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Valve power amps

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by avanzato, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. avanzato

    avanzato
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    I've decided I'm bored with my hifi and I need some excitement.

    So what I want are some valve poweramps. I will start with the main stereo pair and probably move on to doing the whole 5-6 channels of the HT system.

    My question is does anyone know where I can get reasonably price amps (£150 - £300) per channel. The amps I can find are all expensive, designer and have wood bits on them.. not what I'm after at all.

    It's a bit of a long shot but anyone any ideas?
     
  2. sounddog

    sounddog
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    If you have some DIY Skills ... HiFi World (think thats the right mag) do some kits for valve power amps ... no idea of cost, quality, etc ... just know they do them.

    Vikki
     
  3. buns

    buns
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    i think the budget is very optimistic even for a diy job...... perhaps you could manage it with a very low powered arrangement, but i have the strangest feeling that thats not what you are after!

    ad
     
  4. alexs2

    alexs2
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    You may be lucky enough to find some of the old Audio Illusions valve amps for sale on ebay,but even these I doubt you'd find at the price you want.
    Old Quads/Radfords/Leaks all attract premium prices,and the kit market,such as World Audio Design(Hi Fi World) and AudioNote Uk are considerably more expensive.

    Being honest,most decent quality valve amps are expensive,one of the major costs being incurred by good output transformers,and ancillary components....I used to have a pair of Tube Technology Genesis monoblocs,and can say that most valve amps are reasonably reliable,and re-valving costs are quite reasonable.
     
  5. mjn

    mjn
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    anyway, if you want excitement, then valve amps aren't really for you. I've found them to be very smooth and warm......but i wouldn't call them "exciting"
     
  6. alexs2

    alexs2
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    You should try a really good set of amps,mjn...something like the Tube Techs,or some of the Manley amps.....ok bass can be a bit soft,but for mid/treble detail and attack,on a par with any solid state gear.
    Also,some of the 845/211 based SET amps are amazing....however,the valves alone would exceed £300!
     
  7. nathan_silly

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    You could always use valve amps for treble/midrange, and a high powered SS for the woofers.
     
  8. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Been there and done that,nathan...its a nice solution,but very expensive,and difficult to match valve amps and solid state for level and overall tonal balance....can be done with active crossovers,but this is seriously out of the price range here.

    I also think it very unlikely that avanzato will find suitable good valve amps at this price level.
     
  9. avanzato

    avanzato
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    Well I looked up the HIFi world kits (even bought the mag) and they look good. Apart from the three little words "Contains Lethal Voltages" which was a bit scarey.

    The mag also contained an ad for The Affordable valve company It gets an OK review so if nothing else appears I might try the 1 month trial.

    Of more interest I found The antique sound laboratory who have a couple of amps within the right price. So I email the UK disti, who gets back very quickly to say he can't sell me any as they haven't got a CE mark yet. Not that it seems to have stopped the German and French importers. He'll get back to me when they are certified so I hope that means it's no to long away.

    I've kept a eye on eBay and they're mostly very old or have stupid reserve prices, as usual with eBay.

    Seems like I'm destined at the moment not to be able to spend my money. So in a desperate bid to get something valve I bought a Nixie valve clock, which looks very nice but doesn't make much sound.

    Cheers all
     
  10. alexs2

    alexs2
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    avanzato....the World Audio design and Audionote kits are generally well regarded and both have upgrades in the form of higher spec components if desired.

    The Antique Sound Lab amps are not exactly low priced unless you go for their really low powered amps,and it may also be worth remembering that if you go for a single ended triode(SET) amp,then speaker matching is very important,as the output characteristics of most SET's are very dependent on a reasonably easy load,without a large reactive element.
    Also,unless you have an 845 or 211 based amp,bass power will be limited.
    This doesn't generally apply to push-pull Class A/B amps using multiple valves.
    BTW....have a look at www.cathodecorner.com for some unusual clocks if you like nixies etc.
     
  11. avanzato

    avanzato
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    I've just rediscovered my Klipsch KG4.5's in the garage (95dbw) and got the book 'Horn speaker design' by Audion.

    As it really only a bit of fun maybe a cheapish low power stereo system is good place to start and then see where that leads me.

    The Norh SE9 is top of the list so far unless Absolute Analogue get back to me about the ASL prices.
     
  12. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Sounds good....horn loaded speakers are ideal partners to low powered valve amps,and especially to SET's....should be good fun.
     

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