I am looking to build a two channel only system using the Usher Be-718's on proper stands with the Ayre CD-7x CD player or the new Bryston BCD-1 with some model of Kimber XLR interconnects and speaker cables of similar quality along with the VTI rack and PS Audio Power Port and power cords that I have already.
What I want to do is this: invest in an integrated amplifier that is as follows: at or about $3,000.00 USD (no more than $4,000.00 USD though), XLR/balanced inputs to make the best use of the CD player and the better S/N ratio and "drive" of balanced signals since we like a very punchy and dynamic sound, KT88's in ultralinear mode only with at least 70WPC RMS and autobiasing (although I know how to do it very well), (I do not like the sound of EL34's one bit), solid state would be OK though if at least 100WPC RMS, remote control, American !! (not Cary Audio or Cayin or Prima Luna for personal reasons regarding very disrespectful interaction with the owners of the latter two and having worked at Cary Audio in 2004, I will never give that man or his company a penny of income. Enough said though.
I am considering the Bryston 100WPC model without the DAC option or perhaps a Parasound A21 power amplfier with the lower end P3 preamplifier (I know that the Parasound combo is not an integrated set up then, let alone tubed) or maybe the McIntosh integrated at 100WPC.
Is there a tube integrated out there that uses XLR/balanced inputs (such as the Graaf GM50) but doesn't cost what that does ?
Does Manley make anything using KT88's or that could be biased or modified to use KT88's instead of EL34's ? (such as with JJ KT88's at about 35 to 40 mA each ?)
Can a single ended/RCA input be modified to become a balanced/XLR input or is there too much circuit performance variations needing to be done due to topology or signal levels, etc. ?
None of the Cary Audio or Cayin or Prima Luna use XLR and I refuse to support either of those lines any way. I know that Krell makes a model but I never once liked the sound of any Krell product as they are so ice cold clinical and etched (unlike music).
While my wife is an avid audiophile too who knows that KT in KT88 means kinkless tetrode !! and loves the blues and jazz and gospel that we listen to in dedicated listening sessions in the evening with a glass of Merlot or coffee for that matter at very, very low listening levels so we hear the most delicate nuances, we do like the way a powerful amplifier sounds even though we use only a fraction of its capacity.
Basically, if I could get an Audio Research VS115 and put a remote control and volume control in it, my search would be over although it would cost much more. I eagerly await your ideas and supporting commentary please.