I'm interested in getting a tube amp and was hoping someone here may have listened to a couple of the amps I'm considering. I basically got interested when I read some rave reviews about the great value of the Miniwatt S1, which has since been superseded by the N3.
As 2 of these amps are shipped directly from manufacturers I haven't been able to audition them myself. I have gone to a local stereo store and compared a Prima Luna Prologue One and the Cayin A-55TP and to my ears the Prima Luna sounded amazingly rich and superior to the Cayin.
I'd like to set up one of these amps to listen to music on my front speakers (Orpheus Aurora 2.3 - Impedance: 4 ohms (benign load); Sensitivity: 90.5dB 2.83V) over an Airport Express streaming lossless music files. And for convenience possibly have the tube amp connected to the front pre-outs on my surround amp and have the tubes drive the fronts for all sources.
So my current list is out of three amps which span the entry level price point and all use different tube types. They are:
1. MiniWatt N3 ($480 AUD delivered) 2x3.5W 1x12AX7 2x EL84 Pros- Cheapest Cons- Perhaps underpowered although a couple of positive reviews say it's enough
2. Neuhaus Labs T-2 ($934 AUD delivered) 2x20W Tubes 4-6N7 2-6N1 2-6N3. Pros- Includes Optical and USB in and has remote control and headphone out Cons- Is the digital input just a gimmick and is the DAC in the Airport Express or Onkyo 705 sufficient?
3. Prima Luna Prologue One ($1500 AUD demo stock with scratch RRP $2500 AUD) 2x35W Tubes 4 x EL-34, 2 x 12AX7, 2 x 12AU7. Pros- I've listened to it. Saving $1000 for a scratch. Cons- Minimal features for price. Is this overkill for entry level?
So if anyone has any opinions I'd really appreciate your advice. Reviews on all of these has been positive, as are most reviews I've looked at on entry level tube amps. It's hard to find a good comparison guide. Look forward to your thoughts.