View Full Version : What is the absolute best of the best tube gear?


NYListens
10-25-2008, 05:45 PM
I have limited experience with tube gear. I am wondering what gear you would rank as the best of the best of all time. So what would your top five individual amps or receivers be?

jaymanaa
10-25-2008, 05:49 PM
Does homebrew count? :D I think I would have to include the Magnavox Amp. 175 in that list. Best is sort of a relative term, but for what it is, what it sounds like, and what it has done for the hobby, I'd have to put it on list for sure.:yes:

zenith2134
10-25-2008, 05:50 PM
Personally, Futterman OTL or the later NYAL stuff would be on mine. And the McIntosh MC275 is always a good bet.

bolly
10-25-2008, 05:52 PM
I don't think any one person can say!!

A Pye PF91, an Electrohome PA-100 MK-1, a Fairchild 255, a Leak TL12.1, HK Citation II could be on the list... but then there's other UK and German amps that could be included as weLL!

sloober
10-25-2008, 06:06 PM
My stuff is the best!

jaymanaa
10-25-2008, 06:09 PM
My stuff is the best!

I think we have the winner! :thmbsp:

soundmotor
10-25-2008, 06:44 PM
I am wondering what gear you would rank as the best of the best of all time.

I think this fits the definition of a troll.

:D

Nirky
10-25-2008, 06:50 PM
Based on my hearing, anything single-ended is special, vintage or new. Have yet to hear OTL yet.

NYListens
10-25-2008, 06:55 PM
My stuff is the best!

Of course. That is until you get better stuff. ;)

mashaffer
10-25-2008, 07:12 PM
I would say the last thing you built.

mike

NYListens
10-25-2008, 08:06 PM
Folks, I was really looking to find out which units you have listened to and like the most. It doesn't matter if it is 100,000 piece of gear or something someone bought on e-bay for $50. I am really looking for the best you have heard.

cademan
10-25-2008, 08:10 PM
Folks, I was really looking to find out which units you have listened to and like the most. It doesn't matter if it is 100,000 piece of gear or something someone bought on e-bay for $50. I am really looking for the best you have heard.

What's the best YOU have heard? :scratch2:

Snade
10-25-2008, 08:17 PM
I've got a Pilot 245-A and think it is swell.

Snade

NYListens
10-25-2008, 08:18 PM
What's the best YOU have heard? :scratch2:

I have had limited experience listening to tube gear (pretty much why I started the thread.) When I was younger and was around new ultra high-end audiophile gear with some frequency, it was all solid state (mid 1980s-early 1990s.)

All I have heard recently and could comment on is my three Fishers. Of the three I own, I prefer my 500-B and my 500-S is a close second with my 600 bringing up the rear.

thisOne
10-25-2008, 08:19 PM
:lurk:

jandg
10-25-2008, 08:27 PM
I would say you would have to look at the german vintage gear. I have foolishly sold Klangfilm stuff & really was not a smart move on my part. I would say a great all time sleeper in the Fisher 200 mono's. These are special indeed. There is so many that could fit in your post. Word on the street is there is nothing that can touch certain vintage german gears. I assume we are excluding all DIY non commercial gears in this post..? If not, then of course my DIY amps are the best ever made.
J & G

NYListens
10-25-2008, 08:33 PM
I would say you would have to look at the german vintage gear. I have foolishly sold Klangfilm stuff & really was not a smart move on my part. I would say a great all time sleeper in the Fisher 200 mono's. These are special indeed. There is so many that could fit in your post. Word on the street is there is nothing that can touch certain vintage german gears. I assume we are excluding all DIY non commercial gears in this post..? If not, then of course my DIY amps are the best ever made.
J & G


I don't care if it is DIY. Just let us know exactly what the design is.

markdi
10-25-2008, 08:42 PM
pictures would be nice

Dave C
10-25-2008, 08:53 PM
I'm surprised not more mentioned Macintosh gear. I've never heard any but it is suppose to be close to the best. I have my Sansui 1000A and a Harmon Kardon award A300. Of those 2 it's the Sansui by a long shot.

beans
10-25-2008, 09:04 PM
I'm surprised not more mentioned Macintosh gear. I've never heard any but it is suppose to be close to the best. I have my Sansui 1000A and a Harmon Kardon award A300. Of those 2 it's the Sansui by a long shot.

I haven't heard any Mac tubes in a long time but nobody can agree among their fans which one is the best. Some say MC275, some the MC30 (designed in the fifties) and some say it's the new ones - MC2301, MC2000, MC2102.

kcin
10-25-2008, 09:28 PM
Hi ,

For Mac Vintage it has to be the 225, I have had the MC30s and the 275(nice)..the 225 is the special one... No experience with the modern Mac Stuff.

For Vintage other: Futterman OTL1 and H3, Marantz 2, Citation II is ok, ARC D79c a killer!, Quad II because its a work of industrial art

For current production SET: Wyetech Topaz, Lamm 2.1, OTL: Atmasphere MA2, and Berning ZH270. Push-pull: VAC Phi, CAT JL2,VTL, Sigfried

Of course YMMV and all that. Speaker and room Interface is everything..

There are 1000 more correct answers!

Kcin

apachef1
10-25-2008, 10:05 PM
Mark Levinson 23.5 for S/S fast and pleanty of headroom
Yours truly Mcintosh Mc-3500's for solid bass and room filling sound
Mcintosh Mc-225's in mono. A really sweet and dynamic amp. More bass authority in mono probably one of the best amps ever produced

apachef1
10-25-2008, 10:29 PM
[QUOTE=kcin;2205285]Hi ,

For Mac Vintage it has to be the 225, I have had the MC30s and the 275(nice)..the 225 is the special one... No experience with the modern Mac Stuff.

I prefer the modern Mac S/S over the modern tube stuff. Mite be the chinese tubes I don't care for
IMO Mac vintage tube can't be beat by their new offerings tube or S/S. Just in watts

For Vintage other: Futterman OTL1 and H3, Marantz 2, Citation II is ok, ARC D79c a killer!, Quad II because its a work of industrial art

For current production SET: Wyetech Topaz, Lamm 2.1, OTL: Atmasphere MA2, and Berning ZH270. Push-pull: VAC Phi, CAT JL2,VTL, Sigfried

Of course YMMV and all that. Speaker and room Interface is everything..

There are 1000 more correct ans

goraman
10-25-2008, 10:35 PM
I have heard some very steller tube gear,depending on how it's matched with a sorce and speakers has alot to do with it.I truly love Manley Labs but QuickSilver,Audion,Audio Valve and if you have the big bucks Audio Note UK.
All these brands are some of the best and worlds most respected.There are others but these are all brands that have impressed me as being very special.I own both Manley labs and Audion and consider my self very lucky.

apachef1
10-25-2008, 11:10 PM
I agree Manley does make some of the best tube equipment
If I didn't stumble across the Mc-3500's I was gonna consider a pair of manley mono blocks
Customer support is the best. They service everything they have made

goraman
10-25-2008, 11:13 PM
I agree Manley does make some of the best tube equipment
If I didn't stumble across the Mc-3500's I was gonna consider a pair of manley mono blocks
Customer support is the best. They service everything they have made

I would like to get there 300B preamp and mono blocks next but that wont be any time soon,due to lack of $$$.Go to manleylabs.com and look at the 300B Neo Classics. At the flip of a switch you can go from a SET to PP. For a little more pressurisation of the room. Speakers in the 92DB and up is all you would ever need.By the way Eve Anna is very,very cool.She sent me the license plate in my avtar.

Cut-Throat
10-26-2008, 07:27 AM
I would say the SET 45 Amp. There are a number of 45 amps out there by small builders Such as Welborne, Jeff Korneff, Wavelength, Don Allen. The majority of SET devotees generally end up with a 45 amp.

Now for the next question - What is the best looking woman out there?

FalconEddy
10-26-2008, 08:02 AM
There are MANY different tube amp devices out there than span across the past 50 years that could be considered.

However, the ones that stand out for me over that timeframe (from a business perspective) are:

The Fairchild 670 Tube Compressor. Truly a spectacular piece of hardware. Especially if you've been fortunate enough to have sourced original replacement components and have a fully restored unit.

The Pultec EQP-1a Tube Equalizer. A great equalizer that allowed you to bring out (or cut) targeted frequencies without altering others.

The McIntosh C22 Stereo Tube Preamp (the original, not the 90's reissue). Awesome phono section and all around excellent design.

The D.W. Fearn VT-2 Tube Preamp. An equivalent to many different tube pres from the 60's era. Rugged and versatile with custom built Jensen input and output transformers.

. . Falcon