Tube Amplifier Suggestions

Lifespill

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Hello friends,

I am looking for adding a Tube Amplifier to my setup. My speakers are Focal Sopra 3. I am a novice in tubes and this will be my first tube setup. I have few questions for the knowledgeable audiophiles..

My budget is about 2 to 3 lakh



1. Will Tubes be an upgrade to the already existing digital setup of Parasound JC2bp and JC5 ?
2. Should I go for Tube Preamp or Tube Poweramp or integrated? Which will be better presentation of tube like quality sound?
3. Sopra 3 are power hungry. Though they are rated about 91.5 db they go down to 3 ohms. I am afraid that single or low double digit power might be anemic for them? I have heard somewhere that not all watts are same ... Tubes even giving out lower watts sounds more "meat on bones"..? Is it so...
4. What's the experience of others of tubes with demanding speakers
5. How reliable are the Chinese brands that Thomas and other YouTube reviewer raves about..?

Thanks
 

Yelamanchili manohar

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Apr 27, 2021
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Hyderabad
Hello friends,

I am looking for adding a Tube Amplifier to my setup. My speakers are Focal Sopra 3. I am a novice in tubes and this will be my first tube setup. I have few questions for the knowledgeable audiophiles..

My budget is about 2 to 3 lakh



1. Will Tubes be an upgrade to the already existing digital setup of Parasound JC2bp and JC5 ?
2. Should I go for Tube Preamp or Tube Poweramp or integrated? Which will be better presentation of tube like quality sound?
3. Sopra 3 are power hungry. Though they are rated about 91.5 db they go down to 3 ohms. I am afraid that single or low double digit power might be anemic for them? I have heard somewhere that not all watts are same ... Tubes even giving out lower watts sounds more "meat on bones"..? Is it so...
4. What's the experience of others of tubes with demanding speakers
5. How reliable are the Chinese brands that Thomas and other YouTube reviewer raves about..?

Thanks
Hi lifespill 😁

I would seriously recommend going with a tube preamp, and the using the SS parasound power amps with the sopra's. And considering the budget you have, I would recommend DHT preamps for their holographic magic. The parasound already have a musical but mellow sound. So adding a normal tubey preamp, will put you to sleep.

The best tube preamp I've ever heard was a KR audio P135, feeding a parasound A21 driving a pair of nautilus B&W speakers. I was familiar with this friend's system, having heard it over the years with varying kit. But that KR was pure magic, but I didn't know why. Only recently I learned that DHT tube preamps are difficult to get right. Very costly to implement. But sound absolutely divine, as I can attest 😜😜. All the best.
 

drlowmu

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Messages
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Location
Warrensburg, Missouri
Hello friends,

I am looking for adding a Tube Amplifier to my setup. My speakers are Focal Sopra 3. I am a novice in tubes and this will be my first tube setup. I have few questions for the knowledgeable audiophiles..

My budget is about 2 to 3 lakh



1. Will Tubes be an upgrade to the already existing digital setup of Parasound JC2bp and JC5 ?
2. Should I go for Tube Preamp or Tube Poweramp or integrated? Which will be better presentation of tube like quality sound?
3. Sopra 3 are power hungry. Though they are rated about 91.5 db they go down to 3 ohms. I am afraid that single or low double digit power might be anemic for them? I have heard somewhere that not all watts are same ... Tubes even giving out lower watts sounds more "meat on bones"..? Is it so...
4. What's the experience of others of tubes with demanding speakers
5. How reliable are the Chinese brands that Thomas and other YouTube reviewer raves about..?

Thanks


FACT :

You are going about it wrong, and I have both consideration - and the nerve - to inform you.

IMHO :

A proper speaker for a tube amp should be 99 to 101 dB sensitivity, minimum.

Then, you can use the best sounding tube amps on them.


The best-sounding tube amps are typically around 3 Watts RMS, have absolutely zero NFB, and use two stages.

The best speaker configuration is a good two way, with a 15 inch woofer and a horn compression driver above it.


Start off right, with the most appropriate speaker, to get the very best overall combined listening result.



I just-above gave you the recipe for the ideal tube-powered home hi fi system. Why waste your entire life in audio, doing it otherwise?

Jeff Medwin
 
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kratu

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Feb 1, 2010
Messages
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Hello friends,

I am looking for adding a Tube Amplifier to my setup. My speakers are Focal Sopra 3. I am a novice in tubes and this will be my first tube setup. I have few questions for the knowledgeable audiophiles..

My budget is about 2 to 3 lakh



1. Will Tubes be an upgrade to the already existing digital setup of Parasound JC2bp and JC5 ?
2. Should I go for Tube Preamp or Tube Poweramp or integrated? Which will be better presentation of tube like quality sound?
3. Sopra 3 are power hungry. Though they are rated about 91.5 db they go down to 3 ohms. I am afraid that single or low double digit power might be anemic for them? I have heard somewhere that not all watts are same ... Tubes even giving out lower watts sounds more "meat on bones"..? Is it so...
4. What's the experience of others of tubes with demanding speakers
5. How reliable are the Chinese brands that Thomas and other YouTube reviewer raves about..?

Thanks
Hello @Lifespill

For a short answer to the question, I would advice you to audition as many systems as possible. You can try Lyrita Audio in Delhi. You will definitely have a good experience with Mr Viren Bakshi. They are well within your budget. Another one is Anode Acoustics. You can also connect with other forum members in and around Delhi. I myself have explored other's systems and ended up replicating one such system (including buying an amp and speaker from him later)

For a more broader answer, you need a better idea of why you prefer tube amplifiers and the types of tubes and their specific sound signature. And most importantly, what kind of musical preferences you have. Tube amplifiers are ideal if you prefer 50s-80s music. Anything like Jazz, Classical, Blues, Country, etc. They have been designed to voice these well. Of course, certain modern music might also work.

Also, since you have a speaker with around 91dB sensitivity, low-watt tube amps might struggle. Ideally, it should be above 20 Watt. GM70 tube amplifier might be compatible. There are others like KT88, 150, 845, etc with a wattage of anything from 30-150 watts.
 

grindstone

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GMT-6
Hello friends,

I am looking for adding a Tube Amplifier to my setup. My speakers are Focal Sopra 3. I am a novice in tubes and this will be my first tube setup. I have few questions for the knowledgeable audiophiles..

My budget is about 2 to 3 lakh



1. Will Tubes be an upgrade to the already existing digital setup of Parasound JC2bp and JC5 ?
2. Should I go for Tube Preamp or Tube Poweramp or integrated? Which will be better presentation of tube like quality sound?

For a taste, Manohar's suggestion is good (but remote controls are quite convenient).

3. Sopra 3 are power hungry. Though they are rated about 91.5 db they go down to 3 ohms. I am afraid that single or low double digit power might be anemic for them? I have heard somewhere that not all watts are same ... Tubes even giving out lower watts sounds more "meat on bones"..? Is it so...

Read this and then look at Fig 1 here.


4. What's the experience of others of tubes with demanding speakers
5. How reliable are the Chinese brands that Thomas and other YouTube reviewer raves about..?

Thanks
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
BOM
FACT :

You are going about it wrong, and I have both consideration - and the nerve - to inform you.

IMHO :

A proper speaker for a tube amp should be 99 to 101 dB sensitivity, minimum.

Then, you can use the best sounding tube amps on them.


The best-sounding tube amps are typically around 3 Watts RMS, have absolutely zero NFB, and use two stages.

The best speaker configuration is a good two way, with a 15 inch woofer and a horn compression driver above it.


Start off right, with the most appropriate speaker, to get the very best overall combined listening result.



I just-above gave you the recipe for the ideal tube-powered home hi fi system. Why waste your entire life in audio, doing it otherwise?

Jeff Medwin

Jeff,

You say "IMHO" and yet your post reads like a sermon at best - far from humble and nowhere near a mere opinion. This continues to be the general tune of your posts.

You may be knowledgeable re. valves and such, but I can't see how not following your recipe equates to an entire life wasted in audio.

The condescension of your tone is an impediment in benefiting from your experience.

Try not being holier-than-thou all the time - much more appreciation will flow to you that way.
 

kratu

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Messages
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Jeff,

You say "IMHO" and yet your post reads like a sermon at best - far from humble and nowhere near a mere opinion. This continues to be the general tune of your posts.

You may be knowledgeable re. valves and such, but I can't see how not following your recipe equates to an entire life wasted in audio.

The condescension of your tone is an impediment in benefiting from your experience.

Try not being holier-than-thou all the time - much more appreciation will flow to you that way.
Take it easy. I personally wouldn't read that as condescension or being superior. He has shared his views with added weight. What he believes to be a great sound system based on his experience. It is not a bad advice, I should say. Most of the tube amps are low-watt and pair well with higher sensitivity speakers, upwards of 94dB. It has been a choice for quite a few audiophiles who like specific types of music.

I would consider that as a suggestion to explore this with my own ears. Music is very personal and everyone has his or her own preferences. Nobody can emphatically say what is THE best sounding system. So, yes, I wouldn't say any other experiments or systems would amount to a life wasted.

I listen to mostly ambient/downtempo electronic music and this system wouldn't work for me. I have experienced that. I understand which types of music it shines through. The world has evolved and contemporary music needs new-age systems and approaches. This is about deeply understanding personal preferences and exploring systems that meet those preferences.

The OP has mentioned the speaker and wanted a tube amplifier for those. That is a constraint for him. So, I think it is more appropriate to share information that works for those speakers. And, also he has specific questions that needs some answers.
 
Last edited:

drlowmu

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Jeff,

You say "IMHO" and yet your post reads like a sermon at best - far from humble and nowhere near a mere opinion. This continues to be the general tune of your posts.

You may be knowledgeable re. valves and such, but I can't see how not following your recipe equates to an entire life wasted in audio.

The condescension of your tone is an impediment in benefiting from your experience.

Try not being holier-than-thou all the time - much more appreciation will flow to you that way.


[email protected] :


LOL. In am not trying to win friends and influence the masses.

I seek to offer priceless DIY amp-build information, NOT EVER found typically.

My information is for just for a select few - who seek the highest possible fidelity within the realm of tube amplifiers.

So far, after two plus years, in the entire well-populated country of India, we only have just one person, Hari Iyer who is listening to something like what I'd suggest !


Someone precisely like you, and 99.9% of the public who takes me " opposite ", has simply first-of-all-, not even HEARD what I am talking about......

The proof of the pudding ...................................

What audio people do not even realize is HOW important the tube amplifier is, to the resultant overall sound and to one's emotional responses to the music.

There are at least four different things inside my current tube amps that ( except for my mentor, and perhaps Hari ) exists exclusively in our power amps.

I " hear " their advantages continuously as I listen. I know what has been exclusively gained, and appreciate it.

This month I become 78 years old. (1) Before I pass, I would like others in this audio world to be able to replicate my newly-found audio performance.

Over 2020 and 2022, HFV has given me a LOVELY opportunity to share photos and schematics, which I appreciated.

I do not intend to dumb-down my amplifier discussions, or wire, or audio discussions. None of what I say needs independent scientific corroboration by an expert. Since I exclusively built it, listened to it, and no one else may have, I AM the expert.

How much better would people's home HI FI systems become, if they were to apply the techniques unique to my posting !!!!! WOW. But it certainly needs to be heard............first ............. to be appreciated ..... and understood.

Have a proper / open frame of mind. Do not miss the boat !!

Sincerely, Jeff Medwin


(1) I came home from the Hospital, early December, 1944, to ALTEC's first 15 inch "604" speaker . A field coil ( WW2 ) and my Dad was a music lover.
 
Last edited:

sachinchavan 15865

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[email protected] :


LOL. In am not trying to win friends and influence the masses.

I seek to offer priceless DIY amp-build information, NOT EVER found typically.

My information is for just for a select few - who seek the highest possible fidelity within the realm of tube amplifiers.

So far, after two plus years, in the entire well-populated country of India, we only have just one person, Hari Iyer who is listening to something like what I'd suggest !


Someone precisely like you, and 99.9% of the public who takes me " opposite ", has simply first-of-all-, not even HEARD what I am talking about......

The proof of the pudding ...................................

What audio people do not even realize is HOW important the tube amplifier is, to the resultant overall sound and to one's emotional responses to the music.

There are at least four different things inside my current tube amps that ( except for my mentor, and perhaps Hari ) exists exclusively in our power amps.

I " hear " their advantages continuously as I listen. I know what has been exclusively gained, and appreciate it.

This month I become 78 years old. (1) Before I pass, I would like others in this audio world to be able to replicate my newly-found audio performance.

Over 2020 and 2022, HFV has given me a LOVELY opportunity to share photos and schematics, which I appreciated.

I do not intend to dumb-down my amplifier discussions, or wire, or audio discussions. None of what I say needs independent scientific corroboration by an expert. Since I exclusively built it, listened to it, and no one else may have, I AM the expert.

How much better would people's home HI FI systems become, if they were to apply the techniques unique to my posting !!!!! WOW. But it certainly needs to be heard............first ............. to be appreciated ..... and understood.

Have a proper / open frame of mind. Do not miss the boat !!

Sincerely, Jeff Medwin


(1) I came home from the Hospital, early December, 1944, to ALTEC's first 15 inch "604" speaker . A field coil ( WW2 ) and my Dad was a music lover.
Even if all that you claim about your knowhow and product’s absolute superiority were true, the fact is this is a community. And ‘how’ you say something becomes as important as ‘what’ you say. What differentiates Hifivision from a lot of public platforms is the interpersonal sensitivity and fraternity among its members. While that doesn’t mean every member has to mould in, don’t be surprised to get called out if you chose not to.
 
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yogibear

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Hello friends,

I am looking for adding a Tube Amplifier to my setup. My speakers are Focal Sopra 3. I am a novice in tubes and this will be my first tube setup. I have few questions for the knowledgeable audiophiles..

My budget is about 2 to 3 lakh



1. Will Tubes be an upgrade to the already existing digital setup of Parasound JC2bp and JC5 ?
2. Should I go for Tube Preamp or Tube Poweramp or integrated? Which will be better presentation of tube like quality sound?
3. Sopra 3 are power hungry. Though they are rated about 91.5 db they go down to 3 ohms. I am afraid that single or low double digit power might be anemic for them? I have heard somewhere that not all watts are same ... Tubes even giving out lower watts sounds more "meat on bones"..? Is it so...
4. What's the experience of others of tubes with demanding speakers
5. How reliable are the Chinese brands that Thomas and other YouTube reviewer raves about..?

Thanks
I would suggest a Push Pull tube amp with your speakers connected to the 4 ohm tap of the OPT.

The popular choices for Push Pull are EL84 and EL34 in UL mode for 12-17 wpc and 25-35 wpc for the latter.

When you choose a tube amplifier do ask the builder to specify the actual frequency response of the amplifier. You would not want the amplifier to be of limited bandwidth driving your tower speakers. It should be commensurate with your speakers and don’t just get overly impressed by what you hear in the midrange alone.

And it’s not really true that Push Pull tube amps lack the flavor of the SE amps. Tube amps are a result of both “art and science” and there are some mind boggling tricks which instantly translate into sonics….
 

drlowmu

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Even if all that you claim about your knowhow and product’s absolute superiority were true, the fact is this is a community. And ‘how’ you say something becomes as important as ‘what’ you say. What differentiates Hifivision from a lot of public platforms is the interpersonal sensitivity and fraternity among its members. While that doesn’t mean every member has to mould in, don’t be surprised to get called out if you chose not to.

What you wrote / expressed is FINE with me !! From a humanistic point of view you made a very good point. Bravo. Interpersonal relationships, things like respect, even love of others, is what makes our lives fully worth while.

But in my opinion regarding audio - ( which I feel FREE to clearly express herein )

tube amplifiers in hi fi are a VERY weak-in-performance area.

So, it should be appropriate for someone to discuss freely / openly this amplifier subject........... here, in HFV.

I do openly SHOW solutions so that interested individuals may elect to benefit from the circuitry concepts, NOW and into future years. Hari Iyer asked me initially - and received full help, gratis !!

Have you heard my 6005 stereo amp from 2021? No. Its the culmination of decades of DIY audio work. If you heard it, VS comparing it to what you personally use now, you would understand what I am talking about. Instantly.

But you write to us without any such listening experience.

I see you live in Thane.
I am NOT SURE what Hari Iyer, who is your neighbor, has built - from my KT88 amp schematic. Let us ASSUME it is half way decent !!! Let us assume his continually experimented-upon speakers are half way stable. Let us ASSUME you and Hari are on friendly terms.

Why don't you two guys get together, bring your tube amp over, and do a full blown tube amp comparison, listening to music in THANE ????

Mind you, I am suggesting this, without even asking Hari first. He does have his family on the premises, and responsibilities. It may not be possible.

I would LOVE to read what BOTH you guys reported here on Hi Fi Vision of your joint comparison. What did you each hear and agree upon, music playback wise between the two amp circuits ?????? :)

We did such a comparison, under great listening conditions, in 2019. It added tremendous CLARITY to our thinking / understanding of the role of a good tube amp circuit - in audio. It was somewhat life-changing for me. Such a session may possibly do the same - for you two !!!

Its sometimes called progress.......... instead of maintaining a sleepy status quo. Often times one ends up " rocking the boat " to effect change.

Have fun,

Jeff Medwin
 

sachinchavan 15865

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So, it should be appropriate for someone to discuss freely / openly this amplifier subject........... here, in HFV.
Absolutely!
Why don't you two guys get together, bring your tube amp over, and do a full blown tube amp comparison, listening to music in THANE ????
Hari and I have visited each other quite often before the pandemic. I shall visit him again to listen to the latest developments he has done. However, in terms of knowledge, abilities and gear I am nowhere in his league. Hari is a highly passionate experimenter and hands on maker of audio equipment & speakers. I am merely a consumer whose primary interest is music and is satisfied with a half decent system to play the same.
What you wrote / expressed is FINE with me !! From a humanistic point of view you made a very good point. Bravo. Interpersonal relationships, things like respect, even love of others, is what makes our lives fully worth while.
Thanks for the understanding.
 

manek

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Hello friends,

I am looking for adding a Tube Amplifier to my setup. My speakers are Focal Sopra 3. I am a novice in tubes and this will be my first tube setup. I have few questions for the knowledgeable audiophiles..

My budget is about 2 to 3 lakh



1. Will Tubes be an upgrade to the already existing digital setup of Parasound JC2bp and JC5 ?
2. Should I go for Tube Preamp or Tube Poweramp or integrated? Which will be better presentation of tube like quality sound?
3. Sopra 3 are power hungry. Though they are rated about 91.5 db they go down to 3 ohms. I am afraid that single or low double digit power might be anemic for them? I have heard somewhere that not all watts are same ... Tubes even giving out lower watts sounds more "meat on bones"..? Is it so...
4. What's the experience of others of tubes with demanding speakers
5. How reliable are the Chinese brands that Thomas and other YouTube reviewer raves about..?

Thanks
Welcome to the world of tubes. Its a different world where musicality is key though you can rock it as well. Amps from Flea power to over 100 watts and more are for the take. Like all audio designs they range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Many a times tubes are an upgrade and other times no. Its all about what you want your amp to do. Then again tubes are not for everybody in our day and age.

Start with the music you listen to. Then go for what yo want your amp to do with that music. E.g. I am completely happy with a 36 watter Primaluna and my music is usually vintage pop, jazz, classical. For my listening space this amp is works. Does well with the likes of Dire Straights etc too. Hard rock, heavy metal, house, etc are not my thing so i don't even try.

Try and hear some tube amps. Weigh in the +ve with the -ve. See if its to your music tastes.

Normally With ~91 db sensitivity and a small to medium listening space, generally a 40-60 watter would work given the caveats on the music you want to play.

Many tube amps today have a 4 ohm tap to cater to 4ohm nominal impedance speakers so not too much of an issue there either. People use tubes with electrostats and the likes of Maggie's so anaemia is for the mismatched speaker and amp combo only. There are tubes like the KT90, KT120, KT150 that can really pack a punch.

If you like your power amp, try a tube preamp with it. Impedance matching would be one factor to consider.

What brands are you thinking of ? Whats available to you wherever you may be ? Brands like Cayin, Primaluna, etc, are pretty much no brainers. Then there are local manufacturers Lyrita, Anode Acoustics who can probably even customise ? I am not sure but they are both great educators for people who want to get into tubes.
 

Lifespill

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Messages
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Location
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Thanks a lot Friends and Fellow Audiophiles for your responses!..

As of now it's difficult for me to go ahead with another set of high efficiency speakers for tubes. I understand and agree to the response that Sopra may not be the best Setup for tubes. I will in future probably get another set of high efficiency speakers, but as of now I want to try tubes with existing Sopra 3s.

I listen to wide range of music
Rock/Metal
Jazz
Classical
Vocals
Club/Hip Hop/pop/EDM

I enjoy audiophile quality music, LP, and also YouTube and Tidal streams. I also host lots of friends who have varied interest in Music.

I am delving into Tubes because of my Love for music. I have read about SET, Push pull, various tubes and their characteristics. Is there anyone or anywhere in Delhi NCR where I can go and audition some Tubes.

I would like to try SET 300b , 2A3, EL 84, EL 34 mainly for their Mid range and voicing.. the Air and tubeness..

KT 88, or KT120/150 I have heard is for more power but they somewhat lack the tube quality.. I might be wrong in these assumptions as i have no frame of reference. I have never heard tubes in person..


I think getting an integrated Pre Pro Amp with tubes will give me most Tubes characteristic sound. I don't have any preference for any brand.

Primaluna I am not looking for as it's expensive and service is an issue.

Does anyone has any experience with China HiFi? The Line Magnetic, Cayin, Willsenton, Reisong ? I saw the Audio note UK India website. I would love to audition all different varieties available there. Does anyone have experience of AudioNote Tube Amplifier?

I liked and have enquired about Decware but the wait list is about 1.5 years! I would love to try 2 watts! Does anyone have any experience with Decware?

Does anyone know a place in Gurgaon to Audition?

Lots of questions I ask, but this information is soo not mainstream. I believe Music listening and Audiophilia is an Art and Science of music listening. There are experts and connoisseurs of this, and I am Humbled by some of the people here. I appreciate all the dedication and commitment that goes into accquiring such knowledge and thank you all for sharing with new enthusiasts like me. It's a great service you are doing to the Music lovers community.
 

Lifespill

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
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Points
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Location
Delhi
FACT :

You are going about it wrong, and I have both consideration - and the nerve - to inform you.

IMHO :

A proper speaker for a tube amp should be 99 to 101 dB sensitivity, minimum.

Then, you can use the best sounding tube amps on them.


The best-sounding tube amps are typically around 3 Watts RMS, have absolutely zero NFB, and use two stages.

The best speaker configuration is a good two way, with a 15 inch woofer and a horn compression driver above it.


Start off right, with the most appropriate speaker, to get the very best overall combined listening result.



I just-above gave you the recipe for the ideal tube-powered home hi fi system. Why waste your entire life in audio, doing it otherwise?

Jeff Medwin
Hi Jeff! Thanks for the response.

I get what you are saying. I have an upgrade path planned for A dedicated Tubes setup. As of now i can't invest in both Speakers and Amp. So I am starting with the Amps.

Correct me if I am wrong pls, What I hv understood is that SET vs Push pull is like Pure Class A vs A/B. I prefer class A sound. I would prefer SET, DHT, 300b tubes with no feedback. But they all go single digits. How about 845 tubes ? They can give about 40 watts in SET configuration. Is it something about the 300b tubes which is so euphonic that audiophiles rave about? or is it the topology or the SET, DHT, NFB, bias, plate voltage, etc in amp design that's responsible for that tuby sound? Does 300b, 2A3, happen to be perfect match for that minimalist pure class A circuit design philosophy? Can 845 or similar tubes sound similar in similar topology?

I hv read about the topic but I value your opinion, and openions from ppl who are actually into these amps and tube rolling, much more than what can be found by Google... Thanks for your time!
 

yogibear

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Messages
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Location
Jaipur
Thanks a lot Friends and Fellow Audiophiles for your responses!..

As of now it's difficult for me to go ahead with another set of high efficiency speakers for tubes. I understand and agree to the response that Sopra may not be the best Setup for tubes. I will in future probably get another set of high efficiency speakers, but as of now I want to try tubes with existing Sopra 3s.

I listen to wide range of music
Rock/Metal
Jazz
Classical
Vocals
Club/Hip Hop/pop/EDM

I enjoy audiophile quality music, LP, and also YouTube and Tidal streams. I also host lots of friends who have varied interest in Music.

I am delving into Tubes because of my Love for music. I have read about SET, Push pull, various tubes and their characteristics. Is there anyone or anywhere in Delhi NCR where I can go and audition some Tubes.

I would like to try SET 300b , 2A3, EL 84, EL 34 mainly for their Mid range and voicing.. the Air and tubeness..

KT 88, or KT120/150 I have heard is for more power but they somewhat lack the tube quality.. I might be wrong in these assumptions as i have no frame of reference. I have never heard tubes in person..


I think getting an integrated Pre Pro Amp with tubes will give me most Tubes characteristic sound. I don't have any preference for any brand.

Primaluna I am not looking for as it's expensive and service is an issue.

Does anyone has any experience with China HiFi? The Line Magnetic, Cayin, Willsenton, Reisong ? I saw the Audio note UK India website. I would love to audition all different varieties available there. Does anyone have experience of AudioNote Tube Amplifier?

I liked and have enquired about Decware but the wait list is about 1.5 years! I would love to try 2 watts! Does anyone have any experience with Decware?

Does anyone know a place in Gurgaon to Audition?

Lots of questions I ask, but this information is soo not mainstream. I believe Music listening and Audiophilia is an Art and Science of music listening. There are experts and connoisseurs of this, and I am Humbled by some of the people here. I appreciate all the dedication and commitment that goes into accquiring such knowledge and thank you all for sharing with new enthusiasts like me. It's a great service you are doing to the Music lovers community.
If you ever travel to Jaipur in near future, you may visit me. I can give you an idea of what 1.5 watts to 12-15 wpc of tube is like. And it’s everything other than KTs…
 

drlowmu

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Warrensburg, Missouri
Hi Jeff! Thanks for the response.

I get what you are saying. I have an upgrade path planned for A dedicated Tubes setup. As of now i can't invest in both Speakers and Amp. So I am starting with the Amps.

Correct me if I am wrong pls, What I hv understood is that SET vs Push pull is like Pure Class A vs A/B. I prefer class A sound. I would prefer SET, DHT, 300b tubes with no feedback. But they all go single digits. How about 845 tubes ? They can give about 40 watts in SET configuration. Is it something about the 300b tubes which is so euphonic that audiophiles rave about? or is it the topology or the SET, DHT, NFB, bias, plate voltage, etc in amp design that's responsible for that tuby sound? Does 300b, 2A3, happen to be perfect match for that minimalist pure class A circuit design philosophy? Can 845 or similar tubes sound similar in similar topology?

I hv read about the topic but I value your opinion, and openions from ppl who are actually into these amps and tube rolling, much more than what can be found by Google... Thanks for your time!

Lifespill,

You ask OPEN and GOOD questions. Me personally, being a private party and not in the business of selling audio to make a living, I have the freedom to discuss amplifier design, and call it exactly as I hear it.

I firmly believe tube amps , across the entire world today, exist in a vast sea, a morass of audio design mediocracy.

Furthermore, because of picayune financial consequences, there is a PATHETIC zero to low level of technical discussion, and circuit sharing among tube audio enthusiasts, world wide. WE tube design enthusiasts are not learning from each other !!!

The first big problem is that people do not even know what is MOST important, design-wise, to allow the tube amp to perform near the music reproduction and playback level that it is possible to obtain today.

In this thread, I have pointed out to you, for starters, that the very best sounding tubes will be smaller ones. Due to their size and physical construction, these low powered tubes have INHERENT advantages over the larger tubes. I suggest, mess with the best sounding tubes ....only.

Do it INTELLIGENTLY by choosing a about 100 dB or more efficient two way speaker !!!! THAT is how you intelligently start a " keeper for life " hi fi system. The efficient speaker choice allows you to use the world's most capable vacuum tube amps. Never any sort of 300B, or any 845 should be used !!! You use the wrong speaker dude !!.

What if I told you in 2019, myself and four other audiophiles heard a $41.00 / a tube E.H. KT-88 tetrode amp totally out-perform a ???? ( $500.00 a tube, guess N.L. A. ) Alexa VAIC AVVT 2A3 MESH PLATE pair of mono amps?????? ) Thats right, a commercial KT88......... in tetrode. Guess what......... amazingly, the music out-performance of the KT88 had ZERO virtually to do with the tube choice.....we were going against 2A3 VAIC DHT Meshies !!!!!!

I co designed and personally built that KT88 amp. I KNOW, from where the performance came from, to SMOKE that mesh plate VAIC 2A3 monoblock, with hand selected meshies !!!. Since then, a mentor friend and I APPLY said design twists, and it is a whole new game in audio. No one on HFV seems to ever ask about, or want to discuss HOW to build a State of the Art tube amp. There is only ONE best way, that I know of !!!


Tubes that people commonly think perform great, like a Type 45 over a 2A3, were only so concluded on MID-FI level half-baked audio systems. So a LOT of mis information gets passed around. You read it in a magazine, or on line, and follow it as gospel. Did you personally hear things on State-of-the-Art high efficiency systems ?? NO.

People criticize me when I correct the topic with the simple - to - hear audio TRUTH. A Type 45 tube amp can NEVER full range properly play the lower registers of a Steinway Concert Grand doing .....name it....Beethoven , etc. The next tube type I mention below can !!!!!

Audio and music enthusiasts in the USA and India need to take the EL84, convert the tube socket from 9 pin to 7 , and LISTEN to any $3.00 6AQ5 tube !!!! It will thoroughly outplay the EL84 tube, even on the mediocre amp being used to do the testing. More so, it plays great on an optimized amplifier design. The 6AQ5 has a first - cousin you can pop in, for better music.....the 6005. It is about as good sounding as anything I have ever heard !! What do you know about listening to a 6005 ?? Likely nothing.


There is an advantage to a well done SE amp over the best possible done P-P amp, if compared on the same 101> HIGH efficiency speaker system, well implemented. Don't try to kid yourself otherwise !!!

Like you, I listen to a wide range of music. I have personally collected since 1961 about 13,000 well chosen L.P.s. Am thinking - at my age, with no heirs, to sell them all off.

Jeff
 
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somdas823

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Welcome to the world of tubes. Its a different world where musicality is key though you can rock it as well. Amps from Flea power to over 100 watts and more are for the take. Like all audio designs they range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Many a times tubes are an upgrade and other times no. Its all about what you want your amp to do. Then again tubes are not for everybody in our day and age.

Start with the music you listen to. Then go for what yo want your amp to do with that music. E.g. I am completely happy with a 36 watter Primaluna and my music is usually vintage pop, jazz, classical. For my listening space this amp is works. Does well with the likes of Dire Straights etc too. Hard rock, heavy metal, house, etc are not my thing so i don't even try.

Try and hear some tube amps. Weigh in the +ve with the -ve. See if its to your music tastes.

Normally With ~91 db sensitivity and a small to medium listening space, generally a 40-60 watter would work given the caveats on the music you want to play.

Many tube amps today have a 4 ohm tap to cater to 4ohm nominal impedance speakers so not too much of an issue there either. People use tubes with electrostats and the likes of Maggie's so anaemia is for the mismatched speaker and amp combo only. There are tubes like the KT90, KT120, KT150 that can really pack a punch.

If you like your power amp, try a tube preamp with it. Impedance matching would be one factor to consider.

What brands are you thinking of ? Whats available to you wherever you may be ? Brands like Cayin, Primaluna, etc, are pretty much no brainers. Then there are local manufacturers Lyrita, Anode Acoustics who can probably even customise ? I am not sure but they are both great educators for people who want to get into tubes.
 

somdas823

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Thanks a lot Friends and Fellow Audiophiles for your responses!..

As of now it's difficult for me to go ahead with another set of high efficiency speakers for tubes. I understand and agree to the response that Sopra may not be the best Setup for tubes. I will in future probably get another set of high efficiency speakers, but as of now I want to try tubes with existing Sopra 3s.

I listen to wide range of music
Rock/Metal
Jazz
Classical
Vocals
Club/Hip Hop/pop/EDM

I enjoy audiophile quality music, LP, and also YouTube and Tidal streams. I also host lots of friends who have varied interest in Music.

I am delving into Tubes because of my Love for music. I have read about SET, Push pull, various tubes and their characteristics. Is there anyone or anywhere in Delhi NCR where I can go and audition some Tubes.

I would like to try SET 300b , 2A3, EL 84, EL 34 mainly for their Mid range and voicing.. the Air and tubeness..

KT 88, or KT120/150 I have heard is for more power but they somewhat lack the tube quality.. I might be wrong in these assumptions as i have no frame of reference. I have never heard tubes in person..


I think getting an integrated Pre Pro Amp with tubes will give me most Tubes characteristic sound. I don't have any preference for any brand.

Primaluna I am not looking for as it's expensive and service is an issue.

Does anyone has any experience with China HiFi? The Line Magnetic, Cayin, Willsenton, Reisong ? I saw the Audio note UK India website. I would love to audition all different varieties available there. Does anyone have experience of AudioNote Tube Amplifier?

I liked and have enquired about Decware but the wait list is about 1.5 years! I would love to try 2 watts! Does anyone have any experience with Decware?

Does anyone know a place in Gurgaon to Audition?

Lots of questions I ask, but this information is soo not mainstream. I believe Music listening and Audiophilia is an Art and Science of music listening. There are experts and connoisseurs of this, and I am Humbled by some of the people here. I appreciate all the dedication and commitment that goes into accquiring such knowledge and thank you all for sharing with new enthusiasts like me. It's a great service you are doing to the Music lovers community.
Try the Anode Acoustics EL34 mono blocks @40W per channel.
You can contact Nitin Kaushik and demo the same at his place in Delhi.
With speakers of 91.5db i do not think you will regret.
 
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