Has anyone heard the new VAC Auricle amplifier?

Can anyone tell me if this is a good amp?
I didn't know there was a new one, but I have listened to the Auricle last summer. Is it the same product? I am not sure...

I found it to be a very nice amplifier. One I would not hesitate buying. If you like the look of the Marantz 8/8B, you should check out this amp. Of course, VAC produced the Marantz 8B Reissues in the 1990s, and implemented what they felt were the improvements that they could make to the amp. In fact, despite the same look, it is really a new product in most apsects. I would say it is a Marantz 8/8B updated for this decade.

Parts quality, a VAC trademark, is quite good, and Kevin Hayes went about modifying the circuit to find benefit. I believe there is also a lot less feedback to the amp.

Sound is a bit more on the neutral side of classic tube(which the Marantz 8 defined), with better resolution, refinement, detail, and performance at the frequency extremes. All this comes without losing the soul of tubes. The EL34 midrange is definitely apparent.

What could you nitpick about the amp? Well, not a whole lot. First, if you don't like the look, well then you don't like the look. There is no getting around that. Second, as all amplifiers using 4 EL34 output tubes, you aren't going to be able to drive any speaker you wish. Make sure you present it a fairly kind load, don't expect it to be a brute. And, the only other thing I can think of is that while you can run other tubes(6550/KT88/KT90), which is a DEFINITE plus, that's contingent on being able to fit them in(haven't tried, so I am not sure) and you would need to bias the tubes using an external meter - the built in meter will be out of its range.

By the way, it would be hard to find a better person to buy a product from than Kevin Hayes. He is a real gentleman, and will give as much help as anyone needs. I love the fact that the times that I have called VAC, he has personally answered the phone, and been nothing short of gracious and giving of what must be his very precious time.
Trejla, I've had the same incredible experience dealing with VAC. I bought a used 70/70, and had some setup issues, and Kevin always took as much time as I needed, and always took my call! Very helpful. I really feel secure about owning a VAC, knowing that there is that kind of service should I need it.
I have had the amp for about 6 months now. I have used it with Silverline Sonatas, and now am using it with a pair of Bottlehead Straight Eights. I have found it to be a wonderful performer with both speakers, and has never run out of steam on either. The midrange is wonderful as well as the bass. I particularly like the compact size and styling as it fits into my rack perfectly. I too have dealt with Kevin Hayes, and he was very obliging and pleasant to deal with. Happy listining.
i just received my auricle mk II. haven't even had a chance to set it up yet, but i have to agree with the comments about kevin. he is an absolute gentleman and a joy to deal with.
the mkII does look slightly different to the mkI, but still closely resembles the 8b.
I have owned the VAC Auricle MKII for about 1.5 months now and it is an incredibly musical amplifier, even more musical than the Audio Research VT 100 MKII which i previously owned. The VAC auricle MK II is never bright, richer in the midrange, and more full in the bass than the VT 100 MK II. Vocals, both female and male, are amazing on this amp, so much so that you just kick back and enjoy the music. This amp is all about the music, and not about analyzing the recording. Soundstage on this amp is a bit closer in terms of width and depth than the VT 100 MKII but I can tell you that it is very realistic. Dynamics are realistic like live music and tonality of instruments are like live instruments. Really an amazing amp and well worth your time auditioning.