Two Channel Tube Amp for Music

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jim Noble, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. Jim Noble

    Jim Noble Extra

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    I am looking for a used two channel tube amp to drive Paradigm Studio 40s, but:

    a) I know nothing about tube amps, and

    b) I have almost no budget left after AVM-20 and Rotel RMB-1095.

    Any suggestions for ebay searches or used gear stores would be appreciated!
     
  2. Bruce Chang

    Bruce Chang Second Unit

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  3. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    as an intro you might wanna consider this monoblock tube amp. i have no idea what kinda power you're looking for but this amp is a 10 watter. i can't say anything about the sound / build quality since i have no experience with it but the price is nice at $119.00 each.
    antique sound lab wave dt
    kevin t
     
  4. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

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    I own the ASL Wave 8s. They are great (my first tubes). I highly recommend them. I use them with ACI Sapphire IIIs and couldn't be happier.
     
  5. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    What's the sensitivity and impedance of those speakers? As an interesting side note, the Studio series is no longer mentioned on the Paradigm website.

    I own the ASL Waves, and they work fine with my 88dB monitors, but you really should be looking for 90dB+ with those amps. And a very flat impedance curve, that's important. If you want to try out tubes, you might be better off trying a preamp, that gives you some of that sound without having to worry about amp/speaker matching and related issues. There are many ways to integrate a stereo preamp (tube or SS) into a multi-channel HT system, and they've been discussed several times on this board. If you're interested, search for "unity gain" and "home theater bypass".
     
  6. Earl J

    Earl J Stunt Coordinator

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    Also check out www.vtl.com I had a chance to listen to some of their mono blocks with some ML speakers the other day. Very nice! I see some of them being sold used on audiogon.com
     
  7. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    Saurev,

    On the main Paradigm page (after the intro), you have to click the picture on the top right, labelled "Reference Product" It's still there.

    Jim/all,

    The impedence is 8 Ohms, and the "Suitable Amplifier Power Range" is "15 - 180 watts" for the 40's.

    So I think a 10 watt amp may not be enough. Of course, it all depends on the volume you want to listen at.

    I have no direct experience, but a friend from the past loves Dynaco tube amps. He made a little business out of buying and refurbishing them, long ago. There always seems to be some listed on eBay.

    Regards,
    Martin.
     
  8. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    OK, I forgot that the Studios were part of the Reference series. Silly me.

    The website says they're 91/88dB sensitive (room/anechoic). The nominal impedance is 8 ohms, and it doesn't say what their minimum impedance is. If the minimum doesn't dip below 6 ohms and you have a small to medium room, the Waves should be able to drive them to adequate volumes. Otherwise, look for a more powerful amp - ASL and Jolida are good budget choices.
     
  9. Estevan

    Estevan Stunt Coordinator

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    while i can't say from direct experience, based on the research i've done (i'm planning on dipping my feet into the waters of tube amps) i'd have to agree that the either the ASL Wave AV-8s or practically any Jolida amp are great introductions to tube gear. in the case of the Jolidas, there are a number of places and individuals (including Dan Wright) who seem to have gotten tweaking and upgrading them to a high art... so for a modest outlay of money, you can end up with really great performance.
     
  10. mctague

    mctague Stunt Coordinator

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    Mr Barnes dropped the word on another board that next month Norh is announcing an EL34 based integrated, priced at $399....
     
  11. Robert Elliott

    Robert Elliott Stunt Coordinator

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    The EICO HF-81 is a very musical and stunningly powerful 14 watt integrated that can had for very little on E-bay. The Scott 299c is also a very good choice.

    Both are great vintage amps that have been touted by their owners to be noticable improvements over ASL and/or Jolida offerings.

    I haven't compared them myself so I can only attest the EICO is one great sounding amp that embarasses my $1K SS receiver. I haven't listened to music on my 'primary' system since I bought this little beast.
     
  12. Jim Noble

    Jim Noble Extra

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    Can the EICO HF-81 take a signal from a preamp, or do you need to hook up the signal source directly to it?
     
  13. James Bergeron

    James Bergeron Supporting Actor

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    I have the ASL Waves and have a pair of Studio 40's they easily drive them and can get rather loud! Go for it, you'll love them.
     
  14. Phil Rose

    Phil Rose Agent

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    Have you considered a tube pre-amp and SS power amp?

    You can get all the tube sound you want by rolling tubes.
    Also, you don't have to pay huge dollars to retube every year or so because pre-amps, there are some exceptions, are very easy on tubes and the tubes are much cheaper than those for power amps. In this configuration you won't have to worry about having enough affordable power to drive your mains.

    If you are intending to have an integrated HT/music system you can use a pre-amp with a HT bypass and keep all five channels using SS power amps. This will let you keep the front three speakers powered by SS which will give you smooth pans across the front. If you use a tube power amp the sound of the mains will be different from the center, which is what you are trying for anyway.

    Just a thought.
     
  15. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  16. Phil Rose

    Phil Rose Agent

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    Saurav:

    Your ASL Waves are probably an exception to the general statement that I was making because they are low-power to begin with. When you start getting into an amp with some guts the price of tubes goes up and the harder you drive an amp the faster the outputs wear out. That is why I made the comment about affordable power and why in the context of my original post I believe what I said was basically correct.

    By all means if Jim wants to plunk down a few hundred on Waves he has the option to do so however, they won't have the power that a similarly price SS will have. However, if he has a SS amp and wants tubes a great way to get there is with a tubed pre-amp. Generally, there is more than one way to get to the same place and he should be aware of what options are open to him. Ultimately, he will decide what is right for him.
     
  17. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Yup, agree with everything you said. The only comment I would add is that if he has speakers which can be driven by an 8W tube amp, the ASL Wave sounds way better than any $200 SS amp I've heard. IMO, of course, and a lot dependson hooking it up to appropriate speakers.

    But you're right, it's much easier to get into tubes with a preamp than with an amp. You get much more of the benefits too.
     
  18. Phil Rose

    Phil Rose Agent

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    Also, I forgot to add that tubes are wonderful so, Jim, do seriously consider adding them to your system. [​IMG]
     
  19. Robert Elliott

    Robert Elliott Stunt Coordinator

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    Jim,

    The Eico is an integrated amp which provide multiple inputs. You could use a preamp but it is unnecessary. Some, however, will remove all the extraneous circuits in the amp and use a preamp.

    Personally, you can find the EICO monoblocks which are the power section of this amp, use a preamp, and not have any redundancy. Unfortunately, the monoblocks generally go for substantial bucks.

    I have been tossing around the idea of a multichannel music system using a 5 channel preamp and feeding 3 EICO HF-81's. Bit of a whim. I did learn that connecting the tape-outputs to my subwoofer allowed me to get a little deeper sound and I am liking it.
     
  20. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Photo and details of the norh's tube integrated amp here.
     

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