Upgrading My System to Valve amp?


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Aug 10, 2019
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Ok heres my situation;

i have a Nad 3020a Amp, Nad 5320 CD Player, Pro-ject Xpression Turntable and at the output end Naim Credo Speakers. I know they may seem unusual having such an old cheap amp powering £1000 plus speakers... but trust me it works!! The thing is, even though the Nad made such an improvement over the Naim Nait 3 i had before, calming the treble doen and making the whole system so much warmer...I want it to be that just bit warmer and also gain a bit in the bass, but maintain the fantastic soundstage and detail its got.

I've been reading lots about the Fatman Itube's, and found 1 review that reviews it with a proper CD player and Rega Speakers and that said the Itube (cheapest version) gave an impressive soundstage and warm sound, with about £700 rega speakers and £1000 CD player. But thats all i can find about the Fatman Itube being played with Other sources apart from the Ipod dock, which is sposed to sound fabulous even with pants bit rates. I found the Fatman Itube Carbon Edition for £280 which is 1 complete box with the dock built in and 25W (basic version is 13W).

Anyone Know much about the Fatman Itubes? And I've read the 182 version is awesome but that twice i want to spend, but IF i do get the Itube Carbon and i find it impressive then i might start saving my penies for the 182.

I went to Rayleigh Hi-Fi's Naim anniversairy with my dad (im 17) yesterday, and listened to a naim system (obviously) consisting of; Nac 552 Preamp, CD555, Nap 500, each running there own power supply, with Naim SL2 speakers, and we were blown away with the detail and soundstage, teh speakers just dissapeared and all you could hear was every single part of Stevie Ray Vaughan's album from the Guitar to him spitting on the Mic :). And rightly so as the system cost £45,000. That what made me decide to stick with the naims and make them work, as i was going to get some Acoustic Energy Neo 3's.

Anyway im going on...If anyone give me some advice or heads up on the Fatmans, or even suggest other amps (possibly Power amps to run off the Nad) to give me a warmer and richer sound without loosing too much soundstage and detail. Ive got around £300 to spend.




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Sep 9, 2007
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hello john,i am glad the nad makes such sweet music with your credos,i dont know how but it really is a good amp.i had one when they first came out,sold it 5 years later to a friend who still ribs me now about it as he is still using it.if you want a warmer sound then a valve amp is your answer.you can pick up a leak stereo 20 for about £300.00 but then you may crave a valve pre amp which pushes up the price.with your budget it makes it a bit harder,have you thought about a change of cartridge for your expression tt. are you using an ortofon cartridge as i believe the project would normally come with,ortofons are normally detailed but clinical sounding,you can get a warmer sounding cartridge but it will not cure the digital end unless you get a dac.i would save a bit more money get a valve intergrated and seperate phono stage.you do need somethig a little better for your credo's but saying that nad with naim may be a match made in heaven.i do find it strange you didn't get on with the nait 3 and credos,maybe a naim pre power is the answer.why not have a word with rayleigh hifi and see if they have any 2nd hand deals going on.good luck,gregory.