Wow, an upgrade to the ARC VT100 mkII? I'd definitely like to find out more about these.
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I have MFA 200C monoblocks which are rated at 200 watts per side into 8 ohms and they switch to triode mode for less output. They use 6 KT90s a side. I've had them for about 8 years and have really enjoyed them. Then again, I used them primarily with Snell Type A/IIs which are very smooth. The tube amps probably made things even smoother than they needed to be. I have had little trouble with them. I had to resolder connections to the switch on one side and to the fuse on the other side; and I had to have a part replaced on both. John Nunez who used to work on these amps with MFA replaced the part and indicated that it was a problem with that part but that otherwise they ususally don't have problems, and I can vouch for that, other than the aforementioned. They run very hot and don't have fans. Seem to have good reserves of power, good dynamic contrast, bass isn't the tightest I've heard but its there. All hand wired. Bob Bergner I think at RB Audio sells the new Bruce Moore amps and provides support, maintenance etc, as I understand it.
The new Bruce Moore amps seem bullet proof compared to the MFAs, which are more a clssic look, cosmetically. A lot of heavy metal on those new ones.
Since Iv'e changed to Revels, I can't say yet how they synergize. See the thread under amps/preamps entitled "Opinions on why this system is uninvolving", for further discusssion re that system.
I have been involved in high-end audio as a hobbyist for several years now. I've honestly never been more satisfied with the sound of my system until I purchased Bruce Moore Audio equipment. I started with the Dual 70 power amp (traded VT100MKII). I still had my Audio Research LS15 preamp and the improvement with the Dual 70 was unbelievable. Last week Bob sent me the Companion III preamp to try in my system and I was blown away once again. The sound was full and the soundstage was wider than I have ever heard. I am in the process of sending Bob my LS15 and a check for the difference to buy the Companion III preamp. I was initially apprehensive because of a lack of reviews and awareness of the Bruce Moore products. I also did not know if 70 wpc would work with my Martin Logan SL3's. These products are proof that magazine reviews do not necessarily determine the best products out there. The Dual 70 drives the speakers with no problems. No signs of clipping whatsoever...at any tolerable volume level. Bob states that the Dual 70 uses transformers that provide substantial headroom making the amplifier perform like one rated with far more power. Compared to the ARC gear, I can honestly say the Bruce Moore gear is far less analytical sounding. There was leanness in the sound that became rather fatiguing with ARC. The Dual 70 is rich and full without sacrificing resolution, detail, and air. I would make the trade without question. I wish I had known about Bruce Moore years ago. I would have saved a lot of time and money! Another thing I really like about the Dual 70 is you can adjust the bias for each output tube before every listening session once the amplifier stabilizes. There are four small pots on the front of the amp and a bias meter indicating correct bias. This procedure takes about 30 seconds. With the ARC you are required to take the amplifier apart to adjust bias. You also need a multi-meter (preferably two) to make the adjustment efficiently. Unless you have at least three hours to spare and are technically above average, you have to ship the amp back to ARC and pay substantially for shipping and the service charges. Take the plunge and don't look back. Bob is also the most knowledgeable, honest, and unbiased dealer I have ever dealt with. Let me know if you have any further questions! I'd be glad to help.
Gunbei. Bruce Moore sells direct through RB Audio in California. Bob Bergner, who is RB Audio, is a heck of a good guy, and you would enjoy talking with him about Bruce's products. I believe that Bob has a demo plan where he will ship you an amp to demo in your home. Bruce Moore is legendary and has designed such products as the MFA line with Scott Frankland,including the legendary Luminescence preamp, the original Audible Illusions preamps, Precision Fidelity, and Paragon. He has only gotten better as he went along. Hard to beat his stuff.
Thanks for the info Twl, I managed to find RB Audio through the search engines. I was really impressed by what I read at Home Theater & Hi Fi about the Dual 70 and Companion IIc, especially in regards to the midrange reproduction.
I've been very happy the last year with my Blue Circle BC21 and BC22, but I've always wondered how much better "better" sounds. I'm afraid if I audition something from Bob it'll never go back. Man, I'll never get out of debt.
Thanks for your interest in the products!!!
To answer the questions:
Bruce has been building this new line of tube preamps and amps since 1992, but most of the equipment has been sold over seas for the last several years. After filling an overseas order, any extra units that were built were sold by a few select dealers. Since the slow down in over seas sales in the last 2 years, I do sell as a dealer and distribute to other dealer.
I do have a demo program for customers and dealers for evaluation. FYI products can be seen on the web site: www.rbaudio.com
Any questions e mail email@example.com or call 925-918-3714.
Questions on using different tubes in these preamps and amps please contact me for details!
Gunbei: You can use either 6550 or KT88 output tubes with the Dual 70. I am using the 6550's that were shipped with the unit. Bob @ RB Audio suggested that I keep the 6550's since they sound smoother than the KT88's (my Martin Logans tend toward the analytical side). I did try JAN Philips NOS 6922's for the input tubes. The two outside tubes, of the four, make the greatest difference in the sound according to Bob. They sounded good, but I am sticking with the stock Teslas for now. I do have JAN Philips 6922's in my Companion III preamp and they sound great.
This response may be a little late but I just recently purchased a Bruce Moore Dual 70 power amp and I wanted to add my impressions to this thread. I am in complete agreement with Smerkle regarding this terrific tube amp. After putting the Dual 70 into my system everything opened up musically. I could go on about greater depth, improved details, and richness of tone, but my greatest impression has been a profound enjoyment of music. I am trading sleep for late night hours with Ella, Sinatra, Basie, Coltrane, etc. Earlier on, after purchasing a pair of Talon Raven speakers (another great product) I was left feeling I was not getting the performance these speakers were capable of. Changing from adequate solid state to the Bruce Moore tube amp made these speakers really sing. This combination has been addictive, particularly with my analog rig. As Smerkle noted, you don't hear much about Bruce Moore products but they are well worth checking out. I also look forward to upgrading to the Bruce Moore preamp when the new model comes out with a phono stage. I purchased my amp from Bob Bergner at RB Audio. He is really an honest and good guy to work with. If you're in the market for a tube amp that has the magic that tubes seem to provide in the highs and mids but with balls on the bottom end too, and one that does not cost an arm and a leg, you just might want to give Bob a call. I'm glad I did.
Yes, I purchased a Companion II that was upgraded (Cardas wiring and Cardas female RCAs, Infini-Caps, Goldpoint Volume Pods, Detachable Power Cord socket, pair of JAN Philips 6922, etc), and checked out by Bob Bergner. The Bruce Moore Amps and PreAmps are built for a lifetime of enjoyment. Tube, Interconnect, Power Cord, etc. rolling is great fun because the units are so revealing, with 3D soundstage, focused images, and musical.