Tube 2nd system for 5k.

I'd like to get a tube system. Have ben looking at all the chinese gear (JUNGSON, Consonance, Sheng Ya, Cayin etc.) I need a CD player with SACD amp and preamp as well as speakers. What recommendations do you guys have? Much obliged.

If you insist on Chinese, the Consonance Ref SACD is great and goes for cheap used. Also the Cayin 500 is really nice but kind of hard to find in the USA.

As for speakers, I find Chinese gear needs rather detailed and forward speakers to compensate for their softness. What size room do you have? If small, I would get a pair of JM Lab Electra 906. Otherwise, Thiel CS 3.6 or B&W CDM7nt. I would recommend spending a large part of your budget on the speakers. Good luck! Arthur
Stay away from China. The stuff cheap parts and shoddy labour. There is so much made in Canada USA gear out there.

Look at Rouge for amps and pre amps. Look Make sure you spend at least 25% of your budget on a CD player. Source is mo0st important part of Audio system. DOnt let anyone else tell you otherwise. Speakers generate the most profit for MFGS and dealers. Thats why they say spend the most on speakers. Its just not the case. I have spent days with some dealers doing the swap outs. By far the CD player makes the biggest difference.
If you can find a Kora Hermes DAC jump on it.
Speakers Silverline, Coincident, Totem, to many to mention.

Good Luck.
I was thinking Chinese for bang for the buck. I know almost nothing about tubes other than what they sound like. I would greatly appreciate your omitting Chinese from my question just using the 5k as a guideline. Room is a good size with open staircase leading to upstairs bedrooms.
Thanks maple,

The screename betrays your allegiance. i've heard no such thing about consonance and have demoed it and it sounds good. I'm no expert though.

Take care,

1. Modwright Sony 999ES Tube SACD/CD Player - $1750-$2750 (used to new). Forget China goods, go with the one with tons of positive reviews, good ole USA customer service if needs be.

2. FI-X 2a3 Integrated SET Amp - $1500 (new, since use is rare). Excellent reviews, extremely musical.

3. Hornshoppe Horn speakers $775 (new). Just check out the reviews. No brainer best value in a tube friendly speaker IMO. Plus, just out are the new drivers taking this this baby to uncharted territory.

Guaranteed to be an awesome set up. All equipment made in the USA , and each owner taking pride of workmanship , and providing excellent client service. You won't second guess yourself about the quality of parts/labor used as opposed to stuff made in china. AND it makes your $5K budget!!
I looked up the FI X 2a 3 and since I listen to classic rock bluegrass and some country I think the wattage may be a little low and force me to buy a subwoofer as well. I'd rather not need a subwoofer. Any feedback on this Sandbox?
SACD Player of your choice for $1500 or less.

Rogue Tempest (not Tempest II- which would be fine, but maybe a bit more money) $1500 Used.

JM Reynaud Trente Speakers. $1800 used.
Jsonic, with the right speakers the Fi X rocks, better than my previous Jolida 302b. It is all just a matter of matching the right speakers. I have a pair of Cain Abbys powered by a Fi Y and Super X combo. Switching to the Fi X provided way more bass than a previous Jolida. The Jolida on the other hand was great driving some less efficient speakers much better than the Abbys. For tube amps the speaker-amp interface should not be underestimated.

If you are into rock, why not go for a classic efficient speaker like the Klipsch Cornwall with a Wright 2A3 amp or a Fi X amp. Lots of information on the Klipsch forum.

Anyway, my suggestion would be to listen to some very different tube friendly speaker designs (standard dynamic speakers, single driver speakers, horn speakers), see what you like and find a matching amp (SET or higher power PP).

Good luck and enjoy!

Rene: I did think the history and design of the FI X looked really cool. I'm not that far from Brooklyn either.
You would maximize your amplification bang for the buck by going with an integrated amp--maybe something like the Unison Unico which can be had used for about 1K -- I would not spend more than $1500 on a source -- and that would leave you +2K for a nice set of speakers. Have fun!
Jolida JD100
Rogue Cronus integrated
Vandersteen 2Ce Signature
Tara Labs interconnects and speaker cable

Under $5K
Jsonic - You won't need a sub. How many speakers hit the lowest octave without a sub? Also, wattage is plenty for ~97db speakers. You are looking to set up a "tube" system, no? Go with solid state equipment if you want maximum extension at the frequency extremes. But if you want a tubelicious, musical, and real life like presentation with deep satisfying bass and warm luscious non fatiguing highs, the FI-X/Hornshoppe combo will rock. Did you say classic rock/bluegrass/country?? P-E-R-F-E-C-T

Why the FI-X + Hornshoppe combo will drive to insane levels:
1. SET circuits are simple, creating the purest signal possible. Plus the FI is direct coupled meaning no capacitor in its signal path. Pure sonic 3.5 watt bliss. And to maximize these clean watts we have....
2. Hornshoppe's are single drivers without a crossover. All crossovers burn up the first few watts as heat regardless of rated efficiency. Here efficiency is maximized. And did I mention horn enclosures play louder (about 3db) than regular speakers? Along with their benign impedence (easy to drive) and ~97db at 1 watt/1 meter, you won't use more than 1 watt, yes 1 watt, to get to an average audiophile's listening level. Oh yeah one more thing about how efficient this set up is...listening at low volume levels when all is asleep does not hinder dynamics.

Like Restock says, system matching is key. If you go SET, get 95db+ speakers with high impedence drivers without a crossover (or simple crossover). And in a nut shell solid state set ups work best with 100 watts and 87db two/three way rubbery driver type speakers. Mixing between the two usually don't work as well as sticking to the formula (there are of course exceptions, just pointing out Ferreri's like premium gas, while Honda's don't mind regular unleaded).

These products btw have 30 day money back guarantee's so you have nothing to lose. Ed and Don are also stand up guys that have been around and always willing to help you out. Give them a call/e-mail for advice, ask them what type of music they listen to, tell them what you listen to and type of set up you're looking for.

Thanks Sandbox: I may check Don out. Won't be headin south to visit Ed though. Thanks a lot for your informative post.