Originally Posted by uncola
I dunno about you guys, but if I ever upgrade from the t1, I'd want a desktop amp in a big sturdy form factor, something stackable almost like a receiver that has a built in power supply. Something that looks like the tubemagic d1 plus, but maybe has higher performance http://www.mav-audio.com/base/product/d1p
Originally Posted by zerogun
hey guys, I know there's a lot of 'play' room with swapping out tubes and such, but what's the next step beyond or in addition to the Aune T1 in your opinion? I would love to hear your views on what your plans are, since the bug to go the next step is starting to kick in for me, I'd like to hear some chatter on this step forward :)
I went from the T1 to the Schiit Lyr and from the Schiit Lyr to the Cary SLI-80 Sig. They all use 6dj8/6922 tubes in some fashion so I did not lose my tube investment. A lot of the other desktop amps use the 12AX7/12AU7 or super exotic tubes, like the Woo WA7 that uses a 6C45 which has about three reasonably priced current options and two NOS options that are $500/pair and $2,000 - $3,000/pair. Woo Audio stuff is awesome though, and I mean no disrespect at all to them, but if you are a tube roller, this amp probably is not for you.
I like the Lyr as a midrange option because it's powerful enough to drive any headphone, can act as a preamp, retains your tube investment -and- you can sell it when you upgrade for not too bad a loss. Their somewhat lower priced Valhalla model is also an option that uses 6922/6dj8 tubes ([B]ONLY[/B]if you buy a current one, the first gen did not allow tube rolling) but it cannot be used as a preamp, so caveat emptor.
Another one to look at is the Decware CSP2+ if you can swing it (they sometimes come up on Audiogon, not too often though). It also uses the 6dj8/6922 tubes. Decware's stuff is a cut above, and Steve allows you to configure the case you like it. This amp is great for everything, true OTL and an amazing sound.
There is also a whole series of stuff from Little Dot that you guys might want to look into as well. I do not know a lot about their products, but they are well respected in the Head-Fi community.
This is aside from many many other options, I am just thinking off the top of my head of amps where you can use all the tubes you've collected so far.
Edited by toschek - 4/1/13 at 10:19am