budget tube amplifier

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by Wilcruz, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. Wilcruz

    Wilcruz New Member

    Messages:
    1
    for under $300 - thanks in advance for info.
     
  2. PakProtector

    PakProtector AK member

    Messages:
    3,452
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Hey-Hey!!!,
    That price is pretty low for a quality amp. I have only a little bit more than that in my amp, but that is an outlayer of a data point.
    cheers,
    Douglas
     
  3. markus

    markus Master Procrastinator

    Messages:
    4,121
    Location:
    Deerfield Beach FL
    I'd say a good console amp (6V6 or 6BQ5) recapped, gone through, and updated. For $300, you could go REAL crazy on capacitors and NOS/NIB tubes of choice.
     
  4. Redboy

    Redboy a few good watts Subscriber

    Messages:
    11,147
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    That's almost right on the money...

    Spend some time scavenging for the console amp. Read up to know what names to look for, first. Then take your time. Along the way you buy the cheap off-brand consoles for $5, $10 to lay in a stock of old tubes so you don't have to spend money on them. Then spring good money ($50?) for a great amp. Make friends with someone who loves to repair old tube radios and amps, and actually knows what they're doing. They'll do the recap and update work in exchange for some miscellaneous old speakers and tube consoles, etc that you've picked up along the way. Put the real money ($150?) into some fancy-pants capacitors, and you're in business!

    Keep in mind that it's really nice to have a three car garage, an empty attic and a crawl-space under the stairs to store the old console and organ (did I mention the organs? There will be organs...) carcasses, stacks of walnut-veneer speakers that need refoam jobs, and shiny silver receivers that you came across along the way and couldn't resist. The extra space is also nice for the other great deals you stumbled on as you worked the garage sales, thrift shops, and rummage sales in your pursuit of tubey goodness.

    By the way, welcome to AK, Wilcruz! :thmbsp:
     
  5. dividebytube

    dividebytube Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    614
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I once got a pair of Heath UA-1 12W monoblocks on Ebay for some $225 - of course I had to buy them in singles. That's sometimes the cheapest route to go since pairs sell for more than a single unit.

    I had a recent discussion with a friend of mine who was into tube audio back in '86-'87 when a Dynaco 70 would set you back $80 - and Mac stuff was cheap. His first tube amp was a pair of Mac30s for $120 for the pair. Heck, I bought my first Dyna 70 from him in '89 for an even $100 and that included a separate outboard regulator for the front end.
     
  6. Squidward

    Squidward Scrappy Mod Moderator

    Messages:
    4,671
    Location:
    Bikini Bottom (Ann Arbor, MI)
    Now where did I put that time machine...
     
  7. cruisaire

    cruisaire PGA and Rainwater!

    Messages:
    1,616
    Location:
    Down South
  8. digtubeess

    digtubeess Active Member

    Messages:
    449
  9. cruisaire

    cruisaire PGA and Rainwater!

    Messages:
    1,616
    Location:
    Down South
    I really like it a great deal! I only have about 72 hours of use thus far, but it has opened up a bit. Tubes are just getting broken in as well. For the money and such a simple topology, it sounds way better than I had hoped. I had a spare 14 gauge power cord that I have used, nothing "medical grade" or voodoo but sufficient. Boris said it should be about 5 wpc. With my 92 dBs, I'm getting plenty of loudness, no clipping, and nothing harsh up to max volume. The acoustic stuff is crystal clear and puts me front and center in the tunes.
     
  10. jpchleapas

    jpchleapas Active Member

    Messages:
    208
    Location:
    Framingham, MA
    You might want to simply save up your money for a better one, and more importantly a more reliable amplifier. There are a few inexpensive kits out there if you do not need a lot of power for your speakers. If you buy something cheap that dies right away on you or is not a good match for your speakers, then you will walk away from tube audio with a bad taste in your mouth. You can also look on ebay for some sleeper Sherwood integrated amps that sell for around your budget from time to time. You really should tell the people here what type of speakers you are using now to let them offer you better advice as to what will work, and what might not be such a good amplifier for you to look out for. Good luck! John
     
  11. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk Born-again Nihilist

    Messages:
    3,132
    Location:
    DC/MD/(No)VA area
    Go Chinese. I don't think you can even get a Jolida for that kind of dough, but you might with a hybrid.
     
  12. sorenj07

    sorenj07 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,180
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    single-ended UL 6P14P driven by 6N23P's, with an $18 edcor OPT and a PT from eBay. SS power supply. You could do it, and it probably wouldn't sound too bad, maybe you could even manage PP for ~10W...
     
  13. cary

    cary Active Member

    Messages:
    357
    Location:
    San Francisco
    If you have fairly efficient speakers, know how to solder and replace electronic parts, the Heathkit AA-32 is a great amp. Great sound and low price.

    Cary Chin
     
  14. JimJ[VT]

    JimJ[VT] Super Member

    Messages:
    3,090
    Location:
    Hillsborough, NC
    If you can stretch your budget a bit, the Bottlehead S.E.X kit isn't too much more expensive than that, IIRC.

    Saves you the hassle of sourcing parts and kludging circuits together :)
     
  15. wajobu

    wajobu Boing Boom Tschak Subscriber

    Such pretty little amps! The first one with the blue glow is quite nice! I notice that some are "SOLD" and some have prices. Are these one-off units? Is the person selling them the person that makes them?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  16. rickon66

    rickon66 Older Than Dirt

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    931
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee, USA
    I am finding that the only thing that ties the words tubes and budget together is the word "big"
    But, it sure is fun!!:yes:
     
  17. blownsi

    blownsi AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,102
    Location:
    O-H-I-O
    I have a AMC Hybrid 2030s that I got on the bay for under $300. Sounded great for a week and then developed a hum in one channel. One of the circuit boards that the tubes plug into needs replaced -- AMC refuses to answer my emails and I have yet to find a repairer for it. So if your thinking amc caveat emptor.
     
  18. donoghue

    donoghue AK Member

    Messages:
    431
    Location:
    Indiana
    If you are a gambler ebay can yield good results. I bought 2 chinese preamps there for around $200 each that have held up fine and sound nice to me. Also picked up a miniature el84 power amp for $200 that has performed well. If you can read between the lines, research feedback, other auctions, etc you can get a good idea what you are getting into.
     
  19. cruisaire

    cruisaire PGA and Rainwater!

    Messages:
    1,616
    Location:
    Down South
    I don't know exactly what a one-off is? The maker sells them, cool guy who does a great job. Made in the USA, I believe. Mine is the P2 shown near the bottom. :D
     

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