Should work just fine unless your trying to rattle windows and shake floors. I drove a pair of 2ce's with my Jadis Orchestra Reference (about 45 w/c) and it sounded really good to me. Your opinion may vary, but, Happy Listening.
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I power my 3A Sigs with Vincent ST-800 monoblocks which are a tubed/ss hybrid with 200 w/ch. This works really well. My rule of thumb - tubed power will sound like SS power of twice the watts. So, the 60 tubed watts will sound like 120 watts ss. I don't think that will be enough with the 3A's unless you only listen to chamber music. I would suggest at least 100 tube watts.
03-14-10: NarrodI disagree. From my experience and research, bass control and tonal balance is primarily a function of the speaker's impedance curve. With a 6 ohm nominal and 4 ohm minimum specification, I think bass quality from a push-pull tube amp with 4 ohm taps will be a non-issue. An OTL or SET amp will be another issue, however.
The issue with these 87dB speakers and a 60wpc amplifier of any topology, is overall volume and available headroom for dynamic peaks.
From the Vandersteen 3A Signature website:
If the manufacturer recommends a minimum of 100wpc, then I'd give that serious consideration.
Unsound - power specs for amps are developed under static conditions. Music, however, is dynamic and that is where the difference between SS and tubes becomes evident. In my experience, tube amps deliver more dynamic power and hence sound more powerful in practical music listening than SS at comparable static power specs. This has been a consistent observation over many years and many different ss and tubed amps. Of course there are MANY factors that affect the resulting sound (like power supply, distortion profile of ss vs. tubes, etc) but for sheer dynamic power, tubes seem better to me.
Perhaps into higher impedance loads most tube amps might seem more powerful, into lower impedance loads ss might seem more powerful. According to Stereophile's measurements of the speaker in question, the impedance drops to 2.8 Ohms and the sensitivity was measured at 85 dB/W/M. That drop happens in the bass region, where a bigger cone needs to be moved. Perhaps with speakers like some 'stats the argument might be reversed.
According to Stereophile's measurements of the speaker in question, the impedance drops to 2.8 Ohms and the sensitivity was measured at 85 dB/W/M.That's significantly different than Vandersteen's stated specifications.
6 ohm nominal with a 2.8 ohm minimum does not make for a tube friendly speaker, IMO. I'd stay away from tubes for this speaker based on these measurements.
With the exception of the Jadis Defy 7 I never heard a tube amp bring out the strengths of the 3A better than quality solidstate.Thanks for that info, Wendell. SS has certainly been the recommended topology for as long as I can recall. When I saw the manufacturer's specs of 6 ohm nominal/4 ohm minimum, I thought perhaps they were candidates for tube amplification. Admittedly, I got lazy and didn't read the Stereophile measurements section...something I'm always hitting home to others...so I'm guilty of some hypocrisy here.
03-15-10: UnsoundAre these the Vandersteen models with powered subwoofers, like the 5A? If so, that makes a significant difference since the tube amp isn't responsible for powering the difficult low impedances in the bass frequencies. In this case, there are many folks using tube amps, including Atma-Sphere.