Tube amps under $7500

Ready to experiment with combinations never before (or not recently) tried. Step one requires a tube amp. Now looking at Prima Luna EVO 400 which sells for 5K. Any other tube amps I should consider in this price/feature range? Must come in silver with balanced input. For pairing experimentally with various tube and SS preamps. Efficient 4 ohm Legacy speakers (and the room/setup) are the constants.



audphile here are reasons for purchasing a tube amplifier:


1 longevity: as the tubes are replaceable you can easily renew your amplifier.

2; easier to service then solid state a tube amplifier is a simple design and are easier to work on.

3: the sound is customizable by tube rolling

4: in general tube amplifiers produce a wider deeper soundstage then most solid state designs.

5: midrange liquidity most tube amplifiers produce a lusher more fleshed out midrange then most solid state designs.


Dave and Troy

Audio Intellect NJ

tube dealer

@ditusa +1 Also, mfr of my SS amp recommends balanced, so those are the cables I have and there are enough tube amps in that category that check my boxes.

@akgwhiz Power amp, not integrated; 70+WPC; silver preferred although wood will do. Down to a short list now thanks to many helpful advisors.

I would add to audiotroy's list:

1. Dynamics--tube gear sounds more alive and dynamic, particular at low volume.  Solid state has to be cranked up much louder to come alive.

2.  Natural/realistic attack/transients--the initial attack of a note sounds more natural and not as artificially hard or brittle.

Many of the tube amps that have XLR input jacks have them for a convenience for people with balanced cables, but the circuitry is not fully balanced.  If you have balanced cables and a piece of gear does not have XLR inputs, you can buy adaptors so you can keep the balanced cables.  This really should not be a limiting factor because the vast majority of tube amplifiers are not fully balanced.  

@hickamore I own Primaluna monoblocks. Pay no mind to the bias against PL products displayed on this forum. The bias is because they’re built in China. A segment of these people believe that anything built in China is junk. But another fact is the majority of these people have never owned the product. So how would they know anything about the products? Exactly. My amps are over 15 years old, self biasing, and operate as if they’re knew. Go figure. 

For the money, it would be difficult to do better than a Don Sachs Kootenai KT88-based amp.  A few are available at the moment.