Audio Research Classic 30 vs VS55

I am the owner of an Audio Research Classic 30 amplifier which I use with Audio Research SP16L. I am very happy with this couple. Sometimes I wonder if the more recent VS55 (which is supposed to match the SP16L)would sound as good as the Classic 30 but with more power, that sometimes I miss with the Classic 30. I know that there are probably better A.R. amplifiers than VS55, but this the only I might afford. What is your opinion. Would you change the Classic 30 with the VS55. Many thanks. Maurizio. Italy

The Classic and V series are very special amplifiers. The VS55 would be a sideway move. VS55 suffers from the same low power and they can both sound somewhat closed in at times. If it were me I would just look for a Classic 60 or maybe V70 to get a little more power. The V70 is very similar to the Classic 60 except that it is balanced. some of the later CL60 amps are also balanced.

I have not heard a VS115 so I don't know how it compares. But that might also be an option. Much easier to bias than either the Classic or V series amps.

I have owned both a Classic 60 and V70 as well as a VT100 mk3. And I have listen to a lot more. I owned the V70 for many years and finally sold it after I bought my Ref 110. Though more detailed, I never thought the VT100 mk3 was truly better than the V70. The Ref 110 is the first ARC amp I thought was significantly better.
I've owned a Classic 60 for years. Its a great sounding amp. The CL 30 is the half powered version of the CL 60.

Many folks who have compared the two say that the CL-30 is a more musical, sweeter sounding amp. If I were you Maurip, I'd keep the CL-30. It's a great amp, hard to find ... and a true classic.