heart 

of any tube gear which they use world class Lundahl.

and the only brand I know that uses a microprocessor to monitor and adjust each power tube , plus a machined Aluminum case not sheet metal like most ,

much lower vibration ,all tube sockets gold over Copper the best conductor 

for the tubes and well as connectors, Mundorf coupling capacitors .not much competition at its price point , which I have bought 3 of their products.

I just picked up a Jadis DA50S. 30 Watts pure class A. I would have never believed an amp in the $10k range could perform this well until I heard this thing in my home.


FWIW I am currently auditioning the Lamizator Poseidon with it. Fantastic combo.

Octave Audio, V40 SE - upgrade the tubes w/HQ NOS 12ax7 & 6922 and pick your poison for KT88, KT90 or 6550. Amazing integrated and can sneak it all in with tube upgrade for about $6K. Toss in a Black Box offboard power supply for another $1500 and drop the mic, you’re done!

Totally agree with marcasazza. Rogue Audio products are fantastic. Dependable, reliable and that’s the staff as well as the Products. I’ve owned the Cronus Magnum, (2) Sphinx and now the Pharaoh II. All are under your budget parameters and American made. Mark and Nick always available for questions/issues but issues are few. NO reliance on Russian tubes. More than adequate power. Clean and quiet. I can’t recommend their products and services strongly enough!

Cool, everyone agrees, so out with the checkbook! 😀  But seriously, a lot of great information here and this has expanded my research.  Thanks everyone.  One of the fun parts of this hobby is cruising for decent deals on used stuff, and this thread certainly expands the "zone of consideration"!

Have you considered a little tube rolling in that Pacific to get a little closer to the sound you're looking for?  If you're using the stock provided tubes from Lampi that may be the reason you are looking for a little more tubey sound.  That's a great DAC but it is very responsive to tube changes.

@mathiasmingus A friend owns the Harbeth 40.2 speakers and had fun testing them with a variation of all tube, tube and SS combinations, including listening to them with my own 100wpc tube amplifier with big iron transformers. Heard them with various combinations.

One thing was for sure - the more hefty amplifiers with quality big iron and power capacitors got the best out the 40.2 speakers, for whatever reason. Noticed better sound and driver control, for starters. No doubt.  It's definitely time to move on from the light duty integrated amps for your particular speakers imo. They can sound amazing with the right monoblock tube amps too, but look for some heft. Dont get me wrong, I like integrateds too, just not with your speakers.

While it might not be the path you want to follow, if I had 40.2s, I’d probably be running a nice tube preamplifier on the front end paired with a hefty hybrid tube/ss amp on the back end. Ive heard it set up just like this. Absolutely necessary to take advantage of what your speakers can do - even at low volume levels. Again, Ive heard them and the right amplifier driving them left a long term impression on me. They can sound amazing, beautiful in fact, given the chance. Maybe look for some higher end 2nd-hand gear. It’s one hundred percent worth finding the right amplifier match for your speakers to make them sing their best. Best of luck.

The heart of my system has been the Raven Audio Integrated tube amp. Actually I don't know which Raven to call it any more due to my propensity to avail myself of every upgrade devised by those Raven techs. Got the new PC board, upgraded to toroidal transformers. etc. But each time the "realism" "clarity"  "transparency" would be enhanced. Funny thing is the original unit was like $2999 with tubes preinstalled. Just at that price point I dared to try the tube thang. My speakers are Klipsch Lascalas II which connect via Tellurium Q Black II. I run both vinyl and CDs depending on mood. For a first time tube adventure, Raven Audio is a great place to start due to their unheard of personal interaction with their customer base! The owner sells NOS tubes to the "Raven heads" and has sent me sample batches to see what works best. (Don't repeat that. its exclusive to "Raven heads") The amp has the remarkable human quality to its sound that shocked me (See reviewers who likewise were surprised) Happily it also has put up with alot of crazy novice errors. (Like running wrong tubes in wrong position, too much gain in preamp, operating without speakers being connected briefly) Very durable tank that purrs so sweet. "Tone" can be shifted with a simple rearranging of tube configuration. So fun. Since totally satisfied I have highly  recommended this integrated for years.