Valve Amplifier Buying Guide

Valve Amplifier Buyers Guide

Buying a valve amplifier can sometimes be a tricky road to navigate. Some of the common problems customers face we are looking at this here.

Why Buy A Valve Amp?

I think it is important to firstly understand if a valve amplifier is really what you are after. For many, valve amplifiers are a no brainer, you get a rich, warm, natural sound. They are very musical and dynamic, 3 dimensional, and offer an authentic sense of realism to the music.    

So what is the problem?

Probably the biggest drawback with any valve amplifier is its power output. Unlike the majority of solid state amplifiers, valve amplifiers don't have a particularly high power output, which therefore means you have to be selective about what speakers you use with them. Using speakers which are low impedance & sensitivity means you get lower gain, a lack of dynamics, minimal punch on the lower frequencies, among a range of other drawbacks. This is simply because the amplifier doesn't have a sufficient power output in order to fully drive the speakers, hence the speakers are not really working to their full capacity.  

Some examples of speakers that work well with valves...

          Entry Level           Klipsch R-41M Loudspeaker

       You don't have to spend big      to get speakers that work with valve amplifier, such as these Klipsch R-41M at £219.00 

Price: £219.00

             Mid Level                Heco Einklang Loudspeaker

        One of the best and most       efficient speakers we have           seen at this price range are        these fantastic Heco Einklangs.

Price: £1,849.00

      High End       Audiovector SR3 Arrete Loudspeaker

Without going into the true "High End" range, the Audiovector SR3 Arette are a sensational speaker. 

Price: £7,760.00

So what price are Valve Amplifiers?

Valve amplifiers are available at a vast range of prices, starting form anything like the Blue Aura V32 at £369.00 to the Pathos Inpol Heritage at £11,995.00 there is an option available at every price point...

Is there any cross over? 

One option that is popular is a Hybrid Valve amplifier. This is essentially a mix between a valve amplifier and a solid state, so you get a valve sound, with much more power delivery. For this reason, it can be a very popular choice, as it offers a greater choice of speakers, without a huge compromise to that valve sound. With a hybrid amplifier, you won't get the same richness or natural sound as you get from a pure valve amplifier, but as a compromise, it is defiantly a perfect solution if you want to use a valve amplifier with a wider range of speakers.    

View all Valve Amplifiers 

We are always on hand to offer any advice, to to help make sure that any amplifier will work with your current system, or we are always happy to help by suggesting speakers etc... that will work with your chosen amplifier.