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Wanted - High(ish) End Valve Power Amp


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So my big Snell speakers are 86db sensitivity and with a 4ohm load, not the easiest but so far I do prefer them with valve amps.

Currently running them with a John Wood KT88 but potentially looking for a bit more finesse, particularly on mids/treble and bi-amping is a possibility with something else on the bass to share the burden a bit.

I would generally rule out SET, but a PP configuration with a bit of guts would fit the bill. 

I have an expressed interest in a Radford STA100 but would be interested in hearing if any other options out there ala Border Patrol, CJ, Viva etc.

Budget I guess is in the £3-5k range.

Thanks
 

Edited by lostwin
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Audio Research VS115 is an amazing amp if you like 6550 valves. It has 8 of them. Good value secondhand.

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As a PrimaLuna owner and fan I would suggest listening to an Evo 200 or Evo 400, both within budget and I love my amps (previous range).  HiFi Lounge are good to work with- maybe you could get a demo.

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PM sent, my Prima Luna Evo 400 is for sale and will fit the bill nicely

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I have a David Berning ZH-270

During a conversation with David we discussed upgrades for it, which would take it to another level, all the recommended mods were carried out and now is in another league to its original form, with:

Mundorf Ag outputs caps, Nichicon Fine Gold caps, silver wiring, WBT Signature Nextgen binding posts, WBT input RCA sockets, Goldpoint Stepped Attenuators, Stillpoint EMS transformer shields.

It also has the best valves you can get for it, including a couple sets of Sylvania Black Plate Piwer valves and a set of GEs. Along with a few sets of Siemens E81CCs, Telefunken ECC801S, Gold Stars and other Siemens, Mullards and plenty of top alternatives.

The mods cost £1500 and extra valves cost a ton more.

Being OTL it’s light, has an incredible baseline and the mids and treble are fantastic. Overall it’s incredibly musical. The amp is very light, you can pick it up with one hand, has 70w per channel and selectable negative feedback options.

All in it owes me close to £5k with all the extra valves, which were bought NOS and from reputable sources and as I said is a big upgrade on a stock version.

Id be looking for £3250 ideally…it’s original retail was £7k

Edited by loosend
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So my big Snell speakers are 86db sensitivity and with a 4ohm load, not the easiest but so far I do prefer them with valve amps.
Currently running them with a John Wood KT88 but potentially looking for a bit more finesse, particularly on mids/treble and bi-amping is a possibility with something else on the bass to share the burden a bit.
I would generally rule out SET, but a PP configuration with a bit of guts would fit the bill. 
I have an expressed interest in a Radford STA100 but would be interested in hearing if any other options out there ala Border Patrol, CJ, Viva etc.
Budget I guess is in the £3-5k range.
Thanks
 

You may want to put the Icon Audio MB845 monoblocks on your audition list also. They are fire breathers with a smooth presentation (or as the marketing spiel says, an iron fist in a velvet glove, which I agree with).

I use the mk1’s with my Harbeth 40.1’s with similar characteristics as your Snells to good effect. Others on here have also good experiences.

If you shop around you may find the mk2 (just) within your £5k budget 2nd hand.

There may be better options out there, but put these on your short list

C


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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1 hour ago, loosend said:

I have a David Berning ZH-270

During a conversation with David we discussed upgrades for it, which would take it to another level, all the recommended mods were carried out and now is in another league to its original form, with:

Mundorf Ag outputs caps, Nichicon Fine Gold caps, silver wiring, WBT Signature Nextgen binding posts, WBT input RCA sockets, Goldpoint Stepped Attenuators, Stillpoint EMS transformer shields.

It also has the best valves you can get for it, including a couple sets of Sylvania Black Plate Piwer valves and a set of GEs. Along with a few sets of Siemens E81CCs, Telefunken ECC801S, Gold Stars and other Siemens, Mullards and plenty of top alternatives.

The mods cost £1500 and extra valves cost a ton more.

Being OTL it’s light, has an incredible baseline and the mids and treble are fantastic. Overall it’s incredibly musical. The amp is very light, you can pick it up with one hand, has 70w per channel and selectable negative feedback options.

All in it owes me close to £5k with all the extra valves, which were bought NOS and from reputable sources and as I said is a big upgrade on a stock version.

Id be looking for £3250 ideally…it’s original retail was £7k

Thanks. These have always intrigued me due to their unusual design and users who seem to be very positive about the benefits of the approach.
Never heard one though, but on my short list radar. 

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I would highly recommend VTL S-200 Signature. I'm using one with KT88s and it is very fine sounding valve powerhouse. Refined with plenty of grunt.

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Mik at Unique Audio has a mono block set of Andy Grove 211's one off build amps

heard them many times and they are awesome. Beautiful looking to boot! 

Screen Shot 2021-06-13 at 11.10.46 copy.jpg

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@lostwin I could always pop over with my IA MB845SEs at some point, so you can hear them in your rig. 

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Also you are in the price range for AD Audio (Jancho here on Wam) Mono block amps based on the Radford STA100 using the same Trannies. That is an Awesome pair of amps. 

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1 hour ago, Radford Revival said:

We have a newly restored STA100 in stock if of interest. I'd actually forgotten I had it until I saw this :doh:

I also have new 100W monoblocks in development.

Yes, these potentially would be of real interest. I hope to hear a Radford in the system later today in a mini bake off so it should start to give me an idea if I like the character.

Would you send me a PM with further details or is it easier if I gave you a call in the week?

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FWIW - GET A RADFORD! STA-25 is excellent but I think your Snells might be a tad inefficient for it. If you don't intend to change the Snells, I think you should try the STA-100 or a pair of Will's new monoblocks. If you could live with Tannoys instead of the Snells, get the STA-25, you won't regret it. 

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2 hours ago, Radford Revival said:

We have a newly restored STA100 in stock if of interest. I'd actually forgotten I had it until I saw this :doh:

I also have new 100W monoblocks in development.

Just like this one (mine):

C9q8PeL.jpg

Should have no trouble with the Snells (A or C? but doesn't really matter). Easily the most refined KT88 amp I've heard - I use KT90s in mine, they sound like big EL34s which suits me perfectly.

Edited by montesquieu
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