View Full Version : Best TUBE integrated amp under $1,000


bajaed
02-11-2011, 03:24 PM
I posted a Jolida/Yaquin thread earlier. I recently read a review in a British Hi-Fi mag about a Yarland 34 that they loved.

Looking for the best tube choices to drive a pair of Energy RC-10's(92db) and a subwoofer. Will be running a Turntable, CD's through a BR player and possibly a stand alone CD player later.

I'm willing to upgrade tubes to help the sound. What would be the best choice to give that warm, rich tube sound to my music?

Big Jim 007
02-11-2011, 03:38 PM
I posted a Jolida/Yaquin thread earlier. I recently read a review in a British Hi-Fi mag about a Yarland 34 that they loved.

Looking for the best choices to drive a pair of Energy RC-10's(92db) and a subwoofer. Will be running a Turntable, CD's through a BR player and possibly a stand alone CD player later.

I'm willing to upgrade tubes to help the sound. What would be the best choice to give that warm, rich tube sound to my music?

Thinking of a Fisher 500C

Jim

Tinkerbelle
02-11-2011, 05:39 PM
Well, I suspect you'll get quite a few recommendations depending on whether you prefer new product or vintage, how much power you believe you need, type of music, size of room, etc.

If you are considering the Yarland, I believe that it only has Aux/Line-level input so you'd need to add a phono preamp for your TT.

bajaed
02-11-2011, 06:38 PM
Thanks for the replies. I'll probably go new but I'm open to the right vintage amp. No problem getting a separate phono stage. The area is about 15x15 and is part of a finished basement. As I said, the speakers are rated 92db sensitivity in pairs.

Interested in what.people think are the best of the Chinese amps and if there are any other amps in that price range that can compete.

cubdog
02-11-2011, 08:13 PM
A used Onix SP3 for less than $500 is a great option.

cubdog

ehoove
02-11-2011, 08:39 PM
Yamaha A1, or Acurus DIA100/DIA150 if going for SS. IMHO
Regards,
Jim

bajaed
02-11-2011, 08:49 PM
I am going with tubes.

bajaed
02-11-2011, 10:05 PM
But I am planning on getting an emotiva amp soon for an alternative to tubes for music

derekva
02-11-2011, 10:20 PM
How about a Fisher X-100B or X-202B (since you are looking for an integrated amplifier, not a receiver)?

-D

dcmeigs
02-11-2011, 10:28 PM
How about a Fisher X-100B or X-202B (since you are looking for an integrated amplifier, not a receiver)?

-D

+1 on The Fisher but I'd recommend the X-101-C with the 7591s. For me that was the pinnacle.

I must think so, I have two of them. :tresbon:

GordonW
02-12-2011, 06:57 AM
For vintage? Sherwood S5500. I have yet to hear anything from Fisher, Scott, or any of the other well-known brands that could top it.

Of course, you'd want to make sure it was COMPLETELY rebuilt (new power supply and coupling caps, output tubes tested thoroughly). These things ain't easy to rebuild (crowded as heck inside), but they're COMPLETELY WORTH IT, once it's done. Once you hear it, you'll know...

Other than that, if you can find a used Rogue Audio Cronus for about a grand, that would be worth it too. Those things just don't do anything wrong...

Regards,
Gordon.

Bob_in_OKC
02-12-2011, 07:19 AM
I'd say a Rega Mira. Get the rich sound, even without tubes.

hatrack71
02-12-2011, 07:28 AM
Sansui AU-9500. What about a Dynaco SCA-35 or Fisher KX-200? Eico HF-81? I prefer Sansui integrateds over any other integrateds I have heard but that is my opinion. You can spend more but for what? Prettier cosmetics and sound that is not on par with the AU-9500.

jdrum1
02-12-2011, 08:02 AM
I have been musing over the Bada dc-222 hybrid for some time. Not much info floating around on it, but what there is seems very positive. May be a good bet for the under $1000 range.

DanO55
02-12-2011, 08:20 AM
Excellent amp for a great price at the moment is the Dynaco SCA 35. Pretty nice iron driven by 6BQ5s. Can be had for under 3 bills. My two cents.

automojo
02-12-2011, 03:21 PM
Yamaha A1, or Acurus DIA100/DIA150 if going for SS. IMHO
Regards,
Jim

I would add the Acurus A250 with the proper modifications. This is a classically designed amp well built with a few problems that are easily remedied.
It has been critisized for being harsh and bright. But it's really a flat sound-and poor bass-mainly due to poor quality power supply caps. The input circuit wasn't designed properly either. Both are a easy fix for around $450, but if you figure you can get the amp for $300-$350 you are under your $1000.00.
Ken Easley Audio can fix these amps to their porper potential, and you will have a fantastic sounding-well built amp that will last you for years.
Any one who has this amp (or the smaller ones, as they use the same circuit design and parts for the most part)-I would seriously think about the modifications.

bajaed
02-12-2011, 03:50 PM
Just changed the title of the thread as I realized that I left "tube" out of the original title. Sorry.

What do people think of the $1,000 or less TUBE amps out there?

bajaed
02-12-2011, 03:52 PM
How do I change the main title of the thread?

luvvinvinyl
02-12-2011, 04:37 PM
How do I change the main title of the thread?

You can't, but I can.

Ohighway
02-12-2011, 04:41 PM
For vintage? Sherwood S5500.

Yeah, what he said ...

bajaed
02-12-2011, 04:54 PM
Thanks LV.

wilberforce
02-12-2011, 05:25 PM
For vintage? Sherwood S5500. I have yet to hear anything from Fisher, Scott, or any of the other well-known brands that could top it.

Of course, you'd want to make sure it was COMPLETELY rebuilt (new power supply and coupling caps, output tubes tested thoroughly). These things ain't easy to rebuild (crowded as heck inside), but they're COMPLETELY WORTH IT, once it's done. Once you hear it, you'll know...

Other than that, if you can find a used Rogue Audio Cronus for about a grand, that would be worth it too. Those things just don't do anything wrong...

Regards,
Gordon.

+1. Proud Sherwood S-5000II owner. Amazing sweet sound. Looks cool too!

bajaed
02-12-2011, 05:59 PM
The Sherwood does sound good. Like the retro look too but also would prefer exposed tubes. Not a deal breaker tho.

For new, what about the Ming Da MC34-A06 40 Watt EL34?

frperdurabo
02-12-2011, 06:12 PM
Can you work on it yourself? Or do you have someone you know and trust who can? I mean a tube amp in general - not implying anything about the Ming Da. :)

Rex Everything
02-12-2011, 06:18 PM
You want to run a sub also from the same integrated?

whoaru99
02-12-2011, 06:36 PM
Just changed the title of the thread as I realized that I left "tube" out of the original title. Sorry.

What do people think of the $1,000 or less TUBE amps out there?


A couple caveats here...

1. I've never personally heard it
2. It's a little more than $1k (but it's new)

Looks interesting though.

https://www.madisound.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=360_455&products_id=1370

bajaed
02-12-2011, 07:00 PM
Can't really work on it other than adjustments. I would like to run my sub through it for 2.1.

derekva
02-12-2011, 07:19 PM
+1 on The Fisher but I'd recommend the X-101-C with the 7591s. For me that was the pinnacle.

I must think so, I have two of them. :tresbon:

Good call. I only have an 800C (but that's enough IMHO).

-D

derekva
02-12-2011, 07:30 PM
Can't really work on it other than adjustments. I would like to run my sub through it for 2.1.

Hmmm...I wonder if you can use the external reverb loop on the Fishers to split the signal between the sub and the mains (e.g. feed line-level to the sub)? Granted you'd need an external active crossover for this, but it'd be pretty cool if the loop was after the volume control.

(Edit: looking at my 800C schematics, it looks as if the reverb loop is upstream of the volume control, so no dice)

Alternately, you can use speaker-level switching for the subwoofer. Unless you already have a subwoofer, I highly recommend the Hsu STF-1 or VTF-1 models. They work great with my 800c and Klipsch Heresy IIs.

-D

bajaed
02-12-2011, 07:43 PM
I have an Energy 8" sub that I know is not high end but it does not do a bad job. Who knows, the RC-10's might not sound bad all alone but I don't want to paint myself into a corner and find I need more bass. Rather have the 2.1 option from the get go.

whoaru99
02-12-2011, 09:57 PM
As derekva mentioned, using speaker level inputs to feed the sub is perfectly fine too.

bajaed
02-12-2011, 10:34 PM
As derekva mentioned, using speaker level inputs to feed the sub is perfectly fine too.

Can you give me a little more detail on how I would set that up?

bajaed
02-12-2011, 11:14 PM
Here are some of the new amps (mostly Chinese) I have been looking at:

LA Audio M5
Jolida 202, 302, 502
Yaqin MC 10L, MC 100B, KT88, MS 300C, MS-2A3
Ming Da MC 34AB, MC368-B90,
AUDIOROMY FU13
BEWITCH NO.1812
MENG Series "YAYI Pair KT88"
Yarland EL 34B
Fountek Altitude 3500

Have not looked real close yet as to which ones would let me use a sub. Any thoughts on or additions to the above?

bajaed
02-13-2011, 12:01 AM
Also PrimaLuna Prologue One and Cayin A-50T.

whoaru99
02-13-2011, 12:02 AM
Can you give me a little more detail on how I would set that up?

If the sub has speaker level inputs you just connect them to the amplifier speaker terminals. Since (I presume) the sub is a powered sub, it doesn't change the impedance seen by the amp in any meaningful way when paralleled with your existing speakers.

Some subs have also have speaker output terminals on them with high pass filter to roll off the lows to your main speakers. If so, then you may need to connect the speakers to the sub instead of to the amp to try it with the HFP.

Since there are so many different subs you'll have to dig up the dirt on your particular model to know if has HPF, or hope someone else chimes in that has the same thing.

Mr. Lin
02-13-2011, 12:03 AM
If it were me I'd buy used and look first at Rogue, as someone already said.

scottfan
02-13-2011, 12:27 AM
I'd get go Scott 299D for ~$500 and still have money leftover for some 98/99Db Fortes..

bajaed
02-13-2011, 12:45 PM
I may have to get two amps. I want something new but could also really enjoy a vintage amp.

I'll probably go new first then start looking for a Fisher or Scott. I actually have an old console of my parents in storage but I have no idea whats in it or what kind of shape it's in. I'm going to check it out this week. I'm worried because I know it got rained on when it was left in the backyard for a couple of days before going into storage. It's from the 50's or early 60's.

Back to new. Any Prima Luna owners here? Would like to hear some feedback on those.

As far as the Rogue goes, I checked and it is a little too big to fit where I'm putting the amp. Need to go with a little bit smaller footprint. Too bad as I've read nothing but positive feedback on those amps.

bajaed
02-15-2011, 07:56 PM
Does Yarland have a U.S. distributor or is it sold under another name?

Also would still love to hear some feedback on The Prima Luna.

alienderive
03-17-2011, 01:31 PM
Suggestion: With todays tuner technology, i.e. Sony HD/FM tuner, I believe it's better to go with a tuner with updated technology and a tube amp rather than a vintage receiver. I have two of the Sony tuners and they sound great with a pair of Eico HF-12's.

alienderive
03-17-2011, 01:32 PM
TSTO audio via google is an authorized Yarland dealer.

iGrant
03-17-2011, 06:32 PM
You might also consider something from the guys that actually make the tubes too. Shuguang :)

Cheers,
Ian

helios660
03-17-2011, 10:32 PM
Also PrimaLuna Prologue One and Cayin A-50T.

+1, point to point wiring in a new unit at this price is pretty amazing.

specialidiot
03-18-2011, 12:48 AM
There's a damn near perfect, nosvalves rebuilt Scott 299C in barter town right now.

spartanmanor
03-18-2011, 07:46 AM
There's a damn near perfect, nosvalves rebuilt Scott 299C in barter town right now.

+1

Love my 299D rebuilt by nosvalves.

hhibrownsbac
03-18-2011, 09:55 AM
There's a damn near perfect, nosvalves rebuilt Scott 299C in barter town right now.There wouldnt be if I had some extra cash:thmbsp:

coman61
03-18-2011, 10:13 AM
From your list I would select the Jolida 302. Very nice amp.

ricohman
03-18-2011, 06:38 PM
Here are some of the new amps (mostly Chinese) I have been looking at:

LA Audio M5
Jolida 202, 302, 502
Yaqin MC 10L, MC 100B, KT88, MS 300C, MS-2A3
Ming Da MC 34AB, MC368-B90,
AUDIOROMY FU13
BEWITCH NO.1812
MENG Series "YAYI Pair KT88"
Yarland EL 34B
Fountek Altitude 3500

Have not looked real close yet as to which ones would let me use a sub. Any thoughts on or additions to the above?

I've been thinking the same thing myself. Then I started looking at vintage equipment. But that would mean rebuilding and a lot more expense.
I think I've come full circle and back to the Yaqin MC 10L.

specialidiot
03-18-2011, 06:46 PM
LA Audio M5
Jolida 202, 302, 502
Yaqin MC 10L, MC 100B, KT88, MS 300C, MS-2A3
Ming Da MC 34AB, MC368-B90,
AUDIOROMY FU13
BEWITCH NO.1812
MENG Series "YAYI Pair KT88"
Yarland EL 34B
Fountek Altitude 3500

I'd take that Scott in BT over any of those.

jwalker
03-18-2011, 06:58 PM
Here are some of the new amps (mostly Chinese) I have been looking at:

LA Audio M5
Jolida 202, 302, 502
Yaqin MC 10L, MC 100B, KT88, MS 300C, MS-2A3
Ming Da MC 34AB, MC368-B90,
AUDIOROMY FU13
BEWITCH NO.1812
MENG Series "YAYI Pair KT88"
Yarland EL 34B
Fountek Altitude 3500

Have not looked real close yet as to which ones would let me use a sub. Any thoughts on or additions to the above?

I know somebody with the Bewitch amp. It gets the job done and does so without looking tacky and over-the-top (unlike some of the others in your list).

This guy also has an another imported amplifier called the "Classic 16.6". This one is a step above the ones on your list but it appears to have very decent output transformers based on what I've read (FWIW).

shacky
03-18-2011, 10:01 PM
I'm lovin' my Eico HF-81 :yes: :music:

DaveS
09-01-2011, 01:10 AM
Here are some of the new amps (mostly Chinese) I have been looking at:

LA Audio M5
Jolida 202, 302, 502
Yaqin MC 10L, MC 100B, KT88, MS 300C, MS-2A3
Ming Da MC 34AB, MC368-B90,
AUDIOROMY FU13
BEWITCH NO.1812
MENG Series "YAYI Pair KT88"
Yarland EL 34B
Fountek Altitude 3500

Have not looked real close yet as to which ones would let me use a sub. Any thoughts on or additions to the above?

I really enjoy the jolida 302B!!

tchuck
09-01-2011, 01:42 AM
Fisher X-101-D. Best sounding tube amp I've ever heard. I realize that statement is borderline meaningless but suffice it to say it's a great sounding int amp. If you can find one, give it a listen. :thmbsp:

frankxbe
09-01-2011, 02:48 AM
this page has a lot of amps to look at lot of tube candy here
http://www.china-highend-hifi.com/prod0213.htm

builder
09-01-2011, 04:27 AM
Sherwood S5000. I have one that doesn't have the best faceplate and missing a knob. But I never looked at it.....I just listened to it.

Chuck

Tuxman
09-01-2011, 08:27 PM
I love mine. http://www.retrodazeaudio.com/CVT3030AS.htm
http://www.retrodazeaudio.com/Graphics/3030combo1.JPG




FEATURES
30 wpc 4/8 ohm
Solid-state rectifier, tube final
2 EL34 Vacuum tubes per channel (removable)
7 high voltage mosfets per channel
All stages run in pure class A
Fixed bias for output tubes
Large high quality gold plated speaker terminals
Tone by-pass
6 inputs (gold plated) Phono, Tape, DAT, CD, Tuner, Video, AUX

srinath
09-01-2011, 08:33 PM
I've heard great things on the web about the bewitched. Lukasz Fikus (spelling) has modified a few and reviewed and well as blogged about the mods.
Easy to mod them to a Single ended triode and that brings them into being the "class leader" I paraphrase of course.
Look on the lampizator website.
Cool.
Srinath.

Tuxman
09-01-2011, 08:39 PM
If you have a good pre-amp, the CVT-2030s is cheaper $450 (not integrated)

http://www.retrodazeaudio.com/hotdealspage.htm

Westy56
09-02-2011, 06:19 AM
You could prolly get both The Fisher KX-200 and 500C for under 1000.
You could use the kx for a sub.


Steve

kpaxfaq
09-02-2011, 04:41 PM
Scott 299C with the 7591 output tubes in front of the output transformers is exactly what you're looking for since you want to see the tubes!

They also have a center channel output you can use to feed a powered sub.

Kory

bajaed
09-02-2011, 04:44 PM
Just FYI, I decided to double my budget and picked up a Rogue Cronus Magnum. Incredible! Best audio decision I've made.

I didn't want to invest a $1,000 and worry about something being shipped from Asia, or about service issues.

If I had stayed at $1,000, I was going to go with a Jolida 502 from Wally.

Tuxman
09-02-2011, 05:24 PM
http://www.rogueaudio.com/images/enlarged/CronosFront.jpg
http://www.rogueaudio.com/images/enlarged/CronosBack.jpg

55WPC Cronus Integrated $1,895
90WPC Cronus Magnum $2,195

- Remote volume control included
- 20Hz-30Khz bandwidth
- EL-34 output tubes, (3) 12AU7,
(2)12AX7 small signal tubes
- Phono section gain 35dB (before preamp)

- (3) line level inputs, (1) phono input
- (1) variable output, (1) fixed output
- Headphone amplifier
- 4 and 8 ohm taps
- Optional cover ($125)
- 18” W X 17.5” D X 5.5” H
- 50 lbs (55lbs shipping weight)

:worthless

bajaed
09-02-2011, 06:15 PM
Thanks, mine looks like this:

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=296465&stc=1&d=1315005158296465

jwrauch
09-03-2011, 12:30 AM
Still loving my heath AA100 that Gordon rebuilt for me. Well under a grand in it. JOHN

hrudu
09-03-2011, 12:51 AM
OK, this one is still under $1K AND it is made in Japan!


http://www.almarro.com/pix/products/p0+.jpg


---

mjalazard
09-03-2011, 08:08 PM
You should also check out Grant Fidelity. They even have a closeout section.
Mike

datafone
09-04-2011, 06:53 AM
You can't go past this one at under 1k

http://www.westonacoustics.com/service1.html

Quality transformers wound in house, all point to point build ect'

KentTeffeteller
09-04-2011, 07:44 AM
For me, Dynaco SCA 35 or Fisher X 101 or Sherwood tube integrated amps.

ChopperChas
09-05-2011, 01:23 AM
Yaqin MC-100B. Under $750 delivered to my door - make sure to buy it from the guy in Canada. He sells on eBay, offers one year parts+labor warranty, 3 year labor warranty, and 90 day tube warranty.

I've had mine for 3 years now, and it's operated flawlessly - except for one blown KT88. But I was running my bias on the high end. Turned it down a dash and haven't had a problem sicne. I absolutely LOVE this amp, it sounds amazing. It's the best budget amp out there, and it will hold its own with anything costing 3x as much.


Charles.

allnwalters
10-09-2011, 02:17 AM
It may be a little above the $1000 range but I got a mingda mc34-ab. I can say after several months of burn in it sounds very very good. Symbols shimmer and voices have a different quality to them. It's hard to explain,voices almost sound deeper but they're not. It's like they are in the room with you. You would have to hear it. I think it may be what they call bravado but I'm not sure. I have some vintage tube gear but it don't compare to this amp, live recordings sound like your at the venue and no matter how complicated or busy the music gets you can clearly hear every detail in the music. you can listen to the most complicated jazz and can pick out the drummers stick slightly touching the rim of the drums while it's all going crazy. Not even in the same ball park to anything else I've ever heard.

JeffyW
10-16-2011, 03:21 PM
I want to take the plunge into a tube amp, but I have a general question first. Let's assume it's the most basic version of an integrated amp....i.e. it has a volume knob. The first thing I do when listening to anything with a receiver is to adjust the bass and treble knobs up from 0 gain. Am I wrongly assuming that 0 gain is the closest sound to the way the record was produced? With volume only control, it is being sent to the speakers from the amp the way it was recorded right? Question is, how do you get over wanting some records more or less bass and treble infused with no control? How does a tube pre-amp with volume only's signal differ from a receiver with freq's nulled? I know that the null setting is midpoint on a receiver, not all the way to the left.
Thanks in advance for the help and time.
Jeff

allnwalters
10-17-2011, 12:15 AM
My tube amp has only volume and i was worried about the same thing and at first it was very thin sounding. I put my sub on it to get the low end but after several months the tubes and caps have burned in and it has very good low end. it goes way deeper than with tone controls set to 0. I think that when there is no tone controls it just lets all the bass and treble through. I still use my sub but I just love the bass. By the way I always used the sub with the S/S gear that had tone controls too. you will love it. Look into ming da because they have made transformers for other tube amp company's for years and just recently started making tube amps. If you think about it they make the most expensive part there self, so they can make a better product for way less money. One guy who did a review on the mc34ab said the iron alone should cost more than the whole amp does. Just a thought they make just preamps too. My amp ways 80 lbs with the remote power supply included.

persil
10-18-2011, 02:19 AM
Yes Ming Da are well known for the quality of their transformers and it definitely shows! I have an Icon Audio version and I am amazed at the way they build the things, The three dimensional point to point wiring they use is a work of art, has to be seen to be believed!

kvflyer
10-18-2011, 05:01 AM
HH Scott 299C/LK-72...

GrantFidelity
10-18-2011, 01:59 PM
Yes Ming Da are well known for the quality of their transformers and it definitely shows! I have an Icon Audio version and I am amazed at the way they build the things, The three dimensional point to point wiring they use is a work of art, has to be seen to be believed!

Most well established brands of tube amps from China build their own transformers in-house: hand wound with high grade cooper. Smaller brands will source transformers from 3rd party and this gets tricky - some use recycled copper, some use 2nd hand silicon steel from used gear, some use strange oil / resin to damp the transformer and cause terrible smell when the transformer heats up. All of these are behind the scene and you cannot tell from an eBay listing. So buyer be aware.

ferninando
10-18-2011, 02:29 PM
HH Scott 299C/LK-72...

me too. i have the 299B

JeffyW
10-18-2011, 09:21 PM
I'm gravitating towards either the Rogue Audio 55w Cronus integrated, or the Prima Luna Prologue Two integrated. I like the Rogue because you get a phono input and pre-amp along with a headphone jack and obviously amp. Additionally the Rogue has exposed power supply's. The PL is a little more "art nouveau" looking and it has the Adaptive Autobias feature.....So I guess it's just a matter of matching them up with my Crites modified Klipsch Chorus I's to see which I prefer.

glen455
10-19-2011, 02:41 PM
I want to take the plunge into a tube amp, but I have a general question first. Let's assume it's the most basic version of an integrated amp....i.e. it has a volume knob. The first thing I do when listening to anything with a receiver is to adjust the bass and treble knobs up from 0 gain. Am I wrongly assuming that 0 gain is the closest sound to the way the record was produced? With volume only control, it is being sent to the speakers from the amp the way it was recorded right? Question is, how do you get over wanting some records more or less bass and treble infused with no control? How does a tube pre-amp with volume only's signal differ from a receiver with freq's nulled? I know that the null setting is midpoint on a receiver, not all the way to the left.
Thanks in advance for the help and time.
Jeff Try a complete (vintage console gut out purchase cheap magnavox = 9302 amp and its matching preamp with its tuner and bass and treble controls.)

TubesNhorns
10-19-2011, 10:05 PM
The Mcintosh Ma-230 sounds fantastic to me. Used to be able to score these for around $800 but they seem to be going for a lot more lately.

DaveS
11-25-2011, 07:30 PM
From your list I would select the Jolida 302. Very nice amp.

I'm really enjoying Jolida's.
302B mod's to 502B (alltube)
and JD1701 mod'd by ModWright.(tube pre amp/SS amp)

bonsai
11-25-2011, 07:48 PM
Get a Bob Latino ST-120 amp with the optional attenuator.

Bob01605
11-26-2011, 06:30 AM
Just to be clear on what Bonsai has said... The VTA ST-120 with the stepped attenuator option is not an "integrated amp" per se. As most know, the Dynaco ST-70 off which the VTA ST-120 was created was a BASIC amplifier with no volume control. The VTA ST-70 and ST-120 can be made into a single high level input intergrated amplifier by the addition of the VTA stepped attenuator. The VTA stepped attenuator replaces the unused stereo/mono switch on the front of the amp and allows the use of any SINGLE high level signal source such as a CD player, FM tuner, mp3 player etc. to be plugged directly into the amp. The VTA ST-120 has no selector switch for multiple inputs. If you have multiple inputs you will need a preamp. That said, the stepped attenuator on the ST-120 may also be used WITH a preamp as a master level control. Under normal conditions you would turn the attenuator all the way to the right when using the attenuator with a preamp. The audio signal now goes through a single solder connection on each channel. If, however, your preamp is set up so that you get too much volume in the first quarter turn of the volume knob, the attenuator may be set at the 12 o'clock or some other position. Set up this way, the amp will now require more input from the preamp and you will be able to get more "range" on your preamp's volume control. Composite photo of the VTA ST-120 without the stepped attenuator and a close up of the attenuator installed.

Bob Latino

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a78/Bob01605/SAcomposite_2.jpg

etocynned
11-29-2011, 10:00 AM
So what did you get, I have a Shuguang i12 that sings beautifully.

didn't think 12 watts would go so far.

jamset
03-27-2012, 04:59 PM
I want to take the plunge into a tube amp, but I have a general question first. Let's assume it's the most basic version of an integrated amp....i.e. it has a volume knob. The first thing I do when listening to anything with a receiver is to adjust the bass and treble knobs up from 0 gain. Am I wrongly assuming that 0 gain is the closest sound to the way the record was produced? With volume only control, it is being sent to the speakers from the amp the way it was recorded right? Question is, how do you get over wanting some records more or less bass and treble infused with no control? How does a tube pre-amp with volume only's signal differ from a receiver with freq's nulled? I know that the null setting is midpoint on a receiver, not all the way to the left.
Thanks in advance for the help and time.
Jeff

Hello jeff
Iím in the same situation as you. Iím considering buying an ALMARRO A318B integrated amp but Iím hesitant because of the lack of tone controls as well as not being able to connect a subwoofer to the amp. My sub has speaker level inputs but no outputs. I wish someone could give his/her opinion about this subject.

dschwab
03-27-2012, 05:13 PM
+1, point to point wiring in a new unit at this price is pretty amazing.

+2

I have had both, and both are great units! The Primaluna will be more detailed and not as warm. The Cayin allows you to switch between Ultralinear and Triode and comes with a remote.

If going the vintage route, you could do a lot worse than a Fisher 500B or a Fisher 500C (the 500B is the warmer of the two).

johnda
03-27-2012, 08:11 PM
Excellent amp for a great price at the moment is the Dynaco SCA 35. Pretty nice iron driven by 6BQ5s. Can be had for under 3 bills. My two cents.

I owned a Dynaco SCA-35 and it really sounded great with matched tubes from Gold Aero. Unfortunately it got "lost" when we moved after I retired. There was a lot of shuffling going on and somehow it never showed up when the truck got here. I wish they would make a tube amplifier today that matched the SCA-35's look, enclosed case, not too big, phono input. It was a very nice package.

Dieter Schaub
08-14-2012, 04:16 PM
I own a modified revon SE 6L6 mini Amp.
Also an Yaqin ML-10 and a YAQIN MS34.
My newest was the Audioromy M-828A, it arrived savely in 2 days from china.
But the sound was a little bit dump.
I changed the LS Control to ALPS 27 Series and add a 7H Chocke in Power Supply.
But the sound was not better. So I ordered pre Amp Tubes for testing.

Then today I received several tubes.
i.e. two USA Penta 5670 from 1973 tubes to exchange the chinese 6N3.
And I exchanged the russian 6n23P to the Phillips 6922 from 1987.
For the Audioromy M-828A this was an great improvement in the soundstage.
Womens Voices will now fly through the room and orchestral music will loose its stiffness.

These two types of tubes are a fantastic match for improvement of the Audioromy M-828A.
Changing the chinese FU29 to the russian GU29 is only a very little step foreward, but changing the 6N23 and 6N3 to Phillips 6922 and Penta 5670WA will change this Amp and take it to another stage in HiFi Ratings.

happy Listening
Dieter

ChopperChas
01-31-2013, 09:59 AM
Five years running on my MC-100B, and 3 years with the MS-12B phono preamp, and both of these sound as good as new (or better, since I'm using better tubes), and I've not had one single problem with either one. I'm extremely happy. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear these are being sold anymore, at least not on eBay.

Charles.

MartinV56
01-31-2013, 10:26 PM
Eico HF-81
Bell Carillon 6060

loonze
01-31-2013, 10:36 PM
antique sound lab mg s115 dt-telefunken long plate 12ax7 and kt88z tubes-unbelievable sound.

sony6060
01-31-2013, 10:57 PM
For many that read this original post. Vintage will require a rebuild- no way around it.

Grant Fidelity has on special sale a Psvane TS66 for $399 (until stocks are gone). This leaves funds for a few upgrades. A view under the TS66 chassis shows good quality. Tubes are mainstream- 12AX7-12AU7-EL34. I like the input 12AX7 in SRPP circuit & twin tail phase inverter design. Change 12AX7 to a Telefunken or simular quality, dump the nasty 12AU7 and replace with Tungsram E80CC that is better than a 6SN7 and enjoy the music. :D

SoCal Sam
01-31-2013, 11:03 PM
Another vote for HH Scott 299D/LK-72B. Consider the 272 and 296 as well.

Zvezda
02-01-2013, 01:58 AM
I guess I can't speak for anything else, but I am extremely happy with my Sherwood S-5000 (7189). Got it for $400 already restored on Craigslist.

bonsai
02-01-2013, 01:58 PM
Bob Lation ST70 with the attenuator option

ChopperChas
02-01-2013, 02:25 PM
Just saying, five years and the Yaqin MC-100B is still working flawlessly. (I bought it in January 2008). I bought a Yaqin MS-12B phono stage about a year later, and it's also been operating flawlessly since. The phono stage is really, really nice I might add.

Charles.

kray
02-07-2013, 10:16 PM
It would be hard to beat the TAD-60 for under $1000, usually around $800-$900 used. Then again it's usually hard to find one for sale as they aren't made anymore since Paul passed away, but still only 6-7yrs old, so they should all be in great shape.