1) Getting to know VAC 160i amp. 2) Appropriate stand mounts?

1) VAC 160i:

I am thinking to build a system around the VAC 160i. Thoughts on this amp vs competitive integrateds? Similar types of amp might include Primaluna Dialog and several Line Magnetic models.

Current speakers are Harbeth P3ESR, which have survived a few system changes but won’t survive this last one.

The MM phono stage on the 160 doesn’t feel amazing to me. Tips on improving? I have a Herron phono 2 MM/MC that I could fold in, was hoping to keep it to one box.

What are some tubes that VAC 160i owners swear by? I listen to a broad variety of music, from small-group acoustic/jazz to rock to electronic to classical and opera.

2) Speakers:

Looking at Nola Boxers. Can anyone speak to this combination?

Any other obvious sub-$3k options for synergistic speakers?

Room is 25’ x 12’, pure listening area 12’ x 10’. Speakers currently 6’ apart and 10’ from sweet spot.

What other questions should I be asking?

Thanks in advance!

I've heard this integrated sound absolutely excellent with Magico S1. What about the MM stage didn't feel right to you? I thought its phono stage sounded superb (as typical for a VAC built-in phono), and you can add an outboard K&K Lundahl LL1931 (plus a 0.5m interconnect) for top-quality MC support. The Herron gets rave reviews, though, so you could forgo the phono option if you're keeping that.

More recently I've heard current line Focal speakers pairing beautifully with VAC gear (higher price ranges, though), so look at Focal's options too.