Best Amp for Vandy 3A's under 3000 Used?

Please give me your recommendations for a good amp/preamp combo for 3A signatures. Thank you.

I've had a few combinations with my 3A Sigs. and find my current set-up very satisfying. The preamp is a Sonic Frontiers Line 2 Special Edition and the amp is the Bel Canto 200.2. I've had much larger amps and was worried that the BC, with 125 watts per side, wasn't going to give me the bass drive that I had before. However, my worries were unfounded as the BC handles bass on the Sigs very nicely. A plus for the BC is that it is small and does not generate any heat. Also, the BCs convert to mono amps very successfully, if you want to add a second one at some point.

The SF tube pre, while being very neutral, gives that little bit of magic that I don't find in an all solid state system. Good luck on your search. If you can find these pieces used, they should come in around your $3k target (maybe a little over).
I would suggest a higher powered tube amp, at least 90wpc or higher. The Quicksilver Silver 90's or a newer equivalent with an Audible Illusions Preamp would probably work well.
I am currently using a Bryston 4B-ST with my Vandy 3A Signatures, and am very pleased with the combination. I have read that Richard Vandersteen likes to use McCormack amps with the 3A Sig's and the Model 5.
I'd suggest a McCormack DNA-1 or 1DLX amp, and Sonic Frontiers Line 2 pre-amp. You could up-grade the McCormack later if you felt the need for "more". This combo is great with the 3As. Cheers. Craig
These are some good recomendations but the best thing you can do to make your amp choice simple(this may seem off subject, but wait)is to buy a Vandersteen sub(the amp is in the woofer!) for your 3's(if you want a second opinion go to and read Issue#2) then any good ARC,Conrad Johnson, or VTL combo providing the amp has an input impedence of 100k(most of the amps I list do) you don't need as big an amp. 50 watts might suprise the hell out of you(remember the woofer has it's own 300 watt amp and bass is what sucks the juice!). I am running this sort of set up with 2Ce's which are 1db less efficent than 3's with a 50 watt ARC amp and an ARC pre and the sound is OUTSTANDING(and plays quite loud I might add). you can easly get this in your 3K budget too!the subs go for under a grand used, and you have a wonderful number of good amp and pre combos you could buy for 2K. HUmm I'm an ARC guy but I saw a CJ Premier 3 for sale a few days ago for under a grand, put that together with a CJ MV55 or similar? You will not be able to beat it for the cash!
Richard told me face to face that he personally likes and recommends ARC tube products for use with his speakers. Being a man of his word, I saw him demo the 5's at Hi-Fi 99 with an all ARC "glow in the dark" system. Then again, that was a whole 2+ years ago, so his preferences may have changed. As you know, models and personal prferences can change quite a bit in that amount of time.

If in doubt, try giving Richard a call. Tell him what you currently have, what you want to spend and see where he goes from there. I have no doubt that he will recommend SOMETHING as he is not shy about his likes / dislikes : ) Sean
I have had Vandersteens for 15 years, upgraded from 2c's all the way up to Vandersteen 5. Had 3A sigs for 3 years.
Best deal you can get to power this is:

ARC VT130, can get one for $1800.
Couple with ARC LS2, about 1000.
This would be killer. If you want better, go to Ref 1 preamp.

If you only want solid state amp, use PSE V's monoblock. Preamp, use Audible Illusions M3A.

Either combination above will give you excellent musicality.

good luck.

My sincere thanks to all of you who responded and the detailed replies in particular. Happy Holidays.

I would buy a hot rod mccormack dna amp. A dna-1 or higher. I found the dna1 was far and away the best amp for the vandersteen 3a Sigs.

If you go for a tube amp, I suggest you go for an off-brand mega power tube amp. I found that my 160W sonic frontiers sfm-160's sounded better with the van 3's than the 100w arc vt100. You really need some juice to make these speakers sing.

I would go solid state with these - they are already warm sounding.
If you don't already own the Vandersteens don't do it! I have been recomending them to people for over 15 years but not any more! Buy from people who will treat you right if you have aquestion,or make damn sure that you have good dealer support. Don't call and talk to "Dick"! Buy some speakers from nice people like Magnepan who will answer you questions and treat you like a human being!