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vacuum tube amp recommendation ≤ $600

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  • guitar maestro
    replied
    Re-visiting this. Haven't gotten the VTA's from Bob; I might give away the cheapie tube amp as a gift, so I might replace it with another similar one, solely for garage use while I'm on vacation. Going back to the rectification using tube OR S.S. rectifier, which one does this tube amp have? I see it has the power and pre-amp tubes, and the open underside of the board doesn't seem to have a rectifier. Or is just hidden from view? Integrated into the pre-amp tubes somehow? Just guessing here.

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  • guitar maestro
    replied
    Originally posted by Kornbread View Post
    The 'cheapie' tube amp is sweet looking. How does is sound and what did it set you back?
    I have not done an A-B comparisonvs the Peavey CS800X that it replaced (which is a very low distortion class A/B amp), but so far it sounds good. $350 + $100 shipping. It is linked/boldfaced/underlined in my previous post.

    I do have to say, the harmonics that are added when pushed into overdrive coincide very nicely with grindcore/black metal! It kinda gives the music an extra little something since there are lots of harmonics in guitars [sounds] that are already severely overdriven. Listening to Abigail Williams "Walk beyond the dark" and it gives it a nice character with a little bit of "overdrive".
    Last edited by guitar maestro; 07-10-2020, 01:01 PM.

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  • guitar maestro
    replied
    No they are not. The M-125 monoblock Kits are about $2500/pr. I ended up getting side-tracked with those. This amp will eventually go to my office at work in a few weeks. At that point I'll just get another two tube amps if I feel like it; one for the garage to replace the one going to my office, an another for the outdoor system under the small patio roof for when I barbecue/grill/cookout. And then will come the monoblocks for my main 2.1 system.

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  • Kornbread
    replied
    VTA is a well respected name but I cannot imagine they were anywhere near $600.

    The 'cheapie' tube amp is sweet looking. How does is sound and what did it set you back?

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  • guitar maestro
    replied
    I decided to [eventually] order a pair of VTA M-125 monoblocks from Bob @ Vacuum Tube Audio. Those will be for my main 2.1 system.

    In the meantime, just to wet my beak a little bit, I ordered a cheapie for the sound system in my garage. It's an Oldchen K1 KT88 from HiFi Exquis. Got here in 1 week. Powering a pair of Legacy Audio Studio HD's.
























    The Studio HD's are HPF'd at 90Hz, and the 10" sub covers the rest. Listening to Napalm Death on it right now. Sounds magnificent!
    Last edited by guitar maestro; 07-10-2020, 10:36 AM.

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  • djg
    replied
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    My VTA SP8 has a rectifier tube, my ST-35 does not.

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  • fpitas
    replied
    Originally posted by guitar maestro View Post

    Therefore that implies that tube amps that do not have tube rectifiers ultimately must have solid-state rectifiers? Do I have that right?
    Yes, that's the alternative.

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  • guitar maestro
    replied
    Originally posted by fpitas View Post

    You need a rectifier to change the AC line voltage to the DC B+ for the tube anodes. So yes, some form of rectifier is a necessity.
    Therefore that implies that tube amps that do not have tube rectifiers ultimately must have solid-state rectifiers? Do I have that right?

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  • fpitas
    replied
    Originally posted by guitar maestro View Post
    Thank you but perhaps I'm not wording my question correctly or perhaps even asking the correct question. In some tube amps I see they have rectifier tubes. In others, I see that they don't have them. Is a tube rectifier a necessary component in a true full tube amp? Or is it something that the amp manufacturer can choose not to implement in their design?
    You need a rectifier to change the AC line voltage to the DC B+ for the tube anodes. So yes, some form of rectifier is a necessity.

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  • guitar maestro
    replied
    Thank you but perhaps I'm not wording my question correctly or perhaps even asking the correct question. In some tube amps I see they have rectifier tubes. In others, I see that they don't have them. Is a tube rectifier a necessary component in a true full tube amp? Or is it something that the amp manufacturer can choose not to implement in their design?

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  • fpitas
    replied
    Originally posted by guitar maestro View Post
    Why do some tube amps have tube rectifiers and others don't?
    There's a fierce running argument about tube rectifiers sounding better. Unfortunately, tube rectifiers are really inefficient compared to solid state.

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  • guitar maestro
    replied
    Why do some tube amps have tube rectifiers and others don't?

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  • Kornbread
    replied
    Originally posted by PWR RYD View Post

    Vacuum tubes are just plain fun. Designing and building tube amp circuits that actually work is fun. Fabricating the cases and doing the point-to-point is fun. Having a "I did that" show piece is really cool.

    All that said, there are so many reasons why transistors and now chips have replaced tubes.
    Craig and TomS held my hands while I built a simple tube preamp. As he said, it is fun, educational, and you can say, I did that.

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  • djg
    commented on 's reply
    There's about 8 amps under there. All good. More in the basement. I can't use them all. I got rid of the big Singularity full range high sensitivity speakers I made to use with that amp. I had a veritable wall of speakers in my living room. I downsized. Looks better to me. It's a hobby, I'll pursue it as I see fit.

  • PWR RYD
    replied
    Originally posted by guitar maestro View Post

    Why does it sit under your bed if it's that good? 17W seems ....low....lol.
    Vacuum tubes are just plain fun. Designing and building tube amp circuits that actually work is fun. Fabricating the cases and doing the point-to-point is fun. Having a "I did that" show piece is really cool.

    All that said, there are so many reasons why transistors and now chips have replaced tubes.

    Leave a comment:

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