Sad to say I need a new amp…

My twenty year old Mesa Tigris went up in smoke last week. It’s so thoroughly overbuilt I thought she would last forever. Lots of smoke and strong pungent odor, actually has to air the house out. I’ll call Mesa but think it’s time for a change…

The Mesa was hooked up to some Totem mites and a small REL subwoofer in my bedroom/office. So far, I’ve done some reading and have come up with some possible replacement. After my smoke out, I’m thinking solid state in the bedroom… I use a little audioengine Bluetooth receiver for my source in my office..

Exposure 2510, VanAlstine SET 120, Belles Aria and Rega Brio all sound like they would work well. Appreciate any input on these or others. Hoping to keep the cost under 2500.  I listen mostly to jazz, classical music..




Thanks all. Yes, the Mesa had 28watts in full pentode mode and killed it with rock and electric music. Could startle you sometimes. Btw, you could switch the sound to triode, at least to me with some records, piano was great in triode. Never had an issue, three new sets of Mesa tubes over 20 years..


Let me share my experience with Upscale Audio. On 1-25-2022 I purchased a PrimaLuna EVO 400 Integrated amplifier. After about 3-4 weeks I noticed the left channel was dropping in & out. Since they have a 60 day return policy I decided this amp has some reliability issues and returned it. I contacted Upscale Audio  explained the situation and they gave me a return #. 

1. I paid $300.00 for shipping & Insurance to return a defective amp.

2.I had to talk to several different people to obtain any info regarding my refund. I never spoke to any Customer Service folks I think they were all salesmen

3.Finally Upscale Audio salesman Josh calls me and tries to extort $400.00 from to pay for the repair of the defective amp. He accused me of abusing the amp and causing the transformer to blow, said I was listening to excessive volume levels, pushing the amp beyond it's limits.

4. Insinuated I was a liar when I told him I never listen to loud music.

5. At 64 years old my ears certainly can't take volume levels high enough to blow a transformer and still be able to hear the next day.

6. They have had my amp nearly 2 weeks, no word, no refund.

Thanks for your time


Hmmm... Bryston is looking pretty good now!

I think I would look to Parts Connexion or somewhere similar to get it fixed.

I would buy anything but VanAlstine.  I had a worse situation with them than scuba535 with Upscale.  Granted this was over 20 years ago, but had a very much loved early ss amp of theirs.  It went on the fritz, wouldn't power up.  Called and was told that they don't work on their older products.  I asked if they could send schematics that I could take to a repair shop.  The answer was, no, those are proprietary.  So, what I ended up with, that was once a wonderful sounding amp, was now a good door stop.  This eventually ended up in the trash.  Yes, I did get some grief from friends with McIntosh and Audio Research that had older gear than mine that was getting serviced when needed.  I hold a grudge that lasts forever.  Great sounding unit, but just enjoy it while it works.