£500 Valve amps

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jimbob
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£500 Valve amps

Unread post by jimbob »

Could anyone recommend any good, second hand valve amps at around £500??

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savvypaul
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Re: £500 Valve amps

Unread post by savvypaul »

What speakers to go with?
Amplification - NVA P90SA / A70s & A60
Analogue - BTE Designs Lenco L59 / Garrard 401 / Ortofon TA-210 / Jelco 750L / Audio Technica ATP 12T / Ortofon SPU / Denon 103 / NVA Phono 2
Digital - Sonore MicroRendu / RME DAC-2
Speakers - NVA Cube 1 / Klipsch Heresy 3

“The one who would whistle to, Throbbing Gristle through, harsh times in Umberstone Covert”

jimbob
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Re: £500 Valve amps

Unread post by jimbob »

Not set in stone but probably a pair of klipsch floorstanders.

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savvypaul
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Re: £500 Valve amps

Unread post by savvypaul »

The tube amps I've liked with my Klipsch Heresys have been a 300b SET and a little el84. I had an el34 amp for a while but found that a bit coarse and muddy. I doubt you'll find a 300b SET for under £1k or so but you should find a choice of good el84s. The one I heard (and would have bought if they were selling) was a Decware Zen. The Model Worker S80 is a great match with my Heresys, btw.
Amplification - NVA P90SA / A70s & A60
Analogue - BTE Designs Lenco L59 / Garrard 401 / Ortofon TA-210 / Jelco 750L / Audio Technica ATP 12T / Ortofon SPU / Denon 103 / NVA Phono 2
Digital - Sonore MicroRendu / RME DAC-2
Speakers - NVA Cube 1 / Klipsch Heresy 3

“The one who would whistle to, Throbbing Gristle through, harsh times in Umberstone Covert”

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Andy-831
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Re: £500 Valve amps

Unread post by Andy-831 »

Klipsch 's heritage range tend to be 100dB + so in your price range a WAD EL84 is probably the sweet spot and is probably in budget too. They come up periodically on the World Audio Forum or even Ebay.
Analogue
301 / 3012 / Shure M75 + Jico SAS
401 / PU7 / AT33ev
Longdog Audio Phono stage (MCj1)
Digital
Vortexbox, SBT / Caiman Seg and Dorado
Cambridge CXC
Amps
Tron Seven Linestage, Quad 44
Quad 303, or Bel Canto Set 40, or NG 300B Set Monoblocks
Speakers
Tannoy GRF Memory.
Tannoy ST100 Supertweeters

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Andy-831
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Re: £500 Valve amps

Unread post by Andy-831 »

The Decware Zen is also a good shout but remember they are 1.8 watts output so really do need a very sensitive speaker. I have had 3 at various times and they struggled on 95dB Tannoys even bridged into mono to give 6 watts. The mid and high frequencies were to die for though.
These users thanked the author Andy-831 for the post:
savvypaul (Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:29 pm)
Analogue
301 / 3012 / Shure M75 + Jico SAS
401 / PU7 / AT33ev
Longdog Audio Phono stage (MCj1)
Digital
Vortexbox, SBT / Caiman Seg and Dorado
Cambridge CXC
Amps
Tron Seven Linestage, Quad 44
Quad 303, or Bel Canto Set 40, or NG 300B Set Monoblocks
Speakers
Tannoy GRF Memory.
Tannoy ST100 Supertweeters

TroutFisher
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Re: £500 Valve amps

Unread post by TroutFisher »

Andy-831 wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:24 pm
Klipsch 's heritage range tend to be 100dB + so in your price range a WAD EL84 is probably the sweet spot and is probably in budget too. They come up periodically on the World Audio Forum or even Ebay.
Indeed, Andy is right. The cheapest way to a quality EL84 amp is a buy of a second hand WAD Or WD kit Amp. Don’t be put off by the kit aspect. They can be surprisingly well put together and even the bad builds are fixable. Also, with a bit of component tweaking, they can sound much better than they really should. Best way to go. iMHO.

Look here.......
http://www.world-designs.co.uk/forum/

........and maybe put in a request ad which could sort you out.

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Lindsayt
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Re: £500 Valve amps

Unread post by Lindsayt »

When I've used my 1.8 watt Korneff Clone SET amp with my 96 db efficient EV Sentries it's gone plenty loud enough for my ears in my large room.

I don't like playing music so loud that it leaves my ears ringing.
Other people might prefer their music at home to be louder than what I'd be happy with.

Would DIY be an option? That's the only way, apart from a flukey once in a lifetime purchase, that I know of for getting a good valve amp for £500.

I'd rather have a decent solid state, eg NVA A20 than a mediocre sounding valve amp.

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Re: £500 Valve amps

Unread post by jimbob »

Thanks for the responses. I'm not adverse to the idea of going DIY. What kits are the best for my budget??

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Lindsayt
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Re: £500 Valve amps

Unread post by Lindsayt »

Would you be up for point to point wiring and making your own amp with no kit?
Assuming you could get a circuit diagram plus a list of parts?

SET amplifiers are the simplest power amps you can get.

If you are up for this sort of DIY, you'll have a reasonable chance of making yourself a (near?) World Class (in the midrange) amplifier for that sort of money.

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