Whats your beef with the S7 and stratus?
maybe check out the Little Dot Mk VI+? its supposed to punch quite a bit above its weight, and its output impedance(since its OTL) wont affect the orthos at all, and it can still put out plenty of power.
Without going into too much detail...
S7... 6SN7 is an expensive tube and if you need 6 for power... use something else. That a 2A3 version is coming at some point makes the S7 a bad buy.
Stratus... unregulated power supply, I'm out.
BHA-1... where to start. inputs drop the negative tap on balanced connection, output is cap coupled, gain stage is inverting and single ended AND and this is the real rub... the balanced channel is created by running the inverted channel into the same stage set to unity gain to invert it and poof balanced drive /facepalm
lots of impressions for the Stratus are putting it on the same level as the ECBA...\
i hadnt heard of a newer S7 using the 2A3, whered you read that? cause Eddy Current already has a 2A3 amp? im interested though. Cuase my only problem with the S7 was also the 6 output tubes all not particularly cheap to get good ones, the amp is supposed to be an excellent value though.
i was also not particularly interested in the BHA-1, just seems like they made alot of weird choices regardless of what it sounds like, the Mjolnir just makes alot more sense and is cheaper
Lets not confuse liking the sound for same level ;) The EC BA is world class, the Stratus is a plain jane 2A3 amp. Nearly the same price as the EC 2A3, not as 'overbuilt' as it though. But yes I want a SS power supply fed 2A3 amp so the 2A3 S would be awesome. Especially if the speaker taps go away and pre-outs appear ;)
6SN7's are really not very expensive, unless you have to have the most uber variety. Sure, there are expensive variants, but by that token it could be insisted that you need Cunningham single plates for a 2A3 amp.
I've regularly seen badboys selling for $40 a pair and they are rock solid as 6SN7's go. Three pairs plus a single 6SN7 is still pretty cheap.
Also, don't assume that just because Craig is thinking of releasing a version with a different tube that it will happen. Even amps that have made it to the prototyping stage have been scrapped, heck they've even gone "into production" but lacked enough interest for a run. Even if all the stars align and it happens, it will be significantly more expensive with the differences being batted around. At Craig's $1500 special, there is no dynamic tube amp that competes with it - something possibly happening in the future at greater expenditure (and worse footprint for things like desk use) would not make the current iteration a "bad buy" - especially considering how often Craig does non-first run specials (never.)
I like Bad Boys, its what's in my Peak. But lets be fair here. NOS, tested, BadBoys are $110 a pair and up... when available. As for the might never happen 2A3... I'm ok either way.
As long as you don't mind bad boys that Sylvania OEM'd for other labels, (identical in build and quality), NOS tested are $39 each steady, and regularly cheap even properly branded on other sites' FS sections.
I'd like to know where. All the ones I've found that were cheaply priced failed on me or were defective from the get-go.