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.


@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. 

You might want to look at the Line Magnetic integrateds. They are highly regarded and offer  high power for tube amps. I am familiar with the 805ia and it is a beast.

@decooney I am putting my fingers and my ears right now and repeating "Integrated should sound just as good....integrated should sound just as good!!" :-)

@gkr7007 I am decidedly not a tube roller - thanks for the reminder that is a thing.  The Pacific was recently upgraded to Engine 11 and had currently recommended tubes from factory, so I have not given that a thought.


I like my primaluna. Very good quality build. Built to last and sounds great. I compared it to ian ntrated system 3x it's cost. It really sounds great. It has auto-bias and protection for the amp built in.