Best electronics for Vandersteen 5/5A

I have a pair of Vandersteen 5A's on order and would be interested in hearing recommendations as to the best electronics to mate with the speakers.
Hi Gharrington; I've owned the standard Vand. 5s for over a year now and love them. It took 2 1/2-3 months for them to fully break-in. I've not heard the 5As as they're scarce yet. Also, isn't list price of the 5A about $14.5K?, ie quite a bit more than the std. model 5. I know it would cost $4500. to up-grade my 5s, so the 5As must be quite a bit more refined?

My system is now complete and sounds excellent. I use Levinson 37 transport and 360S DAC and consider it a near state of art front end for digital. Pre-amp is a Sonic Frontiers Line 2SE w/NOS tubes, Hal-O dampers and it sits on a Seismic Sink.

For an amp, I started with a big 300 wpc McCormack DNA-2 Rev A by Steve McCormack at SMc Audio, but as you know the 5s have built in 400 wpc amps for the built-in sub-woofers (below 125 HZ). The upper drivers of the 5s are an easy load to drive 8 Ohm load, so I've recently gone to a McCormack DNA-0.5 "Gold" Rev., and this is a wonderful sounding amp for the 5s. I gained some valuable floor space by doing this. I use mid-priced Active Shielded Syn Res ICs and speaker cables as well as SR Master couplers all plugged into dedicated Hubbell outlets.

Anyone that can afford the 5As though probably wants to spend more money for a more "prestigous" amp, but to tell the truth, I consider the 100 wpc .5 Gold a "prestige" sounding amp and it drives the 5s beautifully. I've heard that R. Vandersteen uses tubed gear with the 5/5As though-- some say ARC, but I haven't talked to him about it. Personally, I prefer a nice sweet, liquid SS amp for it's speed, PR&T, and bass control, and the .5 Gold does this.

I suspect you'll love the 5As. Good Luck with them and please report back after you've used them awhile. Cheers. Craig
Try the Quick Silver tube amps for the hi frequencies. Very magicial on the 5s
I agree with Garfish. (I bought his 300wpc McCormack DNA-2 REV A amp.)

This is my second McCormack amp and although I've never listened to the DNA 0.5 or DNA 0.5 REV A or REV A Gold revisions, I know the standard 0.5 has been around for quite some time and is legendary in it's reputation.

The DNA 0.5 standard was deemed a very comptetitive 2nd a few years ago to the Krell $30,000 Standard amp by many reviewers. Yet the DNA 0.5 standard only costs about $2k or so.

Based on my experience with two DNA amps (one revised, one not), I would have little doubt a DNA 0.5 Revision A or Revison A gold amp rebuilt by Steve McCormack at could be as close to a perfect match as one could find for the Vm5's or 5a's.

I also happen to think it's a beautiful looking amp as well.

If you go this route, I would also highly recommend demo'ing a pair of Audience Au24 speaker cables shortly thereafter. That combo could cause you to lose lots of sleep as well.

Richard Vandersteen is a very approachable guy. Talk to him with your question and concerns. He would be happy to tell what he has used.

What does your dealer tells you? Take it with a grain of salt since retailing sometimes makes for strange bedfellows.

Please allow proper break-ing.
Good luck
I have used both tube and solid state preamps and amps with my Model Fives and ended up with a Conrad Johnson 16LS Series 11 preamp and a Jeff Rowland Model 10 amplifier. I look forward to hearing the 5A, my dealer has one coming in about 2 weeks.
Thanks for the input.

I had made up my mind to go with Vandersteen Model 5A's and went to the dealer to start to focus on electronics. The dealer had a customer that didn't want to wait to have his Model 5's upgraded, so the customer traded them in on the pair of 5A's that the dealer had in stock. That gave me the chance to buy the traded in 5's and have them upgraded to 5A's for a price well below what the 5A's would cost. It felt like I had ended up in the right place at the right time, so I went ahead and now I am waiting for the upgrade. That's how I ended up with speakers on order without a clear sense of what to do with electronics.

I listened to the 5's at the dealers through the BAT integrated and they sounded very nice. However, I haven't yet had the chance to do direct comparisons of the VK-300X.

I had earlier heard the 5's with top of the line ARC equipment and they sounded fantastic. However, that is extraordinarily pricey and I'm not sure that I want a tubed amp. I do get the sense that Richard Vandersteen uses tube amplification, but I'm not sure what make. In a brief conversation with him I asked about his thoughts on solid state amps for his speakers and he mentioned Rowland, Theta and one other manufacturer (which I wrote down and have somewhere on a misplaced note).

Richard Hardesty of the Audio Perfectionist uses, I believe, a Theta Dreadnaught with an ARC Reference preamp with his Vandersteen speakers. I think that Shane Buettner, who writes for The Absolute Sound and the Audio Perfectionist, uses a Theta Dreadnaught with a BAT preamp.

I have listend to Rowland electronics with other speakers and it seemed to me that they might be a good match for the Vandersteens. However, I haven't run into many people (including dealers that carry both products) pairing them up that way. It was good to hear from someone that has.

I would very much be interested in further suggestions and thoughts on the subject.
I am using a CBII with a Dreadnaught II amp for my ht with Vandy 5's. I like the way my system sounds very much.

If you did not get the external high-pass xovers with your purchace, I would order a pair as they sound better than digital xovers.
Cary V12 monos seemed perfect on the 5s at the HE show two years back. Magical sound.
I have 5As on order and will start out using an ARC LS25 MKII and an ARC VT100 MKIII. This decision was based on listening at my dealers and some general feedback from a number of Vandersteen users that ARC tube equipment is a great match. I can let you know in the future how it works out.
Zargon, i have heard that exact combo extensively, and it sounds wonderful. I am sure you will be pleased.

I am using vandrsteen 5's with an ARC LS15 , CD3, and a classe ca101. I am happy with the sound, but will probably switch the amp for a vt100 mk 2 or 3.
Thanks again for the responses. I ended up going with the BAT VK 51SE preamp and BAT VK 150SE amps (monoblocks). I am waiting for delivery and will let you know how it turns out once everything is up, running and broken in.