tube amp for headphones and speakers for under 200$
Sep 16, 2014 at 5:45 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

guyskr

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Hey everybody,
Just a few days ago I ordered for myself the UE 6000 headphones and they are on there way to me.
Now I'm looking for a tube amp which will be connected to my headphones, and sometimes my speakers. Is there a beast like that?
I'll connect it to my computer and my record player, through another amp.
I searched a bit and found some amps that look nice, like the little dot i and mk ii, but I don't have my knowladge in this field, so I really need your help.
Thank you for you helping :)
 
Sep 16, 2014 at 7:41 AM Post #2 of 20

money4me247

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Hey everybody,
Just a few days ago I ordered for myself the UE 6000 headphones and they are on there way to me.
Now I'm looking for a tube amp which will be connected to my headphones, and sometimes my speakers. Is there a beast like that?
I'll connect it to my computer and my record player, through another amp.
I searched a bit and found some amps that look nice, like the little dot i and mk ii, but I don't have my knowladge in this field, so I really need your help.
Thank you for you helping
smily_headphones1.gif

 
I am not familiar with many tube options under $200. Tubes tend to be pricier than solid state amps and usually entry level is like $300+.
 
There is the Bravo line-up: V1, V2, V3, and Ocean that is $50-$120ish.
 
I have the Bravo V3 and it works well, but I am unsure if they would be able to power speakers. No preamp out on the V3 anyways.
 
Sep 16, 2014 at 4:00 PM Post #3 of 20

guyskr

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Thank you for your help.
There is nothing I like more then the vintage warm sound of tubes, so I think I'll stick to them.
They are three options I saw so far that look good, the HIFIMAN - EF-2A, Little Dot I+ with different tubes and the Little Dot MK2. 
Which do you think will suit my needs best?
 
Sep 16, 2014 at 4:45 PM Post #5 of 20

guyskr

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It's a really cool project, but there isn't an amp in there that I haven't already seen. I really want an opinion of someone who listened to amps in this price range and have some conclusions. 
 
Sep 16, 2014 at 6:07 PM Post #7 of 20

liamstrain

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None of the amps you have listed will work for speakers. At this price point, I can not think of any that will power speakers. 

The EF2A is a fine hybrid (tubes on the input stage, solid state output). It runs a little high gain, so may not be a good pairing for your UE's.  I have not listened to the Little Dot amplifiers, and cannot comment on them. The little Dot Mk II does, at least, act as a pre-amp - so you can throw RCA outs to your main amplifier. The Hifiman, and Little Dot I+ do not have this capabilility. 
 
Sep 16, 2014 at 10:06 PM Post #8 of 20

money4me247

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  None of the amps you have listed will work for speakers. At this price point, I can not think of any that will power speakers. 

The EF2A is a fine hybrid (tubes on the input stage, solid state output). It runs a little high gain, so may not be a good pairing for your UE's.  I have not listened to the Little Dot amplifiers, and cannot comment on them. The little Dot Mk II does, at least, act as a pre-amp - so you can throw RCA outs to your main amplifier. The Hifiman, and Little Dot I+ do not have this capabilility. 

 
I agree. At the sub-$200 price range, I cannot think of any tube amps that will power speakers. The cheapest hybrid tube amps that I know about that have preamp outputs are the garage1217 project ember and schitt lyr 2 which are both above the $300 price point.
 
Sep 17, 2014 at 1:03 AM Post #10 of 20

liamstrain

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Well, mostly it makes me wonder why you would bother. I don't think you'll be able to hear any of the "tube" sound via computer speakers. Maybe over some of the better powered monitors.
 
But yes, you just need a pre-amp or Line out then. The Little Dot MkII has that. The Hifiman does not. 
 
Sep 17, 2014 at 1:39 AM Post #12 of 20

liamstrain

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I honestly do not know. I have never listened to it - but they are well regarded in general, and at this price point it may be your only option if you want the pre-amp out with tubes. I expect you'll be able to resell it if you are unhappy. 
 

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