Aronov equipment is underrated. I own two preamps and a set of monoblocks in various systems. It is truly very musical equipment - especially with the amps (110W ea.,4 - 6550's w/autobiasing) fed by a Powersnake Black Mambas. The approach is minimalistic vs. what looks like a lot of "stuff" in the BAT chassis but I am sorry I cannot compare the sound as I have never heard the BAT equip. Also the dual mono design of the Aronov preamp (4-12AX7's) uses two Nobel pots that are quite sensitive - but quiet and Mr. Aronov will not use lessor ones- basically requiring you to set the volume by ear. Not a problem for me, but if you buy via mail, you should know beforehand as it is not clear through the literature. Hope this helps.
The Aronovs are great amps. They are rarely reviewed for whatever reason, but are really good. I have owned an ARC VT100 MK2, Vac 30/30/MK 3, Power 2, Cary 300SEs, and a bunch of high quality solid state. I also owned the Aronovs you are trading for. They are flawless, and sound wonderful. It would be easy to be happy with those amps, except that I'm never happy with anything. Such is the curse of audiophilia. The point is, they compare to all of the "Class A" contenders mentioned here.
Hello Alexc, I haven't heard the Aronov amps but I am a proud owner of the BAT mono VK60s. These are great amps and in many ways are still competitive with anything out there. BAT has just announced a long awaited upgrade for the VK60(s) to the SE status. You could get a used pair of mono VK60s for around 5k to 6k enjoy them and then when you're ready have them upgraded to the SE status which I have been told are just amps to die for. A little over 2 years ago when I bought my VK60s I compared them to other amps both tubed and solid-state (ARC,CJ,VTL,Mark Levinson,Krell,Pass,Cary,) and to my ears and for the attributes that were important to me the VK60s were better by quite a large margin. They seemed to have combined the qualities of a single-ended 300b based tube amp (correctness of timbre texture and tone with tons of space and air that you can actually hear) with the virtues of a push-pull type amp(the ability to drive and control the speaker). If you can please try to audition the amps you have in mind in your system and room so you can decide for yourself what is right for you. I have friends that have made the mistake of buying equipment based on a price they couldn't pass up and in the end were disappointed and had to spend even more money. First decide what you want then shop for "the deal". Be patient and the right deal will come your way. Best wishes, Tom
Many thanks to all. Tom - I wish I could indeed audition the amps in my system. Problem is that there isn't a BAT (let alone Aronov!) dealer for miles around. In fact, no dealer for ANY tubed gear at all. So, looks like the only way to audition is to just purchase the equipment. I figured I will try the Aronovs (straight up swap for my Bryston 7 BST's), and can always put those for sale and move to VK60's if I find them to "tubey" or if I need more low end control (though the Aronovs are reputedly pretty good in the bass). Any way, I expect there will be alot of VK60's coming up for sale in the next year or so as folks upgrade to the new 75 or 150. Needless to say, my fingers are crossed as take the plunge. To Truma and Glreno, curious to know what loudspeakers and loudspeaker cables you've tried an dliked with the Aronovs. I will use them to drive SF Guarneri's and my cables are right now AQ Argent +.
I owned the BAT VK5i and used it with Arnov LS9100 monos. It worked just fine!!! Unfortunately I was talked into a solid state amp and sold my LS9100's. I guess when the "Audio Bug" bites it bites hard! I've also tried the BAT VK60's which sound great on Dunluvy speakers (SC4/A). I did not like the sound of the VK60's when I used them on my Von Schwiekert VR-4s. It sounded to thin on the midrange, kinda like Audio Research gear. I also considered the Arnov preamp but thought that 2 separate volume controls was totally goofy! You'd be constantly up & down each time you wanted to make a change in volume. That's why I bought the BAT VK5i with remote.
I used the Aronovs with Inner Sound Eros and Von Schweikert VR6 speakers. They worked great with both. Speaker cable was Harmonic Tech Pro 9, which works with about anything. Also used Goertz Silver, which was good, but not as good as Harmonic Tech.
Hello Alexc, Sorry to hear there are no dealers around that carry the components you wish to audition. I'm partial to tube equipment and I suspect the Aronov amps will be a nice improvement over the Bryston in many ways. I'm surprised to hear someone find the midrange of the VK60s sound simular to the ARC. When I compared the ARCvt200 to the BATvk60s the midrange had the most pronounced difference. The ARC had a grainy sand like coloration compared to the BAT. The BAT was much more liquid, much richer and vibrant and had more texture and timbre of tone throughout most of the frequencies. In my system with the VK60s driving the Eidolons I would never describe the midrange as being thin sounding. I guess it goes to show us once again how important finding a synergistic combination of components and cables are. Good luck Alexc and report back to us on how the new amps sound in your system. All the best, Tom
I own a pair of Aronov LS 9100's which have been for sale at Audiogon with no takers,which only proves further that the equipment that gets reviewed gets sold. I don't know why Aronov's don't get any ink, perhaps the company does not scratch the right back or palm or whatever the case may be.Only a few years ago the amps were thought to be among the best. They have not changed. I listen to a lot of amps, many of which are very good. The Aronov's still hold their own with against more expensive amps. I offered the pair with only 20 hour use for $4,000. ($6,000. new) Two calls. I guess many hobbist have not heard or heard about this product.My absolute favorite amp is one that uses 845 tubes, they suit my type of music and my listening level. If I am not able to get them I will be very happy with the Aronovs. These self biasing 110 watt monos will drive VR4's, Maggies, Sound Labs, whatever and are as musical as any amp on the market
Aronov..sounds too "rooshian" for "westerners"! Perhaps they are not taken very seriously? Bias, does exist even in "Audio" world. Remember "Stereophile" review of "infamous" KR-6000(??) amps? They were "estatic" about the sound:"...finest, finest amp we EVER heard" however, it did not perform on the "bench-test" as thay expected...so it could not be recommended! Than Vac Avatar virtualy "blow-up" at the test! Made class A rating than moved to B...? The "fi" mag. did review one of these "commie bastards" products..and they were wery pleased with it! Regards
Eldragon What are you trying to say here? Are they good amps or not?
Former "Fi" mag. auditioned one Aronov amp, model (?), and they really liked it...! And i talked with couple of proud "Aronov" owners, they also wouldn't trade their amps for anything!
The problem with Aronov equipment is that it has not changed in 5+ years but the price has gone from $3,000 to $6,000 for the same LS-9100 mono amps. Some people associate price with quality which may be the reason for a 100%increase. However, if you know Aronov equipment it seems like a rip-off. I own a LS-9000 preamp and like the sound and switch back and forth with a VAC CPA-mkII. It is very neutral sounding without being sweet & soft like the VAC (different sound for different mood/days). It is my understanding the LS-9100's are the same way. It is my guess the current value for a 2-3 year old set is $2,000-$2,500 depending on condition and tube age. As their is no perfect amp(s), get a good deal on a pair and switch power sources from time to time.
I would like to hear anybody with Aronov integrated amp! I, myself am on "look-out" for tubed integrated, and i had Jadis Orchestra, Mesa Tigris in mind!
Eldragon - Check out Audioasylum.com. Do a search for Aronov in the Tubes section. Several of the "inmates" have Aronov integrateds and seem to be v. happy with them.