Got 500 dollars for a tube amp

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

  1. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Des Moines
    OTOH, if you have really efficient speakers, the cheapie tube amps can sound really good. I use one in one of my systems and love it.

    The OP really needs to fill out his profile for these suggestions to be helpful.

    Given the OP's budget and the sound he is after, I would also consider a vintage Sansui solid state integrated or receiver. That will at least give you a warm, non-fatiguing sound, even more than a lot of tube amps, but again, speaker matching is critical. Depending on the speakers, you might get warm and smooth, or you might get muddy and veiled.
     
    Mike34260 likes this.
  2. IanL

    IanL Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oneonta, NY USA
    I bet that sounds pretty great. Especially at that price. I like the tubes it takes. You could buy this now (or when one becomes available), then start saving for some excellent NOS tubes and you could end up with an amp that sounds way better than it's price tag. Speaker sensitivity, like with all the other recommendations, is the key here, as you mentioned.
     
    smctigue likes this.
  3. smctigue

    smctigue Well-Known Member

    I don't now how he does it financially. He completely and thoughtfully rebuilds the amp. Russian K40Y coupling caps with Carbon Comp resistors in the signal path. He must get the amps for next to nothing. He has sold at least six 232s in the last year or so. I've sold all of my other tube amps as this one makes magic with my Cornwalls.
     
    IanL likes this.
  4. Vagante

    Vagante Member

    Location:
    St augustine
    Jolita
     
  5. frankb

    frankb New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Richmond
    Im leaning towards the FISHER X-100 from AEAudio. So I'm willing to go a bit over 1,000. Speakers? Dunno. Help.

    There are some Apmex speakers with western electric cones. Like the 620 without the the pre. Maybe those? I'll probably just patch my computer headphone out or usb-c to dac something . I don't know. Just got a new MacBook.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  6. whaiyun

    whaiyun Forum Resident

    Location:
    Windsor/Detroit
    Have you heard of the ifi retro 50?

    $2000 for a integrated amp and speaker system.

    I've been wanting a second system and it looks promising. Headphone amp. Bluetooth. Dac with dsd capability. Built in phono. Fully tube pre and power amp. And speakers based on the BBC 3/5
     
  7. action pact

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

    I don't know who AEAudio is, but as much as I love my '59 X-100, I wouldn't pay $1000+ for one unless it's gold-plated or something. For that kind of dough you can get a restored 400 or 500, and possibly an 800.
     
    IanL likes this.
  8. action pact

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

    It's worth pointing out that there is more to a tube amp than "warm and smooth" tonality (which not all tube amps have necessarily).
    Tubes also have an uncanny ability to throw a very holographic soundfield.
     
  9. misterclean

    misterclean Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    The IFI Retro is on sale at Adorama right now. $1100 for just the amp, and $1350 for the amp w/speakers.

    iFi Amplifier
    iFi Retro Stereo 50
     
  10. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    [​IMG]
    Technology,I gave $600
     
    Kyhl likes this.
  11. action pact

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

    I can't comment on its performance, but they sure got the aesthetics right!

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    That does look great. I cant remember ever hearing from anyone that owns one. Which is odd considering the relatively affordable price point
     
  13. whaiyun

    whaiyun Forum Resident

    Location:
    Windsor/Detroit
    Odd, I don't see the sale at all.
     
    Vinyl Addict likes this.
  14. misterclean

    misterclean Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    It must have just ended recently, I guess.
     
    whaiyun likes this.
  15. frankb

    frankb New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Richmond
    I'm going to have to slum it a bit. There was a 500 dollar amp posted in this thread but I can't find the post? It looks like a car part but I'm interested. You had to get on a waiting list for it?

    Ive heard of this 3d sound from tubes. I have yet to experience that. Never been in a room with a nice tube set up.

    People on music forums are all over pultecs and telefunken gear.
     
  16. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Active Member

    Location:
    Houston TX
    I had a 400 back in the 60's. It was nice.
     
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  17. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    What I recall of reviews I've read are "amp good, speakers terrible".
     
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  18. frankb

    frankb New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Richmond
    smctigue likes this.
  19. frankb

    frankb New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Richmond
    forgive me. Im a little new to audiophile terminology. In baby talk what are efficient speakers? Also, what would you reccomend . Thankyou everybody
     
  20. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    not surprising, very few companies do both amps and speakers very well. Seems like there is a lot going on in that box for $1,500. 25 class A tube watts, a phono, a DAC and BT streaming. One would think with all that going on there would be a few members here talking about it. The fact that you can't see the tubes probably holds it back.
     
  21. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    efficient speakers are speakers that don't need much power from an amp to sound good...and loud. You will see it in the specks on speaker details generally it will look like 83 db to 101db. if the speaker isn't about 95bd or higher it isn't a good match for low powered tubes. Klipsch speakers are generally the most affordable hi sensitivity speakers.
     
  22. TheVU

    TheVU Well-Known Member

  23. frankb

    frankb New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Richmond
    Thanks for the explanation.

    Would the Pilot SA232 amp work well with a pair of Altec 755-C's?
     
    progrocker likes this.
  24. action pact

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

    I dunno about the 755-C, but the earlier 755-A apparently is very efficient. The 755-C debuted in 1959, so it is from the era of low-powered tube amps.

    [​IMG]
     
    Ron Scubadiver likes this.
  25. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio

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