Best Tube Amplifiers, Most Respected Tube Amplifiers

We’ve been wondering about just who would be on a list of the top contenders for the Champion of the World in several categories of high-end audio equipment.

Contenders are either the products we know to be great and hearing them several times actually *sound* great, those that we suspect to be great, and those that are generally considered to be great.

Note that some of this has to do with fashion, and some has to do with popularity, and some to do with actual performance.

To put it simply, if you won the lottery today – what would you want to audition tomorrow?

Tube Amps:

The Audio Note (UK) Gaku-On (This is other worldly)

A slew of Audio Note (UK) amps using various tubes and configurations (Ongaku, Kegon, Kageki, etc.)

The Kondo Ongaku (still legendary)

The Lamm ML3 (an amazing performer)

The VTL (has a good reputation)

The WAVAC SH-833 (Most expensive and has a good reputation)


Others? Anybody? Remember they have to recognized as a top performer by at least some percentage of audiophiles.

There are a TON of tube amps out there. There are even some with unique designs that perform quite well – but are not quite well known. The Berning OTL amps sound quite good, as do the LARS 300B amps.

If you want to nominate others, please leave a comment!