Which amps work well with VSA?

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DRjam

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Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #40 on: 14 Nov 2008, 05:12 pm »
Well this thread is a testament to how good VSA works with all kinds of amps.  I have the VR4SRMKII for about 2 years now and each tweak has been a revelation to the transparency of the speakers.  I first went with McIntosh MC402(ss) and thought I had the best set-up IMO(bi-wire of course).  Then as I re-read the manual, Albert seems to push for bi-amp.  So curiosity got me and now I have my current set-up.  I have a vertically bi-amped/bi-wired system. All McIntosh with MC402 powering the bass module and the MC501(2) monoblocks powering the midtweets.  I also put into the circuit a tubed pre C2200(McIntosh).  ADDICTING!!!! is all I can say.  Albert is right, just go bi-wire/bi-amp to fully realize its potential.  Midrange is so silky, highs are detailed but not fatiguing, and bass is controlled!  Now Im curious about VSA cabling hmmm.
Sorry for the lenghthy post of my VSA journey.

WGH

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #41 on: 16 Nov 2008, 11:12 pm »
I consider the Von Schweikert VR2's a diamond in the rough, but after adding internal bracing and damping the speaker baskets with modeling clay this diamond really begins to shine.  In my 11.5' x 15' room the speakers have always sounded on the warm side of neutral, and with a solid low end to 25 Hz I was looking for a clean sounding neutral solid state amp. The Audio by Van Alstine Insight electronics fit the bill perfectly, I bought the Insight 440 amp, EC pre-amp and DAC.

I would guess that most people who have bought the VR2's have a beer budget, the no-nonsense AVA products are very affordable but also have impeccable sound. Or I should say they have no sound of their own. The entire Insight series: amp, pre-amp, and DAC, are completely neutral; what you hear is on the source without the electronics adding their own signature. The sound can be shocking at first if you are used to tube gear or less well engineered solid state electronics. No mid-bass hump, tube bloom, screechy highs, or boomy bass, just clear sound that draws you in and never harsh no matter how loud you like your music.

Keeping with the well engineered philosophy, all AVA products come with a 2 prong captive power cord which minimizes ground loops (also you are no longer tempted to spend hundreds extra on after market power cords) and because Frank knows what he is doing, speaker cables do not make very much difference to the amps sound. Read about how lamp cord (Frank's cable of choice) compared to MIT's $1500 a pair super cables in an A-B test at the 2008 RMAF:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=60159.msg539789#msg539789

The two Insight products that made the largest change in the sound are the DAC and pre-amp. The DAC certainly deserves all the praise it has received so far, once you hear it in your system you begin to wonder what an entire Van Alstine setup would sound like.

AVA has a 30 day trial but very few people end up returning their electronics. Give AVA a call to find out more, 90% of the time the person who picks up the phone is Frank, you can discuss your system, how you would like it to sound, and based on your room and speakers get advise without any bullshit.

Wayne 

Delacroix

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #42 on: 18 Nov 2008, 02:10 am »
yes, I have to say, the AVA line has always intrigued me. I'd love to try a pair of their FET power amps on the Vons. Those amps always look like great value, with the money put where it makes a difference. I am less convinced that lamp cord or captive cords are good enough, all other things being equal, but I accept that in the absence of compelling evidence to the contrary, Frank holds the high ground. Now, if I only had enough money to play around with endless home trials. I did offer once to do a review of their amps for Affordable Audio but never got a response from AVA, a fact I put down to the company's priority of dealing first with customers. No argument with that, but I do wish the mags with more influence (TAS, S'phile, Six Moons etc) would take this company on seriously.
« Last Edit: 19 Nov 2008, 04:39 pm by Delacroix »

Delacroix

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #43 on: 21 Nov 2008, 09:09 pm »
I have the latest NuForce 8.5V2 with matching P-8 preamp in for review now. The Audio Space Ref 3.1 is going back, the review of that in the latest issue of Affordable Audio -- it's a great amp with the Vons. Too soon to comment on the Nuforce but man, I love being able to lift an amp with one hand :) I'll let you know how it works out. Interested in hearing from Nuforce owners or those who've heard the amp with their Vons.


jab

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Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #44 on: 22 Nov 2008, 04:21 pm »
I hear ya about lugging equipment around.  I had inguinal hernia repair last Feb and no doubt how it originated.  I'm using a Karan Acoustics amplifier,, the KAS 180 on my 5's and the Bel Canto Ref 1000's on my Uni 3's.  Not only are the Bel Canto's a terrific mix of power and grace they are an easy fit on the shelf and easy on the back!  Sonically,, transparent and neutral.  See http://uk.cinenow.com/videos/1861-bel-canto-s-500-stereo-power-amplifier-top-audio-milan-2008

Jack
Houston

Delacroix

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #45 on: 22 Nov 2008, 04:38 pm »
I hear ya about lugging equipment around.  I had inguinal hernia repair last Feb and no doubt how it originated.  I'm using a Karan Acoustics amplifier,, the KAS 180 on my 5's and the Bel Canto Ref 1000's on my Uni 3's.  Not only are the Bel Canto's a terrific mix of power and grace they are an easy fit on the shelf and easy on the back!  Sonically,, transparent and neutral.  See http://uk.cinenow.com/videos/1861-bel-canto-s-500-stereo-power-amplifier-top-audio-milan-2008

Jack
Houston

Hi Jack -- interesting links -- have you tried the new Bel Canto monos on your VR5s?

mfsoa

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #46 on: 23 Nov 2008, 03:50 am »
I just spent 3 weeks with a DAC (Digital Amplifier Company) Class D amp powering my VR4JRs very very nicely:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=61748.0

Going back to the VAC tube amp shows that the tubes are a little overmatched in the bass when pushed full-range, of course not having near the definition of the powerful Class D amp. When I've biamped with the tubes on the mid/tweeters there was a big improvement there.
-Mike

Delacroix

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #47 on: 24 Nov 2008, 12:58 am »
Mike

Very interesting comments -- thanks for the Cherry update. It is rare to hear anyone admit that there might be limits to a VAC amp!  I agree with your biamping experience, I really liked the Wyred4Sound running the bass and my VK500 on the uppers for my VR5s, got me thinking a class D amp in combo with a great amp for the uppers would be a fantastic combo, if you can get them to blend. The deal on the Cherry right now (66% off) seems incredible........

economides

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Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #48 on: 25 Nov 2008, 02:27 pm »
I own a VS VR5 Anniversary and I have an unsual combination of amps

Pre Aesthetix Callisto Eclipse (tubed pre + tubed power supply - 16 tubes in total)
Stereo Amp Edge NL 12.1 Special Edition

The result is truly amazing and there is a combination of delicacy, lifelike transperancy and brutal force that you find very rarely!!


Delacroix

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #49 on: 5 Dec 2008, 05:25 pm »
I was just checking back on this thread to see how many amps we'd covered and it's a ton (I'll try summarize a little more formally this weekend) but I note we've not heard from anyone who has tried a Spectron with the Vons -- I recall reading in other forums that this was a great match and that Albert had used Spectrons in designing the amps but I can't locate the source. Anyone heard this combo?


Delacroix

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #50 on: 10 Dec 2008, 03:05 am »
OK, being the snythesizer that I am, I went back to check on all those amps mentioned so far as working well in the views of owners of VSA speakers - here's a summary to date, sorry if I missed anything, but surely not the end of this story:


Solid State
BAT VK500
Mcintosh MC 252
Mcintosh MC 402
Mcintosh MC 501
Parasound A21
McCormack DNA 500
Simaudio W5
Karan Acoustics KAS 180
Edge NL 12.1 Special Edition
Quad 909 (horizontally biamped)

Tube
Audio Space 3.1 (x2)
Lamm ML2.1
Jolida JD monos
Yamamoto A-08s
JE Labs designed V-Capped 300B monoblocks,
Mcintosh MC2101
Mcintosh MC275
PrimaLuna Dialogue 2
VAC PA100/100 amp
VAC Phi 300.1
Art Audio Carissa SET


Class D
Wyred4Sound MC4 (biamped)
Bel Canto M300 monos
Bel Canto Ref 1000s
Digital Audio Company Cherry

Not so desirable?
Cary Rocket 88

Seems like Mcintosh is the most popular make, usually combined in a variety of mono configurations (up to 4 dedicated amps) for optimal results. But there's a number of Class D successes also. Keep 'em coming....and I encourage you to tell us which did NOT work so well....if any....
« Last Edit: 15 Dec 2008, 08:43 pm by Delacroix »

es347

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Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #51 on: 10 Dec 2008, 02:28 pm »
I have a feeling that the McCormack DNA 500 would be wonderful with any VSA speaker and it is an absolute steal.  I owned his DNA 0.5 for years and it was really, really good with ML speakers.  I would have gone that route but got sucked in by those mesmerizing aqua blue meter lights.  No regrets except for the fact that we can only eat meat once a week now.

McTwins

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #52 on: 11 Dec 2008, 11:32 am »
Delacroix

You can add to the list Quad 909 in horisontal Bi-amp setup.
Works very well for VR4GenIII and VR4SR. Great power from those small amps. :thumb:

Thanks
« Last Edit: 15 Dec 2008, 06:32 pm by McTwins »

Delacroix

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #53 on: 11 Dec 2008, 02:15 pm »
Delacroix

You can add to the list Quad 909 in vertical Bi-amp setup.
Works very well for VR4GenIII and VR4SR. Great power from those small amps. :thumb:

Thanks

Done!  I think this thread will run a bit longer, then I'll summarize again.

best

d.

hi5harry

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #54 on: 11 Dec 2008, 03:44 pm »
I am using the Spectron2 hybrid mark2 on my Von Schweikert vr8's with great results. I heard this combination a long time ago at one of the stereo shows and was really impressed. My plan was tube amps on the top and the Spectron on the woofers, but as I updated the amp it became my amp of choice full range and allowed me to use my remote sense cables as my only speaker connections. I doubt this helps too many people here, as my speakers are so different than the newer speakers Albert is building. Still maybe worth a listen.

Delacroix

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #55 on: 11 Dec 2008, 05:08 pm »
I am using the Spectron2 hybrid mark2 on my Von Schweikert vr8's with great results. I heard this combination a long time ago at one of the stereo shows and was really impressed. My plan was tube amps on the top and the Spectron on the woofers, but as I updated the amp it became my amp of choice full range and allowed me to use my remote sense cables as my only speaker connections. I doubt this helps too many people here, as my speakers are so different than the newer speakers Albert is building. Still maybe worth a listen.

Hi (5) Harry

I think this is very helpful to us - I've heard Albert used Spectron in his work and I've rarely heard a bad word about the new Spectron amps so I suspect these will work well with newer Vons too. Hard to get info on the 8s...any pics?

keith

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Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #56 on: 12 Dec 2008, 12:35 am »
The first amp I used with my VR4JR mkI's were the Bryston.  It had good control full range.  But I found it leaning on the bright side.  I used a tube rolled ARC LS16mkI preamp to warm it up a bit with very good results.  I later downgraded from my Bryston as I later used this in the HT side of my system.  Switched to the Rotel multichannel 1075 and 1066 amp.  This matched well too with the Von Schweikert retail line, driving the LCRs, VR2 and VR4JR.

The Plinius integrated (forgot the model) also works well with the VR4JR.  I lived with this for a couple of months. Another good integrated is the LSA integrated hybrid amps which even has a built in phono stage for TT users. Tried these with the VR4JRmkII. If I'm not mistaken, the DK designed LSA amp used the VR4JRmkI as its reference speaker.  (Is this accurate Jack?) Excellent all-in-one amp for the money.  I'd have to say, beats some separates out there costing twice its price.

On Single Ended Triode amps, the Sun Audio SV-2A3 works well with the DB99SE.   Theed JE Labs 45 and JE Labs 300B also worked well with the the DB99SE.




Bracer

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Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #57 on: 12 Dec 2008, 02:44 am »
I used to use a pair of Pass Labs Aleph 30's to vertically biamp my VR4-JR's. I found that when the volume was up, the sound would "harden" somewhat and change in character. I have since changed to a pair of Aleph 100 monoblocs and have been much happier with the sound. More relaxed and effortless without strain or hardness while retaining the precision and dynamics of the 30's.

Delacroix

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #58 on: 5 Jan 2009, 01:53 pm »
There's a thread on the Channel Island Audio circle about using their mono amps with VSA - I thought you might find this comment form Dusty, the CIAudio chief, relevant:

"Albert Von Schweikert has used D-200 as his design reference for about 5 years (as well as many mastering labs). We also use VS loudspeakers as our reference, so they tend to work very well together."

gammajo

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #59 on: 1 Feb 2009, 04:10 am »
I had used an Aragon 8008 BB amp for two years with my VR4SRMKI's  and was quite happy with it. That said, recently I changed to Nuforce Reference 9 VS SE mono blocks (biwired silver to woofer and copper to Tweet/mid) and they take things to a new level in many ways. Bass right off was incredibly improved, highs needed to be tamed with vibration control (Hyperion Magnetic floaters) and cabling (Kool Cable gold Silkworm from DAC to Pre. Once this taming was done the highs became very clear without glass or glare and soundstage became more holograpic and instruments more solid in space.  Very happy with this combination with a Audio Horizons NOS tube preamp.