Amp for Vandy 3A?


Hello-
I have a hybrid stereo amp from Blue Circle that's rated 80 watts into 8ohm, 100 watts into 4ohm. Is that enough/stable power to drive a pair of Vanderteen 3As? I've read these speakers may need more, but I've also read this would be enough power for moderate level listening. Or would I be better off in the 2CE sig, or sig II range..?

Happy Holidays!
gr8tfuljeff
I think its a bit marginal. I used a pair of McCormack DNA 0.5s (100 wpc to 8 ohm) vertical bi-amp. For a single amp, I used a DNA 1.0 @ 185 wpc into 8 ohms. If you are fixed on the amp, I would go 2CE sigs which are selling now for very good prices used (ca. $800) and then add a 2WQ sub which come up regularly.
I run my 3A Sigs with Cary 211 AE monoblocks (70 w/ch in class A 8 ohms, 110 in class A2). My room is small but I never get even close to running out of power. I listen to large scale orchestral music (but not rock). The 211's have a lot of iron and a good power supply so those 70 watts are real. In general, I find that you need about double solid state watts to achieve the same subjective listening power from a good tube amp. In my case, that would equate to ~140 watts solid state (a loose rule of thumb to me).
I second the McCormack for SS, hard to beat at the price and with the Vandersteens. Your best advice regarding your speakers will be from Richard Vandersteen. He will get on the phone and he is a straight shooter.
I run 3A Signatures with a Pass Aleph 4, which is 100 class A watts into 4 or 8 ohms. The Vandies are rated as a 6 ohm speaker. My room is 22 x 12 x 8 with adjoining spaces which are open to the listening area. There is no problem with compression, clipping etc. I don't listen to much rock but a lot of jazz. Although I don't listen at deafening levels, I do like to crank it a fair amount. I live in an apartment, so that probably limits me somewhat.

I have heard the DNA 1.0 and 0.5 and while good amps for the money, in my opinion, are not in the class of the Pass Aleph series. Either DNA may give out before the Pass ever will, due to the design of the Pass. Pass Aleph 4's, while not often seen on Audiogon used, are an excellent bargain (relatively cheap) and is an amp that you can keep for life.
The most obvious choice is Audio Research, it has historically been Richard Vandersteen's brand of choice.

My brother has the 3A Sigs and uses an AR 100.2/LS16 preamp and loves it. Perhaps a little more power reserve like the 150.2 or 300.2 might be better.
I'm using the Modwright SWLP into Channel Islqnds D200's and love that combination into my 3 sigs. I used to use a McCormack 1 RevA but the CI's were a revelation in clarity and resolution. The Vandies tend a bit to the warm side but with these and the outstanding Modwright, these speakers really shine, IMO.
I'm using the Modwright SWLP into Channel Islqnds D200's and love that combination into my 3 sigs. I used to use a McCormack 1 RevA but the CI's were a revelation in clarity and resolution. The Vandies tend a bit to the warm side but with these and the outstanding Modwright, these speakers really shine, IMO.
I paired 3A Signatures with all Audio Research gear (LS25mkII, VT-100...no slouches) and I didn't like the sound very much. I did not run the speakers full range in that configuration though, so perhaps a better balance would be achieved full range. I never listened loud, but 100 watts was more than adequate to power them for my taste. I also ran them in my home with some Classe's, Theta, and Ayre at different times. All of those amps had 100+ watts. So, I think that 80 watts should be fine to drive them to realistic levels. I used 20 watt amplifers with them once, and they were fine as long as not driven hard. Keep in mind, I had the 2wq powered subs in my system.

You may want to look into the sub, as it makes the 3A (and the amp?) sound a lot clearer and easier to drive.

Will
Still not sure what I'm going to do, but I have a lots of time to decide.

Thanks for all the responses!
I get the sense no one has heard the Vandies with the Blue Circle.
I,m gonna try Krell 350mcx's with the 5a's.
I have had both 2s and 3s running on VTL 100s and Deluxe 120s. I didn't detect any difference in efficiency between the two. I had enough power for most situations, but I can tell you the 3s really like my JC-1s, so they will will give you more if you feed them.

Joe
Have heard the 3A Sigs at a dealer with both Rogue M-150 amps and also with Belles 350A Reference. Both amps sounded great, and I have a Belles 350A in my system (Unity Audio Signature speakers), so i can vouch for the Belles. Which you prefer maybe be a matter of your preference for tubes or solid state. Both will work well with the Vandies.-Mrmitch