Think I'm going to try tubes...


I just hafta know what all the fuss is about, however there are no tube shops near me and I won't be able to preview any of them so I need your advice!! I have the dynaudio contour 1.8 speakers which aren't very sensitive (86db)but are impedence matched to 4ohms so it shouldn't put too much stress on the tubes. I was thinking a KT88 pentode since they seem to offer the highest output for the price and I've narrowed it down to three choices- Prima Luna II, Jolida 502b and the ASL AQ1001DT. Which one do you think will be the best mate with my Dyns and why? I'm realistic and willing to give up some of the speed and impact of my solid state gear for that tubieness, however it must be able to play some rock without sounding like molasses.
durbin
At <$1,000 I can also recommend the Wright Sound WLA12A. I previously owned a modded Dynaco PAS and a stock Bottlehead Foreplay I (both 12AX7) and they were just too warm in my system. The Wright leans way more toward the neutral side and the tube rectification gives it that last bit of smoothness compared to the AES AE-3. Both use the 6SN7, which is less common than the 12AX7 variants but worth it, IMHO.

I run the Wright with a modded Hafler DH-200 and the combination is very good for a budget system.
"I know it's possible"

I think it depends on what you expect to get out of the new system. I currently run a modded Jolida 502B (60 watts) into a 90db sensitive, 8-ohm pair of speakers. I've also hooked this amp up to 87db 4-ohm speakers. In both cases I'm looking for more power. Both setups sound lovely, but it isn't at all hard to use about all this amp has to offer. Since I don't like running an amp that hard, I only listen at lower levels until I put together a tube pre-SS power combo.

If you want to try the lower power tube option I'd pick something that has good resale as you may be moving on..."what you expect to get out of the new system."
If you really like these speakers take a look at a quality 300b push/pull tube amp. We installed such an amplifier as part of an installation for a five way horn system. The 15" woofer is rated at 85db/8 ohms. Our push/pull tube amp replaced a pair of very powerful Pass monoblocks. The tube amp controls the driver better and sounds better; no shortage of power. The other four channels of these speakers use our single ended interstage coupled amplifiers. Custom tubed crossovers are used to managed the different freqencies.

We also have found the Svetlana SV572-3 tube to be powerful and super sweet in SET mode. A single ended 572 amp will make about the same power as the 300b push/pull but it will be a true single ended amp. We have five pair of the Svetlana tubes so no concerns about having to find tubes no longer in production.