Which amps work well with VSA?

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es347

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Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #20 on: 6 Oct 2008, 01:46 pm »

"The fact that you are even considering VRs means you are an open minded individual with a penchant for exploration just as all the VR owners I know are."

Jack

A penchant for exploration....or terminally naive.  I can't believe I have actually spent this much on a speaker I've never listened to.  It boggles the mind.

Gavin
« Last Edit: 12 Nov 2008, 01:52 am by es347 »

musiciseverything

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Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #21 on: 8 Oct 2008, 04:45 pm »
I have been using monoblock Bel Canto M300s for my VSA VR-4JR I front speakers.  They are bi-wired, if that makes a difference.  I am very happy.  I would describe the sound as very detailed, pin-point imaging, life-like voices and string instruments, crisp bass.  On strident sources such as older CDs, the highest frequencies can be sharp.  I have never tried tubes, and since I like what I hear am not motivated to change.

es347

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Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #22 on: 11 Oct 2008, 08:42 pm »
Yesterday my wife and I visited the "local" (relative term) McIntosh dealer to discuss a package deal, trading in my amp, preamp+CD&SACD players in on a MCD301 player, MC46 preamp and MC252 amp.  No deal was consumated but we did take home the 301 for an audition.  I was not impressed thinking that both my Arcam cd player and the Marantz outperformed the MAC.  Being lazy I had patched the 301 in my McCormack preamp with different cables...they were Eichmann express 4s, a decent cable.  My wife suggested that I use the same MIT cables I had on the old units for consistency.  Not being a real cable enthusiast I reluctantly connected the 301 with the MIT ICs, (MI 330+ neatly bundled with tie wraps..grrrr) prepared to hear no difference.  Holy cow folks, the MCD301 was transformed into a beast, easily trumping the Marantz on SACD and the Arcam FMJ on redbook playback.  The Arcam, believe it or not, is one heck of a cd player but the MAC was clearly better.  Now I am getting to the reason for posting this message.  My system is a different system with the new source, one that I could spend the foreseeable future listening to (except for the speakers Albert).  My preamp is a McCormack RLD-1 and my amp is the McCormack DNA 0.5 delux.  I don't have my VR4 SR MKIIs yet so am still listening to my old Martin Logan Aerius i's with a velodyne subwooofer.  The sound is outstanding so I am thinking about only replacing the players at this point and seeing what these amps sound like driving the Von Schweikerts.  For those of you unfamiliar with McCormack products, the DNA was an amp that Steve McCormack designed and marketed before he sold his company to CJ.  The RLD-1 preamp is his design but mfd. by the "new" CJ-McCormack company.  His SS products are known for their non-fatiguing yet detailed sound, sharing some of the good aspects of tube amps but having the advantages of SS.  Problem, perhaps, is the amp is only 100w per side (as I recall).  It drives the MLs just fine but not sure how it will fare with the VR4s.  Does anyone have experience with driving the VR4s with McCormack amps particularly the 0.5?  If I stay with these amps permanently, I plan to send them to S. McCormack for his heralded upgrades.  Sorry for the long message.  Thanks for reading this far.

Delacroix

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #23 on: 12 Oct 2008, 11:20 pm »
My preamp is a McCormack RLD-1 and my amp is the McCormack DNA 0.5 delux.  I don't have my VR4 SR MKIIs yet so am still listening to my old Martin Logan Aerius i's with a velodyne subwooofer.  The sound is outstanding so I am thinking about only replacing the players at this point and seeing what these amps sound like driving the Von Schweikerts.  .....Does anyone have experience with driving the VR4s with McCormack amps particularly the 0.5?  If I stay with these amps permanently, I plan to send them to S. McCormack for his heralded upgrades.  Sorry for the long message.  Thanks for reading this far.

HI -- I owned a DNA.5 for years, partnered with TLC-1 pre from McCormack, and while I did not own that amp with the Vons, I have always regretted selling it. In my experience, the BAT VK500 I ended up with was a little better but cost a ton more, but the speakers I used to own apparently needed much more power (so the company told me) and the BAT seemed the answer. Now the BAT is fine, a real gem of an amp, but I always wondered what I could have got out of the DNA.5 had I sent it off to Steve to be mod'd.  I once took the DNA.5 over to a friend's house when he had sunk some large sums into an Audio Research power amp. We listened to both in his set up and neither of us could really tell them apart.

In my view you would be doing the right thing by keeping the RLD and DNA combo until you have really heard the Vons in your home, and then only slowly considering upgrades when you can try them in your own home.  The McCormack DNA.5 is a wonderful amp, full stop. Better speakers will allow you to enjoy it a while longer.



es347

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Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #24 on: 14 Oct 2008, 01:57 am »
Yes it is a wonderful amp but today I took a rather large plunge and went total McIntosh: CDP301 SACD player, C46 preamp and MC252 power amp.  I have spoken with a couple of gentlemen who drive their VR4s with MAC gear and love it so....after days of surfing for reviews and auditioning the equipment in the store and here in my home, I did it.  It may have been the allure of those wondrous blue meter lights...not really, McIntosh gear is very listenable, a lot like my dna 0.5 on steroids.  My VR4 SR MKIIs are scheduled to ship tomorrow and I am very excited.

Delacroix

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #25 on: 14 Oct 2008, 03:13 pm »
Well you surely will be happy....poorer too, but happy  :D 

JackD201

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #26 on: 14 Oct 2008, 03:18 pm »
Well you surely will be happy....poorer too, but happy  :D 

Perhaps poorer in bank balance but richer in quality of life!  :thumb:

duguyisheng

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #27 on: 16 Oct 2008, 04:07 am »
I am using a Simaudio W5 amp with a VR5 anniversary (modification from vr4) and I am thinking about changing to a bi-amp setup. I have several criteria. Obviously, I would like good bass on the bottom and a very tube or tubelike sound on the top. My habits are that I often only have bouts of 30-35 minutes to listen (multiple times a day) so lack of warm up time would be nice. I and my family are extremely conscious now of power usage so low power is a plus. I am also very bad about remembering to put my amp on standby.

I thought about this for a while and at first :cry: salivated over the ideas of a VAC on top but I am now wondering about simply using a battery powered red wine 30.2 on top and a ICE amp like Wyred4Sound or Nuforce or Channel Islands on bottom.

In the VR five, the vast majority of the sound above 150 Hz is coming from the top. I have never heard a red wine amp with a Von Schweikert speaker and have actually only heard it one time at all. However, I have never seen a bad review of this amp. As for the woofer, a good ICE amp should provide controlled, tight bass. I am using a TACT pre-amp and that should easily adjust the sound volumes coming from both amps.

I know that our moderator has had experience with the Wyred4Sound as far as the woofer would be concerned. It seems to me like this should be a good combination and would solve a lot of my practical problems. Has anyone had experience with the red wine amp's? Does anyone have any comments on how this plan sounds?

satfrat

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Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #28 on: 16 Oct 2008, 04:19 am »
Quote
I particularly would like to hear from anyone who has horizontally biamped with tubes on top of solid state (any gain problems etc.) I'm intrigued by the notion of using a lower powered tube amp on top of my BAT.

I'm doing just that now. 100 watt tube on top and a (borrowed) 600/1200 8/4 SS Sunfire on the bottom.
With the 200 hz crossover, there really isn't much problem matching-wise. When I turn the tubes off and listen to the bass bins only, there really isn't too much readily intelligible, audiophile-quality information. I mean, there's bass and some impact and all, but overall pretty mushy and indistinct - I was surprised how much so. Try it - unplug the upper cabs and check it out. So I think the quality of the bass amp could be skimped, if need be, for power without impacting the heart of the music in the mids.

Thinking of sending the VAC back to Kevin to get it wired for triode, then trying to match with mono ICE-power amps possibly in the future.

This cuts the tube power in half-ish but will still be plenty, even for my oft dreamed of upgrade to 4SRIIs.

For now the setup sounds great, to me. I feel that the mids and highs improved significantly when the tube amp was relieved of the bass duties (and the VAC is a gutsy 100 watt tube amp).

I can definitely recommend trying out a biamp setup such as this. 1200 watts on VR4JR bass cabinets = woohoo

Gain-wise the amps are pretty close by ear. I keep asking if there is too much bass, too much treble etc and overall I like the balance - pretty even top to bottom.  :drool:

-Mike

Mike, have you ever tried Chris's Butler Audio tube hybrid amps with your loudspeakers? Thanks.

Cheers,
Robin

mfsoa

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #29 on: 16 Oct 2008, 12:38 pm »
Hi Robin,
IIRC, Chris had the badass Butlers at my house last year, but at the time I think they were only used on his Timepieces which everyone was eager to hear. Then Crazy Mike put in his Nuforces w/ my SS Superphon preamp and it was waaaay too sterile. Topround Mike then put in his little Maple??? tube pre and things got much better.  It's possible that the Butlers weren't even there  :oops: anyway I do not recall a Butler/VSA pairing.
In any event, Raves are great for exposure to a wide range of gear, but I remain left with only the gut/knee-jerk reaction to what I hear - They aren't the place for dissecting nuances of anything except food and wine :lol:

I think one theme to the Which amps work w/ VSA question is that they aren't a particularly tough load, which opens up options.

-Mike

satfrat

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Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #30 on: 16 Oct 2008, 06:52 pm »
Hi Robin,
IIRC, Chris had the badass Butlers at my house last year, but at the time I think they were only used on his Timepieces which everyone was eager to hear. Then Crazy Mike put in his Nuforces w/ my SS Superphon preamp and it was waaaay too sterile. Topround Mike then put in his little Maple??? tube pre and things got much better.  It's possible that the Butlers weren't even there  :oops: anyway I do not recall a Butler/VSA pairing.
In any event, Raves are great for exposure to a wide range of gear, but I remain left with only the gut/knee-jerk reaction to what I hear - They aren't the place for dissecting nuances of anything except food and wine :lol:

I think one theme to the Which amps work w/ VSA question is that they aren't a particularly tough load, which opens up options.

-Mike

That's ashame to have had them there and not to have heard them on your system. But at a NY RAVE, one does need to have their priorities squared away. Crazy Mike sure knows the way. :lol:

Cheers,
Robin

carusoracer

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #31 on: 16 Oct 2008, 07:24 pm »
Yes it is a wonderful amp but today I took a rather large plunge and went total McIntosh: CDP301 SACD player, C46 preamp and MC252 power amp.  I have spoken with a couple of gentlemen who drive their VR4s with MAC gear and love it so....after days of surfing for reviews and auditioning the equipment in the store and here in my home, I did it.  It may have been the allure of those wondrous blue meter lights...not really, McIntosh gear is very listenable, a lot like my dna 0.5 on steroids.  My VR4 SR MKIIs are scheduled to ship tomorrow and I am very excited.

Keeps us posted! I have been following the thread and can certainly agree with your audio experiences. I have only heard the McCormick 225 with Vandersteen and Mageplanar speakers. Very nice, I was not local so could not do in home demo.
I have had interest in McIntosh gear for some time and have heard at many shops but mated with completely different systems than my own, plus the local dealer does not do any demo's any more. I just have not pulled the trigger.
I have heard extensively the first version of the VR4jr is there a second version out now? I listen for many hours with ASL and Moon W5 amps with very good gear in front and ultimately went a different route but not because I did not like the VR4jr's.
Enjoy!

Orson Garnsey

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Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #32 on: 17 Oct 2008, 04:34 am »
Anyone looking for a great mid-priced amp for VR4 series speakers would be well served by the Parasound A21 (paid $1800 new from my local dealer). I have been driving my original VR4s with this amp for some time now, and am very pleased with the results (6H30 based tubed preamp). The next best amps of all I have tried with my VR4s are CIAudio D-100 monoblocks. These are a bargain and very close in performance to the A21, but not quite as "there" at the frequency extremes.

Other amps I've been through:

Bryston 3BSST
Monarchy Audio SE-100 Deluxe (TOO smooth, if that's possible.)
NuForce 9s (early rev. WAY too clinical)
NuForce IA-7 (noisy)
Various Tripath "Class-D" types (midrange hash)
Homebrew Hypex "Class-D" based (never could match the CIAudio amps with the SAME modules. Dusty has gotten every last bit of performance out of Hypex, despite what DIY geniuses write)
Modified Hafler 9300
A couple of different push-pull tubed integrateds, 16w to 40w (these could not really grab the woofers by the short-hairs)
At least one other that is not memorable

The fact that I've stayed with the A21 for over a year means it's working for me.

stewie

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Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #33 on: 18 Oct 2008, 08:25 pm »
Is anyone powering their VRs with vintage equipment? I'm using a restored Kenwood Supreme 700m amp and 700c pre from the mid-70s to power my VR4 HSE's. Fabulous sound. Have been interested in bi-amping with a tube amp covering the mids and highs, but haven't yet opened that can of worms.

McTwins

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #34 on: 19 Oct 2008, 10:07 am »
Hi

Running my VR4SRMKI with McIntosh 2*Mc252 to the bass module and 2*Mc275 tube for the mid/tweeter.
All in monoblocks. Nice and powerfull sound. aa :rock:

Thanks

carusoracer

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #35 on: 6 Nov 2008, 05:39 pm »
Hi

Running my VR4SRMKI with McIntosh 2*Mc252 to the bass module and 2*Mc275 tube for the mid/tweeter.
All in monoblocks. Nice and powerfull sound. aa :rock:

Thanks


 :o :o :o :drool:

Delacroix

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #36 on: 7 Nov 2008, 03:52 pm »
Phew....a four-mac set up has me just feeling so limited with my simple BAT VK500......:)

On the other hand, I have this curious interest in hearing my Vr5s with some low watt amps done right. Anyone here using a few watts only on their speakers? I've tried the Audio Space Ref 3.1 interegrated and a Naim Nait 2 integrated, but I'd be curious to learn from anyone who used a power amp of 25w or less for the whole set up (not just for biamping the uppers)

bentknee

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #37 on: 7 Nov 2008, 10:46 pm »
Phew....a four-mac set up has me just feeling so limited with my simple BAT VK500......:)

On the other hand, I have this curious interest in hearing my Vr5s with some low watt amps done right. Anyone here using a few watts only on their speakers? I've tried the Audio Space Ref 3.1 interegrated and a Naim Nait 2 integrated, but I'd be curious to learn from anyone who used a power amp of 25w or less for the whole set up (not just for biamping the uppers)
I have been planning to post on the results of using a 16 watt Art Audio Carissa SET with my VR4 sr's. I guess this is as good a time as any. I must say this pairing is fantastic. The quality of the amp is far more important than the total watts. The sr's are 92 db speakers and the 5's are 94 so they don't need that much power if the amp can do the dynamics well. I am getting older and don't like headbanging volumes for very long  periods of time but I still love a powerful punchy fairly loud presentation. The Carissa VR4 combo can get the room shaking.  Having the dynamics right is good but without a beautiful midrange performance it would not matter. It is in the midrange where the VR4 and Carissa are a marriage made in heaven. The midrange is very clean and detailed but also so sweet and envolving.  I think the key for VSA speakers is to feed them a good signal and they will reward you with a great musical presentation. Don't be afraid to adjust the amount of stuffing in the bass cabinet. I took a bunch out to free up the bottom end. It's nice to be able to adjust the bass to fit the room or the amp.

 Blessings to you all, Bob
  

fplanner2000

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #38 on: 8 Nov 2008, 07:24 pm »
There is a pretty well-known synergy between VSA speakers and VAC electronics - I have A VAC Phi 300.1 amp and Phi 2.0 preamp driving my VR-7SE's and the sound is just magical.  Also using a Velodyne DD-15 sub and all SYnergistic Research Tesla cabling throughout.  I owe a big thanks to Albert and Bob for tuning my speakers/sub/room to get such great sound during RMAF - I was and continue to be amazed at what a positive difference there is by integrating  :D :Dthat sub (which I had only used for HT the past several years).  There is a lesson here....

As an aside, I used to use a McCormack DNA-500 in my system, but before the VR-7s.  The sound was very, very good and I would guess it as well as comparable McCormack amps mentioned above would sound great with VR-4s and 5's.  The VAC is just in another league. 

BTW, I still have the DNA-500 - someday it will be part of a 2nd system and/or dedicated HT - there is NO WAY I'm letting it go - its just too good at what it does...

McTwins

Re: Which amps work well with VSA?
« Reply #39 on: 11 Nov 2008, 07:45 pm »
Hi everybody

Reason that I have four amps is because of the large room I have. Have tried only with tube in mono with great result (150W per speaker) and one MC252 to the bass and one MC275 to the midtweeter, both combination works very well. But I must say that single amp like one Quad909, you can run it, but aren't enough. Those speaker has to be at least bi- or monoamped.

Thanks