Crazy thought... getting a SET integrated amp?

I replaced my Wilson Watt Puppy 8’s a while back with Zu Audio Def Supreme and the Gryphon Diablo 300 is truly amazing, I do feel that it might be quite a bit more power than I really need with the Zu’s.

So, I’m thinking about selling the Diablo and getting a single ended tube integrated amp. I never listen very loud (most of the time, I’m in the mid 60dB’s with peaks in the 80’s, and when I listen loud, it’s never above 100dB peaks… and which point the wife screams for me to turn it down!).

Any suggestions? I don’t necessarily need a balanced input, but I would prefer it. Also, if it has a built in phono stage, that would be convenient (the Diablo has one today), but again, I would always add an external phono stage.


I don’t know, really, but if you decide to let go of the Diablo let me know! :smile:

Have you seen the Steve Guttenburg review of the Decware “Sarah” 300B amp? It has volume control(s).

I heard the prototype at the Decware Mothership when I picked up my SE8UFO25 last August. The Sarah, it showed promise, offering more than the 2.3 WPC of the SET I purchased. Unfortunately the speakers he had with it were nothing special. Steve was trying to emulate a BBC Spendor sound of the 1980’s.

Thanks Ron. Not too sure I can live without a remote to adjust volume however… Guess, I could drive it directly from the DSS (although I would have to figure out how to use the turntable then).

Almost every Decware amp is an “integrated” in a small letter sense as there is basically a passive preamp incorporated allowing volume control.

Their excellent (I own one) ZTPRE preamp is available with a remote and their switchbox I believe can be ordered with a remote optiion but that’s it on their line. Plus the fact that there is a two year possibly plus wait for delivery makes them hard to recommend.

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Yes, I forgot about the wait. Ugh.

Unison Research Sinfonia Integrated Amplifier - Cherry (Ex Display) - Analogue Seduction

They ship international, but I am not sure about the voltage!

If your pockets are deep enough–this is one I would check out if I could.


What sound characteristic are you trying to change or achieve by changing the amp?
If you already own the Gryphon, there’s certainly no downside to having a lot of available power.
The amp will only give you what you’re asking for at any volume choice. And if you get curious about a low efficiency speaker down the road, you’re all set.
All that said, I still would look at Decware, maybe a Zen triode for about $1K. Or a First Watt F8 or F7 would be brilliant with the ZUs.

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That would be an awesome choice, but I’m looking to spend no more than what I could get out of the Gryphon if I sell it. $15k is definitely north of my budget

You’re right Ron, but the Gryphon is way more amp than I use with the Zu’s… I can barely step from “16” to “17” on the volume readout before it’s too loud, just too much power.

I’ve always been intrigued by SET amps, but never had speakers that would work, but now I do, so maybe this is the time to make the jump… :thinking:


I’ve been living with SET amps for 25 years. I’ve tried to move to push-pull for the power. . . and had some lovely sound. . . but there’s something about the naturalness and dynamic contrasts of the SET that has solidified them in permanent homes in my system.


… and that’s pretty much what draws me to a SET option at this point. Every time I’ve hear SET amps (at shows or at dealers) it has had the ability to completely draw me in to the music. Does it sound correct and perfect? I would say no more than I would say yes, but that’s a compromise I can live with. The Zu’s are not the most “correct” speakers, but they are alive and draws me in. It’s a bit as listening to a really high end setup vs. going to a live concert. A live concert is rarely accurate (you have changes in frequency, volume, pitch, soundstage, etc. depending on where you sit), but with a great performer, it draws you in. It’s more about feeling the music than hearing the music


Looks great in champagne, partly due to my conrad-johnson bias. Unfortunately they are not exhibiting at Axpona.


I would honestly say my Decware SET amps are as “correct” as any other amp that I have had. . . they are no old-fashioned SET amp. But yes. . . they also draw me in as no other topology has. I’m so looking forward to my Dewcare SEWE300B amp, amps have finally begun shipping. . . I’m probably five or six months away. . . right now #165.

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A properly implemented SET offers a simple circuit with little to get in the way of the sound. Partnered with a like minded hi-efficiency speaker can yield sonic bliss. This is especially true if one of your listening priorities is sonic coherence. The key in my experience is matching amplifier to speaker and then dialing things in.

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Japanese tubes done right…


Sorry, you are seeking an INT…

Triode Lab makes a 45 and a 2A3 integrated

I’m a big fan of ampsandsound. The owner, Justin, is a great guy and loves to chat on the phone if you have questions.

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