AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!

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Listens2tubes

Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #40 on: 15 Dec 2010, 02:16 am »
My (last) Jan issue arrived finally. :D Glad to go out with a bang. Will be carrying this one around for a while. :thumb: I really only enjoy TAS when AVA is recognized for it's genius and value. So I'll be back to cherry picking whenever Frank lets us know there'll be something worth reading. 8)

Opus Flatus

Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #41 on: 15 Dec 2010, 03:06 am »
I'm not seeing the need to renew my TAS subscription either. Although, I am very happy for Frank and the great press in TAS. It helps to validate my AVA acquisitions. I'm extremely satisfied with all of my AVA gear. Let the fools with with disposable income waste there G's on what they think sounds good.

turkey

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Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #42 on: 15 Dec 2010, 04:10 pm »
The only time I found the magazines useful in terms of Frank's gear was at the very beginning when I didn't know who he was or whether or not I should risk sending a check off to Minnesota.

I saw Frank talking sense and Harry Pearson talking nonsense, so score one for Frank. Then there were a number of reviews of Jensen's equipment in The $ensible Sound, and overall I found that I agreed with them in terms of other equipment they reviewed that I had heard for myself. So, I decided to take the plunge and I've been annoying Frank ever since.  :icon_lol:


saisunil

Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #43 on: 15 Dec 2010, 04:21 pm »
Wow! it is great to get the award but the magazine sucks??? and we read it  :o
Everyone else out there is just plan cookoo ...
 
I am this close to taking a plunge and try the ultravalve but ... I guess I am not sure ... seems like everything else is soo wrong ... wow!

Minn Mark

Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #44 on: 15 Dec 2010, 04:25 pm »
saisunil,

Don't forget the 30 day satisfaction guarantee. What can ya lose?  Listen for yourself !

Mark

turkey

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Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #45 on: 15 Dec 2010, 04:49 pm »
Wow! it is great to get the award but the magazine sucks??? and we read it  :o
Everyone else out there is just plan cookoo ...

I don't read TAS anymore. I stopped many years ago, and then tried a year recently when they offered it to me for $12. I tried to get a refund after the first issue, but they wouldn't respond to e-mail and when I called they'd put me on hold as soon as they found out I wanted a refund. Then they'd let me sit there until I got tired and hung up.

Quote

I am this close to taking a plunge and try the ultravalve but ... I guess I am not sure ... seems like everything else is soo wrong ... wow!

Why base your decision on whether or not TAS likes something? There are plenty of people here that own UltraValves or the Ultimate 70. Talk to them and see what they think. Even better, as Minn Mark noted, there's a 30 day satisfaction guarantee, so you can try it out for yourself in your own home.


PMAT

Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #46 on: 15 Dec 2010, 05:11 pm »
10 points for the underdog. It's so nice to hear that a small company like Frank's can get some economic pump up. Increased sales can only help with Frank's ability to continue to offer high value products and service. We need guys like Frank to be economically stable. The rest of you fans need to recommend AVA products to your friends. Go out and push your love for Hi-Fi into more peoples lives. The world will be better for it.

saisunil

Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #47 on: 15 Dec 2010, 05:12 pm »
A couple of questions then ...
 
1. Does the amp respond to tube rolling - input and power - though electrically (almost) all tubes are of same type are supposed to be technically / electrically have same characteristics ... I have limited experience with tube amps - have owned only a few (Cayin, Tube Audio Design and Response audio modified Jolida)
 
2. If yes, is there a "highly" recommended tube combo - some amps just shine with certain tubes - and no I did not like the sound of EH tubes ... when I tried them ...
 
3. I am going to ask anyway - even though the answer is no - is there an IEC option - as in my experience removing CRL power chord was akin to losing the "magic" in my system and yes I have heard difference in IC - made from copper, silver and palladium - with A/B/C test ... and yes I have heard difference in burn-in ... with almost every audio gear I can think of ...
 
So my issue is - buying a product from a company, along with its customers, who do not believe in most / all of the above experiences I mentioned above.
 
One thing I do believe in is that the above mentioned "tweeks" are no substitute for a properly designed and engineered product ... but then if it is properly designed and engineered then why would it not respond to the above -- unless it is already fully tweaked  :scratch:  ...
 
At the same time I do respect Frank's no nonsense, straight on "frank" approach and high value proposition ... hence the desire to "try" it out for myself ...
 
So I am on the fence ...
 
Cheers

avahifi

Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #48 on: 15 Dec 2010, 05:38 pm »
Sorry, there is no three pin IEC power cord connection on the Ultravalve amplifier.

Actually there really is no place to put one along with the then necessary ground lift switch.  Not enough room either internally or on the back panel.  It would take a chassis redesign to do this.

Inasmuch as the amp is already rated the best dollars you could ever spend on audio equipment by The Absolute Sound, I really really doubt that the lack of a plug in power cord is a significant issue with the unit.  Its already the best, we hope that will be adequate for you.

Tube rolling?  Try whatever you want to.  It won't make great differences, the electronic circuit design is the secret to the amplifier's performance, not the parts selection.

Regards,

Frank Van Alstine

rollo

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Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #49 on: 15 Dec 2010, 06:33 pm »
  Its built to a price point . All in all the circuit design is the critical part. As a complete amp for a price it won an award. So on its own merrits not with NOS tubes or powercords.
  As a believer in ICs and cables in general, in this case IMO as is its all you need. Try it for 30 days that is the only way to find out if it mates with your system.
  Really think about this. Mr. Van alstine does not play the audio game. yet this piece won "product of the Year" . With all the gear with IECs, fancy parts and so on his amp won.
  As Mr. Van Alstine says it is the circuit NOT the parts. Parts can only enhance a design if implemented properly. So far so good don't ya think.


charles

jtwrace

Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #50 on: 15 Dec 2010, 06:48 pm »
Do you loose the 30 day trial if you purchase with the 15% discount?

saisunil

Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #51 on: 15 Dec 2010, 07:50 pm »
Where can I audition it in NYC?
I just went through painful process of auditioning another "good" audio gear that was good for a price point - even though people raved and called it the "answer" to all audio madness ...
 
I just miss tubes  :?  otherwise I am happy with my TRL amp ... I wish I had not sold my modded jolida for nothing ...

turkey

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Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #52 on: 15 Dec 2010, 09:02 pm »
Where can I audition it in NYC?

No idea, but wouldn't it be better to audition it at home where you can actually stand a chance of finding out how it sounds in your system?

Quote
I just went through painful process of auditioning another "good" audio gear that was good for a price point - even though people raved and called it the "answer" to all audio madness ...

TAS gave it a Product of the Year award. Not a "Product of the Year Only at Its Price Point."


Minn Mark

Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #53 on: 15 Dec 2010, 09:31 pm »
I've not heard the Ultravalve myself (I'm an Insight man, for now).

I appreciate this string begging the question, though: has anyone read or 'heard' negative remarks about the Ultravalve?


 I'm looking for honest estimations of the musical performance, not just bitchin' that there's no IEC receptacle, wrong color scheme for my audio den, is built in too cold a climate for that 'warm' tube sound etc , etc.

Would be interested to heard what detractions anybody has noted as regards the audible character.


Mark

Wayner

Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #54 on: 15 Dec 2010, 09:55 pm »
Mark,

I think the Ultravalve doesn't really have any bad traits, that is why it won the award. I have had the original prototype for about 2 years now (project actually started about 5 years ago) and back then I knew the amp was something special. I now have the original prototype and one of the first builds, and the amp simply performs.

I am a vinyl geek and the thrill is everytime I put on some LP. I simply get into the music, forgetting the electronics. The amp has plenty of muscle to give the listener plenty of dynamics, freedom of colorations or tube flatness, and the low end is simply amazing for it's lowly 33 watts (RMS) per channel. Piano, cymbal crashes, vocals are all real as it can get.

I drive mine with an Insight+ EC preamp, loaded of course, and the tube driven by SS preamp is totally wonderful, tho I'd like to hear it pushed by the Ultra or T8.

Wayner

nicksgem10s

Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #55 on: 15 Dec 2010, 10:07 pm »
Mark,

I had the opportunity to hear it at AKfest 2010 earlier this year with a pair of Salk Songtowers.  Show conditions are usually very challenging and good gear can often sound mediocre.  This was simply not the case with the Ultravalve and Songtower combination. 

The Ultravalve sounded as good or better than much of the gear I heard at the show.  Some of the gear I am describing was much more money. 

I am incredibly picky when it comes to tube amplifiers.  Frank and AVA have an excellent sounding piece of gear.  The fact that is affordable is just a bonus for value conscientious audiophiles.

Below were my comments from my AKfest show report regarding the Ultravalve.

Salk Sound and Audio by Van Alstine:  This room is one that I always look forward to because they both just seem to get better and better.  Jim Salk and Frank Van Alstine are two very unique individuals that make an audio match made in heaven.  I feel lucky to be able to listen to their fine equipment each year at AK Fest.

The Salk Sound and AVA room was one of the largest hotel rooms at the AK Fest.  It was large enough to have two separate systems with their own unique large seating areas.

The first time I visited the Salk AVA room on Saturday I had the opportunity to hear the Salk Songtowers and the Audio by Van Alstine Ulimate 70 tube amplifier paired with AVA preamp and dac.  The sound of this combination had some of the best synergy I heard at the show.  The music was flowing in an effortless manner and sounded natural and dynamic.  It was one of the best sounds and certainly one of the best values with both products having real world pricing.

I knew how good the Salk Songtowers are before the show.  The AVA Ulimate 70 tube amp is amazing.  If you are in the market for a new tube amp anywhere near the price of the AVA Ultimate 70 run don't walk to the phone/computer to order one from Frank.  Check this out.

I also had the chance to hear the Salk Archos open baffle speakers with the AVA Ultimate 70.  This is another winning combination.  I am a big fan of open baffle speakers and the Archos did not dissapoint.  This version with the ribbon tweeter was very musical and provided the enveloping sound that only ob speakers provide.  I do not think it would be possible to go wrong with either the Songtower or Archos with the AVA Ultimate 70 

See link below if you want to see a link to the thread that the above comments came from as well as some pics.

The AVA and Salk photos are in the bottom half of page one.

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=80847.0

Hope this helps.

-Nick

jhm731

Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #56 on: 15 Dec 2010, 11:44 pm »
The Ultravalve and one channel of the "other amplifier"

                  AVA Ultravalve                                            Lamm ML3(mono)


adydula

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Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #57 on: 16 Dec 2010, 03:06 am »
The Ultravalve works well, has no real bad traits, some folks have rolled tubes and the results are well all good...but the EH tubes, the Sovtek etc sound marvelous. In this design the sum of the whole is superlative.

If this design delivers the goods, why mess with perfection...you can roll tubes etc and if you think its better sounding etc great...but the way it is build and delivered...man it doesnt get any better to me in my system and room.

I would not hesitate to make this purchase again. I am driving it with a AVA Insight + Preamp with Salk SongTowers and it is indeed a marraige made in heaven and yes this means it sounds really really good too!!

lol


All the Best
Alex
 :D :D :D

catastrofe

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Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #58 on: 16 Dec 2010, 03:10 am »
I can think of a negative - Not enough power to drive the Salk SoundScapes!!
 :green:

Art_Chicago

Re: AVA Ultravalve, TAS Product of the Year 2010 Award!
« Reply #59 on: 16 Dec 2010, 03:23 am »
I can think of a negative - Not enough power to drive the Salk SoundScapes!!
 :green:


well, if you can get the SoundScapes then you can get 2 UltraValves and bridge them! I can only imagine the result...