Tube Integrated With Clarity

I’ve recently decided that I prefer integrated amps over seperates and I’m looking for another tube Integrated for my second system.  Not to long ago I purchased a demo Lab12 Integre4 and it really changed the way I looked at integrated amps. I’d be more than happy owning a second Lab12 but that’s just too boring.

I’m looking for a very fast and clear sound, yet retain the smoothness and liquidity of tubes. Not interested in amps with slow bass or overly smooth or rolled off treble.  I used to think extended treble and resolution resulted in brightness. I’ve learned over time that doesn’t have to be the case. I really think you can get a good dose of both without crazy money if you know what to look for.  It’s for a very small room so I’m open to anything from around 10watts plus. Current speakers are Totem Arro but looking to find a pair of Reference 3As or Fritz in the not too distant future.  

Budget is tops 4K but I’d prefer to spend less. So far I’m really interested in Linear Tube Audio as well as Octave. If I go with LTA I may buy a MZ2 and one of their power amps just because it seems cheaper.  With Octave I’m looking at V40 SE or V70SE. Hopefully with either I can find one that comes with their Black Box.  I’m guessing I may get some Audio Research suggestions, but I feel as great as they sound, value for your dollar is not the best. Also, I feel some of these other companies put more emphasis on developing integrated amps.  

As far as aesthetics I’m into a clean modern look. I think both Octave and LTA represent my preferences well. Anyways, I’m sure there’s plenty I’m missing and looking forward to some suggestions. 



Indicating "speed" in a tube amp is just lazy. I can highly recommend Black Ice (formerly Jolida) as a company that makes great sounding affordable tube amps that have modern snap and clarity. I owned a 502P for years and it was excellent. 

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Not sure what speakers you will be driving but if relatively efficient, look at the Raven Audio Black Hawk or Osprey.

I owned the Osprey  for over a year - really nice sounding integrated with great low end, mids and clear and detailed highs. I only sold it because I wanted more power for my Harbeth's and the Raven Reflection was more than I wanted to spend even with 100% trade-in value on the Osprey. 

They sell direct and offer a 45 day in home trial with a reasonable restocking fee so pretty low risk IMO. Excellent customer service and advice.

No experience with Octave, but LTA sounds like a good choice.  It is definitely a tube design with clarity.  I had the MZ2 and Z10, which is essentially an MZ3 in a traditional package.  I would highly recommend the Z10/MZ3 over the MZ2, especially if you use headphones.