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Prettiest and great sounding old school valve amp?


eartoday
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28 minutes ago, eartoday said:

Thanks for all the replies chaps.

The PL5 looks interesting (have sent a PM re this)  so thanks v much for the heads up on that.

The Pye Mozart is a thing of real beauty, wow.

Would a Leak ST20 with a passive pre be a bad match  for the P3ESR's? I just love that bronzey gold finish (makes me a superficial tart I know)

I should have said that I want something with the valves on show and which is not too big. Are there any modern relatively inexpensive valve amps that people really rate (power or integrated). My max budget is £1000.

Thanks

I’ve never owned the Leak so difficult to comment but it’s not how much power the amps produce but it’s how it’s delivered and that very much depends on a number of things especially the transformers. I’m sure others will comment but I’ve seen some shocking amps that skimp on quality components and the sound says it all. 

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The other thing the Primaluna’s offer is the auto bias allowing you to play with various types of valves without the need to set the valves manually to optimise life and performance. 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, radiant red said:

The other thing the Primaluna’s offer is the auto bias allowing you to play with various types of valves without the need to set the valves manually to optimise life and performance. 

I hope you're not expecting a commission on this, Jon. ;-)

But yes, the PL is plug and play with a whole load of valves including EL34, KT66/77/88/120, 6L6, 5881, 6550.

Edited by JANDL100
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1 minute ago, JANDL100 said:

I hope you're not expecting a commission on this, John. ;-)

Lol Jerry, not at all. It makes sense to recommend your amp. Especially with the P3’s 

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OK - so your "revised" request is for a valve amp with valves on show that is above all PRETTY! So doesn't have to be "old school" or retro, in fact.

Budget is £1000. That's enough to buy a "pretty" valve amp with valves on show. This sounds like an amplifier and not an integrated, so yes, you'd need a passive pre or a DAC with a volume control, depending on your inputs. Or even use a laptop with your music on it into a DAC and use the volume in software on your laptop. How about that? 

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How about my very nice Icon Stereo 40i SE that is in the for sale section.....😉

IMG_20210516_115619.jpg

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I think the prettiest in recent decades were the Audio Innovations valve amps.

Purely for looks, I would go Leak ST60 which is far prettier than the ST20 though sonically, not as good. The Pye HF25 and the Radford STA25, particularly with the matching SC22 preamp which is beautiful. 

If it were me, I would probably go with the Prima Luna just because I have lost patience with vintage. 

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https://www.iwistao.com/collections/single-ended-tube-amp   Quite a few pretty Chinese amps here. Good value. 

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On 17/05/2021 at 10:08, eartoday said:

Would a Leak ST20 with a passive pre be a bad match  for the P3ESR's? I just love that bronzey gold finish (makes me a superficial tart I know)

I used a passive pre with my St-20, and Rothwell -15dB attenuators on the St-20 i/p as all the sources I connected to the passive pre were line level which is a bit hot for the leak.

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How about a lovely Leben CS-300XS Integrated Amplifier. Gold plated Knobs y'know!

1482512049_8235.jpg.153fae5d88da497c5af9491460b018ea.jpg

1482512240_7025.jpg.dd4ee32d0958269ea7451ff3d3bf68bc.jpg

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On 18/05/2021 at 15:21, Bourney said:

Tube technology unisus? 

I have a Tube technology Unisis integrated that is currently being professionally refurbished. That will be available within a couple of weeks.

Jack NSM

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On 19/05/2021 at 09:28, ozzric said:

How about a lovely Leben CS-300XS Integrated Amplifier. Gold plated Knobs y'know!

1482512049_8235.jpg.153fae5d88da497c5af9491460b018ea.jpg

1482512240_7025.jpg.dd4ee32d0958269ea7451ff3d3bf68bc.jpg

I owned one for a few years. Great little amp. 

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image.jpeg.a869b46d85929fa4302148a2ca93cc5f.jpeggo green.

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