Thinking of going back to valves (again)

horace

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Martin
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I've done this more times than I care to remember: bought a valve amp, am instantly smitten, can't imagine how I ever preferred solid state, waited for valve amp to blow up, sighed resignedly when it did, bought another transistor amp and swore I'd never touch valves again.....

....until the next time - and that time has arrived (once more, one last time....again).

So this time I want what I've only managed to achieve once (with the AI Second Audios I so foolishly sold to Brian): a valve amp that sounds sublime, will drive a variety of real world speakers and won't set my house on fire.

Budget will be around £1200 (perhaps a touch more). If I could get close to the performance of the 2nd Audios, I'd be more than pleased.

I'm looking at speakers at the moment - maybe some Audio Physics, we'll see.

TT Unisis is a possible - had one before, though mine was a dog and never really worked as it should. Also have some OTL monos, which nearly burned the house down. Did I mention that already...?

Suggestions welcome. Not bothered whether it's an integrated or power amp (could source a pre from somewhere).

Do they make valve amps with built in sprinkler systems?

Cheers

Martin

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HoopsOnToast

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Rob
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As you like Quad, what about some Quad IIs?

Audion do a wide range, there are some up in the classifieds although I have only had the lowly KT88 Sterling Plus rather than the Silver Night and 300B models.

AN Oto is worth a look and is on budget.

 

Valvebloke

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Graeme
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As you like Quad, what about some Quad IIs ...
And if you're worried about reliability look out for a second hand pair of Quad II Classics. IME these are a very good replica indeed of the 1950s/60s originals and won't have the health issues that can arise with anything which is 50-60 years old (me included).

Alternatively if you do want to go down the, ahem, 'very' used route you could set aside a bit of your budget and get the amp professionally checked out. Replacement of suspect capacitors and, perhaps, the odd valve should go a long way to reducing the likelihood of nasty surprises.

VB

 

meninblack

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The OTO is a nice amp, but only 10W so speaker choice a bit limited. What about a Pure Sound A30? Or a Prima Luna Prologue 1? Both available new at close to your budget.

If keeping the Fire Brigade away is a priority, I'd steer clear of Chinese eBay bargains.

 

take5

Wammer
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lancs
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Martin, Puresound also offer one called the " 2A3 " amp, which (surprise, surprise) uses 2A3 valves, the same as the AI 2nds.

I heard Russ Abbot/Stu's down at Scalford and it sounded great. I think Tom/Montesque also uses this.

I think they are around your budget. Integrated too, which saves on more boxes.

Good luck

 

take5

Wammer
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Vinnie, those were Martins old ones. Possibly not what he needs to hear right now !! :)

 

horace

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Vinnie, those were Martins old ones. Possibly not what he needs to hear right now !! :)
Grrr, mutter, grumble.....

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horace

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Choose your speakers - then choose your valve amp accordingly! ;-)
Aww, that's no fun. I much prefer my usual approach: buy an amp because I like it, then pair it with totally unsuitable speakers, wonder why I've been so daft (again), sell the lot and start over.

Oh go on then - maybe just this once...

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JANDL100

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If you go the Audio Physics speaker route, my experience with Virgo 2 is that valves can sound good (although some valve amps simply cannot do them any sort of justice) but what really gets their peckers up is a good dose of BIG solid state up the jacksie. :^

 

horace

Not allowed near the classifieds while drunk
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Martin
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If you go the Audio Physics speaker route, my experience with Virgo 2 is that valves can sound good (although some valve amps simply cannot do them any sort of justice) but what really gets their peckers up is a good dose of BIG solid state up the jacksie. :^
Hmmm...maybe I need some nice solid state Quads - like the ones I already have...

Alternatively, I could learn some basic electronics and do what proper amateurs do - nail some vintage lightbulbs and bits of old spitfire to a lump of wood and bask in the glory of 0.2 watts of sweet valviness.

I really would like to be able to do that.

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hearingisbelieving

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If you go the Audio Physics speaker route, my experience with Virgo 2 is that valves can sound good (although some valve amps simply cannot do them any sort of justice) but what really gets their peckers up is a good dose of BIG solid state up the jacksie. :^
At Sams bakeoff last year we paired my Oto with her Audio Physics and got some very nice results. Don't let the 10 watts fool you.

However as said before best to buy your speakers first then your amp.

 

horace

Not allowed near the classifieds while drunk
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Martin
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Thanks everyone.

I don't think I could live with Quad IIs - a little too much sugar for my taste.

Audion, Pure Sound and Primaluna I will look into.

I'd probably buy secondhand.

Seriously, I'd be tempted to look for another pair of 2nd Audios, though they don't come up that often.

What do you think I would need to look at if I want an amp in the same league as the 2nd Audios?

Cheers

Martin

 

take5

Wammer
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What do you think I would need to look at if I want an amp in the same league as the 2nd Audios?
Probably a minimum of a kidney. Possibly a lung. :)

Check with Paul, who will know the current going rate.

 

take5

Wammer
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Sorry Martin. That is a failed attempt by me at trying to be funny.

Paul used to be Earl of Sodbury, and is now Purite North. He has a reputation for dabbling in organ removal, and selling on to the rich and famous. I think he is joking, but not certain.

 

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