What EL34 integrated amps have you heard . . . .

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by David Cope, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. mkane

    mkane Forum Resident

    ASL here also. bought it new in 2006. Gave it to one of our kids when the move to SET was made.
  2. octaneTom

    octaneTom Man of Leisure

    I've only had mine about 7 years, but I fell in love with it on day one and still love it today. Sounds absolutely magical through a pair of Harbeths.
  3. joshbg2k

    joshbg2k Forum Resident

    Fisher X-1000, love it.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  4. mds

    mds Forum Resident

    Philadelphia, PA
    Tung Sol EL34 B tubes in my Consonance Cyber 800SE mono blocks. Lots of air and a fantastic sound stage left to right and front to rear. Tried others, but always go back to these.
  5. layman

    layman Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    The first I think was a Conrad Johnson MV-55 wired in triode configuration. I loved the sound of the amp. It sounded extremely musical, holographically real....and it did not sound "dark" in any way. The second was the Audiomat Arpege, which did sound "dark" to my ears. It was silky sounding but lacking resolution. The third was the Prima Luna Prologue One which did not sound as vivid and holographic as the Conrad Johnson MV-55, nor as "dark" as the Audiomat Arpege but seemed to occupy a middle ground between the two. The final amp was the Audion Sterling that I currently use which has the EL-34s in Single Ended configuration. It has much of the vividness and holography of the Conrad Johnson MV-55 with just a touch of romance that the MV-55 lacked. I like it a lot. EL-34s seem to sound very different from amp to amp. It would appear that the circuit matters just as much as the tube.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  6. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Eagle, Idaho
    I had one of those for awhile - it was a very nice amp.
  7. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Eagle, Idaho
    It's not tube but if I were in the market for a low to mid priced integrated I'd be all over the Dayens Menuetto.

    I have the 20wpc Vista Audio Spark (build by Dayens) in my hobby shop and it is as good as any small tube power amp I've had.
  8. layman

    layman Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    I would add that EL-34 based amps not only sound different from amp to amp because of different circuit topologies, but also from speaker to speaker because the speakers actually complete the circuit.

    Case in point, the aforementioned Audionote Arpege which sounded "dark" with some speakers but much more detailed and vivid with others. The speaker load seems to have a big influence over the speaker/amp sound when dealing with EL-34/transformer coupled amplifiers.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  9. Still

    Still Member

    Colorado Springs
    I agree with Lonson's description of the Decware Torii MkIII. I had one for several years and loved its purity and magic. Trim pots for tone on the MkIII were useful as well.
    Lonson likes this.
  10. Bruce Burgess

    Bruce Burgess Forum Resident

    Hamilton, Canada
    I still have my Jolida 302B. In fact, I'm listening to it, right now. I have a Rega Elicit for my main system, but I still love the Jolida.
    trd likes this.
  11. trd

    trd Forum Resident

    San Jose
    Any thoughts on an integrated el34 amp to drive 4ohm speakers?

    My trusty asl aq1003dt doesn't have quite the oomph to make my sonus faber grand piano domus sing. They really opened up on a friends Rogue Stereo 80(? Maybe 90?) running kt88s. I really like the el34 sound though
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  12. GoldprintAudio

    GoldprintAudio Forum Resident

    Lexington, NC
    Not sure what type of price point you are looking for, but you could check out the Manley Labs Snappers.

    SNAPPER | Manley Labs

    Or even more power with the Manley Neo 250 --

    Neo-Classic 250 Monoblock | Manley Labs
    trd likes this.
  13. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Forum Resident

    I have Rogue M-150 monoblocks and have run EL34's in them and the same with the Rogue Stereo 90.

    I just was not enthralled with the sound of modern EL34's. They just don't have the real midrange magic that the old Mullard's did. In these amps, I went back to the KT88's, the midrange was fine and the bass and dynamics were much better.

    I do have a Decware Torii Jr. that requires a matched quad of EL34's and I like its overall SQ very much. It has a quad of current production EH tubes. I think that it sounds good, all the way around, rather than something that has a certain midrange magic.

    I personally think that, other than having a vintage Marantz 8B or a vintage pair of McIntosh MC-30's, I think that the sound of the vintage Scott and Fisher integrated tube amplifiers, with their EL84 type tubes, sound much better than current production amps, utilizing EL34 tubes.

    Vintage integrated amps, like the Fischer X-100 or the Scott 222C (and similar models), have good output power of 18-20 WPC, so you can drive lower efficiency speakers better than with most of the SET amps. Restored amps like these, can be had for $1,000 or less.

    That, to me, is the best sound value for the dollar today.
    trd likes this.
  14. noladaoh

    noladaoh Forum Resident

    I have a Line Magnetic 211 with ATC SCM-11 speakers. Sounds wonderful. It's a great little amp. No problem driving the ATCs at 85db sensitivity, rarely get past 9 o'clock on the volume.
    Rolltide likes this.

Share This Page