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Thread: First valve amp setup

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jan 2019

    Location: Wales, United Kingdom

    Posts: 4
    I'm Joshua.

    Default First valve amp setup

    I'm looking to make my first foray into the world of tube amps and was hoping someone could give me some much needed advice on a good beginner amp that costs no more than 5 (ok maybe 6) hundred, second hand.

    I am currently running the following:

    CA CXA60 amp
    CA CXC Disc Transport
    Monitor Audio Bronze 6 Speakers

    I listen to blues, soul, country. Artists like Jackson Browne, Ry Cooder and Little village. I like the thick, warm, choral quality of tubes - to my ears at least.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 51,006
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    Probably a biggish one. Think they like a bit of juice up them.
    Regards,
    Grant ....

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
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  3. #3
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: London N2

    Posts: 1,173
    I'm Edward.

    Default

    Source: Tidal/Roon
    DAC: Metrum HEX, Chevron Paradox, Perreaux

    Amp: Sugden Masterclass 2018 spec, Radford Revival STA25 V,
    Speakers: Tannoy Eaton, Kudos Cardea


  4. #4
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 38,400
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    If you venture into valve amps, you may, like many here, constantly be wondering how much life your valves have left, whether different ones could sound better, if the bias has been set correctly, are the speakers on the best impedance taps, whether some 'audiophile' capacitors could be an upgrade. And so on. But you may love the sound of course.
    As Wernher Von Braun said, "it's not rocket science!".

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: U.S.A. Neo-Socialist Kalifornski

    Posts: 2,706

    Default

    What you spend on the amp will be a fraction on what you will eventually spend on tube rolling'
    So get that right first.
    What kind of tubes do you prefer? For me it's EL84 's .
    How much power will you need ?
    Push Pull? single ended? Class A? A/B?
    Triode ? Tetrode? Pentode?
    Manual bias or self bias?
    Get an idea of what you need and want then set your price range and ask lots of questions first .
    Getting the amp that fits your needs and sounds good before you start looking for the right tubes is key.
    Jeff :UBERTHREADKILLER

  6. #6
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: Lincs

    Posts: 501
    I'm Philip.

    Default

    I would definately reccomend primaluna.
    Good protection in case of valve problems.
    My prologue 2 can run kt88, el34,5881, 6559, kt77 etc ec.
    Auto bias.
    They really are an easy way into valves.
    They sound darn good as well.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Sheffield/Peak District. UK

    Posts: 443
    I'm Richard.

    Default

    I have a WD KEL84 and love it. It does have auto-bias I believe - so you can, within reason 'tube roll' to your heart's content.

    http://www.world-designs.co.uk/power%20amps.htm

  8. #8
    Join Date: Apr 2017

    Location: Manningtree, Essex

    Posts: 717
    I'm Tony.

    Default

    I have an Icon Audio Stereo 20PP that also uses EL84. Not within your budget new but a second-hand or part-exchange may be.
    Absolutely love it to bits but needs efficient speakers and not too large a room. Point to point wiring, auto-biasing and therefore easy tube rolling. Replace the stock tubes and it is a beauty. Never regretted the purchase for a second.
    As with all things, system synergy is all.
    A mainly digital setup with a musical amplifier and endearing 1970's speakers. A CD player that hardly ever gets used and a turntable that is good enough to remind my how enjoyable my old vinyl is. Some cables and things.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 733
    I'm Adrian.

    Default

    Try an Audio Innovations Series 500 a great amp. I had one from new stupidly sold it and then a few years later purchased another second hand/

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/264111773823
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    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound


    Michel GyroDec, SME IV arm, Michel Cusis MC cartridge, Furutech Cable, LFD MMC special phono stage, RaspberryPi/HifiBerry Digi to Beresford Caiman SEG DAC, Meridian 508 CD, Tisbury passive pre-amp, pair Renaisance RA-01 300b amps, Impulse H2's and Wilson Benesch ARC speakers depending on how I feel, Chord Epic speaker leads, & signature links, the Eccose Conductor CA1 cd to pre

  10. #10
    Join Date: Mar 2009

    Location: Chelmsford, Essex

    Posts: 310
    I'm Gareth.

    Default

    Take a look at the Puresound A30. I have one, my first and only valve integrated amp, and it drives my Monitor Audio PL200s just fine. Responds well to tube rolling too, KT88, 6550, 6SL7 & 6SN7.

    Edit: Can’t post w/out a gratuitous valve pr0n shot:





    Last edited by Getgaff; 11-01-2019 at 18:42.

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