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Into the realm of tubes...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I want to get my dad set up with an analog/tube sound for Christmas. He grew up listening to records and loves oldies, so I thought it would be nice to give him analog sound rather than the mobo sound he listens to now.

I am looking for a tube amp to power $200-300 speakers in a very small room. What would be like an entry level analog amp? Something that would give him a warmer sound. I hope they make tube amps for speakers, too.

I haven't looked into speakers yet, but if you have any suggestion of speakers he'd like, please suggest em'.
Edited by Flynny - 10/6/11 at 2:23pm
post #2 of 6
Are you looking to spend $2-300 total? You won't be able to get any quality tube equipment and speakers for that price. If you want $300 speakers, I would watch Audiogon.com daily for a set of Swan M1 speakers. I have a pair that I scored for a great price and I love them.

What are you using for a source? You will need something like a DAC, CD Player, Record Player, etc.

For a cheap but decent tube amp, look at some stuff from Jolida. They can also be found on Audiogon for cheap, but their retail price is also pretty cheap. Expect to pay $400 used for a decent tube amp from Jolida.

This pair of Swan 4.1s is a good deal. I would try to make a fair offer. They have been up for awhile. They're not completely full range, but they'd be nice for your budget. I have the larger 6.2 and I love them.
Edited by Greg121986 - 10/6/11 at 4:34pm
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flynny View Post
I am looking for a tube amp to power $200-300 speakers in a very small room. What would be like an entry level analog amp?
There isn't much of a market for "entry level" tube amps. Prices start at $1K for stuff that generally really doesn't compare to equally priced transistor amps, though they say there are some exceptions with DIY (there are many kits available) or vintage. And don't forget the heat, massive amounts of flaming heat!

A few yeas ago I traded a McInosh 60W basic that I had laying around (worth about $600-800, but needed regfurbishing and retubing) for a Dynaco stereo amp. While the Dynaco isn't "high end" by any means, it does typify that "valve" sound (tubes = valves). I've been a happy camper.

As for speakers, don't buy anything without listening to them first. Preferably at home, where they will be used, or at least in a listening room that is similar in size and reflectivity.

And don't expect to see much "valve" effect on MPs or streaming audio. Tube amps have notoriously high harmonic and inter-modulation distortion. You'll need a good "source", FLAC, and a sound card or CD player with good DACs. Or best, a turntable, a good arm and a $500-1K cartridge as valves will take any dubious source and render it...well, let's just say you won't be getting what you expect (nice, warm base, but the rest will be disappointing).

All in all you're looking for a pretty large chunk of change to get that "valve" sound.
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(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX6300 Black M5A99X EVO R2.0 Nvidia GTS450 Team Vulcan PC3 12800 
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Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
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post #4 of 6
i've looked for some tube speaker amps myself and you really only see them in the $1000 price range, what you could do if he has a reciever is get a tube headphone amp and have it connected to the receiver as a pre-amp (although not all amps have the preamp ability), headphone amps are much more affordable then tube amps for speakers.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the coments guys. I didn't realize they were so expensive! !

Maybe Ill just get him a nice soundcard and a good set of speakers. He says he doesnt care what he listens with, headphones or speakers, but I can't see him sitting down and putting on headphones to listen to music.
post #6 of 6
You can find something really nice from Cambridge Audio as well. A used piece from Audiogon can be had at a good price.
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