Got 500 dollars for a tube amp

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by frankb, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. frankb

    frankb New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Richmond
    I want a tube amp with the classic warm silky velvety vibe. I really need some guidance as so many people disagree. Thanks
     
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  2. T'mershi Duween

    T'mershi Duween Forum Resident

    Location:
    Y'allywood
    Well then, just another 2k and you'll be in business! :D
     
  3. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    As good as you're going to get in that range would likely be a Fisher, but you'd still need a little more money, and it would need to be restored, etc. Plan on either doubling your budget or going solid state.
     
  4. Fiddlefye

    Fiddlefye Well-Known Member

    Are you looking for something like a complete system (integrated) or just a power amp? What sort of output do you need? So many questions to be answered before you even start hunting.
     
  5. ScottInDallas

    ScottInDallas Active Member

    Location:
    Dallas
  6. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    The receivers can be expensive, but I paid $400 for my re-capped Fisher X-100 last year.
     
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  7. whaiyun

    whaiyun Forum Resident

    Location:
    Windsor/Detroit
    I wish I could find a Fisher for $400! I've seen them go for $1000 now.
     
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  8. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    Yep, prices have gone up. Anything under $600 is likely to be a project that will take time and another $400 to get running correctly. I mean miracles can happen but I wouldn't bet on them.
     
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  9. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    Don't do it, $500 will be thrown away. Unless you can find an amazing deal on something used, there is no such thing as a good $500 tube amp. These no name brands that pop up on mass drop, ebay or amazon are not worth bringing home. The tubes are largely there for looks to take advantage of people that like the aesthetics. They also have very low power and it is unlikely you are running super efficient speakers if you are looking for a $500 amp.

    The best inexpensive tube amp is a Jolida, you are still close to $1,000 and are likely to fall short of "silky smooth". As already mentioned, another $2,000 is what you will need realistically for new and some nice efficient speakers. Anything less is a short trip to bummerville.
     
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  10. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    Stay away from the 400, 500 and 800 receivers, those are the ones that are getting the attention, with prices to match. The smaller integrated amps are still affordable.

    I actually sold my 400 because I liked the X-100 better!

    [​IMG]
     
    389 Tripower likes this.
  11. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    I saw an 1800 recently. It was apparently a version of the 500 that was made in the last couple month before the company sold. It had a black and silver face plate like McIntosh. The were asking $800 in nonworking condition. I though about it for a minute.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    I had never heard of that model before! Apparently it was an 800C in new clothes, and available in 1971. It must be pretty darn rare!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    I feel like I should have bought it. I have never sold anything but they go for about $2,000 in good working order. I need another receiver in my house like I need an open flesh wound.
     
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  14. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    For the asking price, that one's strictly for the collectors, not for the flippers (unless you can do the work yourself).
     
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  15. smctigue

    smctigue Well-Known Member

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  16. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    They claim 75 watts on that model which seems crazy for the output tubes it has.
     
  17. enfield

    enfield Forum Resident

    Location:
    london
    A few people have mentioned adding another 2k to the price..Just out of interest which is the best $2500 tube amp.?
     
    SKean likes this.
  18. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    30 watts/channel is closer to reality.
     
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  19. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    New? My vote would be for Raven, Line Magnetic or Rogue Audio.
     
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  20. jhw59

    jhw59 Forum Resident

    get a hybrid, roll some good tubes and swap the power cord. Worked for me in that price range.
     
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  21. Standingstones

    Standingstones Well-Known Member

    Location:
    South Central PA
    You might look at Rogue Audio Atlas.
     
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  22. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    There are very solid Line Magnetic amps for >$2000 (I own one). $2500 can also get you a used Leben 300, which pop up fairly often on used marketplaces.
     
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  23. frankb

    frankb New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Richmond
    I was going to go for a harman Kardon A500 and a couple speakers. But saw some bad reviews n here from someone named "audio"
     
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  24. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    Ah, vintage tube for $500 is a very different conversation. I've not heard an HK500 but I wouldn't have any heist ions about bringing that home for that price. At about 25 watts, you can drive some effect speakers with authority and it looks verry cool. 60 year old electronics are a gamble, less so if you get some details about its service history. Either way it's pretty low risk since it will hold its value.

    HH Scott and HK are both great brands for vintage tubes and cost less than Fisher. Just steer clear of the stuff that is 12 watts.
     
  25. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    Wow! So far, one of the better threads with consistently good advice and no one throwing bombs. I agree that $500 is a pretty hard cap to work with, even when used gear is being considered. HK and Scott are good old brands to look at; I would add Eico. Older gear from current brands might be in the picture, such as Jolida. The problem with used gear is that, unless one buys it from a dealer who provides support, it takes experience and knowledge to get the stuff working right, and it takes some nerve and willingness to gamble to buy used. If you hold off for some time and up the $$ cap, other used brands come into the picture, such as Quicksilver.

    It would help if the OP listed the other gear the amp would be working with so that more specific alternatives can be recommended. Particularly, it helps to know what speakers the amp will be driving. Any additional information, such as the gear the amp would be replacing and type of music the OP prefers, size of room, how loud the gear is expected to play, etc. would be helpful.
     
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