Want to try a valve amp

It’s been a very long time since I last owned a valve amp, so I quite fancy the idea of re-visiting them.

As always, a couple of issues - ideally it would need to be relatively high powered (88dB speakers that like a bit of power up 'em) and I would really like it to have a half decent phono stage, ideally MC.

I guess an offboard phono is an option, though I don’t want to spend much more than about £1K or so total.

Anybody have anything surplus to requirements or have any suggestions that might work ?

Thanks in advance.

Borderline if it is even worth it with those speakers.
I would have thought the minimum might be something like an Puresound A30 at about 30wpc.
Once you get above that the benefits of a valve amp are outweighed by the negatives imo and you would be better off with a decent SS amp

You won’t find a decent MC stage on a valve amp.
There is a very good reason why valve phono stages are MM and they get used with SUTs

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Yep, I sort of assumed that, hence the external phono caveat. Maybe an SUT into an early phono equipped AI500 type arrangement could work.

My old Shindo Giscours preamp had a great mc stage.

In principle it could be done. But it wouldn’t be cheap. Or as quiet as a FET.


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This review https://www.dagogo.com/shindo-giscours-preamplifier-review/ says

The Giscours also incorporates custom moving coil amorphous core step-up transformers that work with a wide range of cartridges.

But I’ve never seen a Giscours so I can’t confirm that.


I’d put money on that being implemented with step ups into the MM stage.

Edit: @Valvebloke beat me to it.

Never heard of them but EL34 is the way ahead for 88dB speakers

Or spend a bit more and get this:

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You’ll be sorry…


Isn’t rabski building one? Shouldn’t be long now

Yea, but then I’m into pre’s and phono’s and shit, too.

Meh !

Mike @Jac-Hawk uses a big primaluna integrated with his kralk 12s. They are a bit more sensitive but might be worth a look. Not sure if you could get one in budget though.

What are people’s thoughts on the Croft or Hybrid Amps ?

Ta. 'll have a look at Primaluna.


The Radford STA25 is a mighty fine valve amplifier were you to re think your plan…I would replace the Wima 0.47 polys in the output stage with something a little more capable IMHO.

What about this

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Would need an offboard phono stage and the power rating might be a bit low for the requirements, but otherwise good.