I have been asked repeatedly to do this, and I have resisted so far, but I have decided to go ahead and rank all of the tube amps that I have either formally reviewed, or that I have owned for a long time but not formally reviewed.
Note that this is a HUGE range in prices, from $6,000 to $120!!!! And note also that I ACTUALLY RECOMMEND and like EVERY ONE of these amps – understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each. So in some ways this should be looked at more just as a list than a ranking, although I did put them in order of my preference. I should also point out that, IMO, the amps ranked from #5 on down are all VERY close in terms of sound quality. From 6 up, some significant jumps begin to occur.
By request, I have included the price to the best of my ability. Prices are all in USD, and do not include shipping unless indicated.
Note also that I have not included on this list amps that I heard only at a "meet". This is not a long enough exposure for a proper evaluation. So in spite of my having been very impressed with amps such as the RSA Raptor and B-52, and the Eddie Current Zana Deux, since I have only heard these at meets, I cannot include them on a list like this. All of the amps on this list I had on loan for a full review, or I actually bought and owned for some period of time.
I have posted a link to all of my reviews. I hope this is helpful in some way.
1. Leben CS300X (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/products/leben-cs-300x) - $3,500
2. RedWineAudio Isabella (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f113/r...ne-amp-368375/ ) - $4,500 without DAC
3. RedWineAudio "Audeze Edition" $3950 [NOTE: ranking is essentially derived only from use with LCD-2 headphones, and the RWA AE isn't really even a "tube hybrid" in some senses, although there is a tube directly in the signal path, so I included it here] (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/t/572939/review-red-wine-audio-audeze-edition-balanced-headphone-amplifier-dac-combo)
3. Apex Peak/Volcano (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/498865/apex-peak-and-volcano-loaner-program/15#post_7035840) $2,495
4. Decware Mini-Torii (no formal review - really only for low impedance/low sensitivity headphones like Planar/orthos) $1,495
4. WooAudio WA-22 (no formal review) $1,900
4. Trafomatic Experience Head One (no formal review) $1,500
5. Ray Samuels Audio Stealth (Short Review: http://www.head-fi.org/products/ray-samuels-audio-the-stealth/reviews#4252) - $2,495
5. WooAudio WA2 (Short review: http://www.head-fi.org/products/woo-audio-2/reviews#4253) - $1,050
5. Decware Zen Select CSP-2 (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...ne-amp-338147/ ) $795 - better for high impedance headphones that WA6
6. WooAudio WA6 (no formal review) - $620 - better for low impedance headphones than CSP-2
6. Schiit Lyr $449 (no formal review) 6. Darkvoice 337 (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...mpared-324469/ ) $750 including shipping from China
7. Bijou (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...ne-amp-286709/ ) - DIY, price varies
8. Bottlehead "Crack w/Speedball" (No formal review) - note that the Elekit will be better for low impedance headphones
8. Elekit TU882 $425 (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...embled-434829/ )
9. Ming-Da MC-84C -07 (no formal review) - $415
10.AudioTailor Jade (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...lifier-389381/ ) - $345
11. Schiit Valhalla (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/products/schiit-valhalla/reviews#4251) $349
12. Transcendere Sweet-5 (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...2/#post5358135) - $597
13. Yarland P100 (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...p-pics-237394/ ) $495 - new 2009 model
14. J Sound Lab "Headphone" (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/products/j-sound-lab-headphone)- $399
15. SpaceTechLabs 6AS7G (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...mpared-324469/ ) - $790
16. Antique Sound Labs MG Head DT - $395
17.WooAudio 3+ (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...mpared-324469/ ) $495
17.Darkvoice 336SE - $299 shipped from China
18. Musical Paradise MP301 Mk 2 (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/553325/review-musical-paradise-mp-301-mk2-vacuum-tube-integrated-amp#post_7460704) - currently $269
19.Head-Direct EF1 (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...ne-amp-361841/ ) - currently $299
20. Musical Paradise MP301 - (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...er-amp-421314/ ) - $199
21.Eddie Current LunchBox II - $225
22.Qinpu A-3 (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...eakers-401697/ ) - $240
23. HifiMan EF2 - $189 (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/6179650-post590.html)
24. TNS Sweet-2 - $220
25.Qinpu Q-2 (Review: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...eakers-401697/ ) - $110
Edited by Skylab - 10/5/11 at 10:02am