That Vac 30/70 is one hell of an amp….. I had a pair on loan, and played them on my Vandy 5A’s. Talk about a fleshed out, reach out and touch, gorgeous midrange. Unfortunately, they were just borderline in their ability to drive the Vandy’s. I also heard a 70/70 mk 3 with Kharma speakers that were 91db, and that was a nice comfortable drive for the Ren amp. The 30/70’s were signatures btw. Have you thought about a LOMC, and step up in front of your Graham Slee. That’s supposed to be an excellent phono stage. Maybe the LM 508i a like Charles suggested, and then address your phono. I’m not familiar with your speaker, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt. Cheers -Don
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If you are open to an integrated, you might want to try a Raven Audio Reflection MKII, which is in your price range. I've heard Raven on your genres and IMO may be a great match. The imaging, sound stage, vocals, and instruments sound incredible to me. And all the Raven kit are just beautiful to look at.
Get Mastersound Evolution 845 integrated amp. USA tube audio markets them in the States (I bought mine form them). Its got 55 watts of 845 pure single ended triode power. Very few amps can touch their quality of sound at any price. Granted 845 tubes are expensive, but should last for few years. Its A reference quality amp. As long as you listening room is not much larger than 250 sq feet, you should do just fine..... Also, Their dealer may suggest Ayon amps as an alternative, but while Ayon amp sound ok, the Evo 845 is much more refined and reliable, as few audiophile of my acquaintance have owned them for the last 10 years and no one has wanted to upgrade, unless to the Mastersound monoblocks...
Thanks all for the input.
Regarding the SET vs. Push pull.. I know this is a big question to answer. I love both sounds, though seems the push pull triode may be a bit more encompassing perhaps...I mean if I only listened to acoustic music and jazz, I would be thinking SET; but worry about when I listen to some rock, funk, jazz with a little deeper bass/percussion. I guess always worried about SET with speakers. I know my speakers will be upgraded in the next year or so.
As for sound direction. I used to record live music quite extensively so bringing back that experience of soundstaging, imaging, depth would be nice. I would love to feel more enveloped and at ease when listening..sometimes I feel I"m straining or getting fatigued. I admit that even my setup now does have a rather distinct soundstage that drastically improved with the tube rolling. I would prefer a nice midrange, warm, fluid; solid yet tempered bass/low end that isn’t overtly muddy, and with high end, would love improvement on the grain and sibilance that occurs some with my setup. I would love to be able to adjust the volume and feel everything more developed in the sound, right now as the volume increases, the vocals can become overbearing and the tonal balance doesn’t quite pan out as well.
Great suggestions, as I have looked at the Line Magnetic line and been tempted by this one. The Raven looks mighty fine as well.
With the Vandy 5a’s being 87db as well as mine, that’s a bit concerning if the VAC 30/70 couldn’t drive those well. Though I would love to end up with a VAC setup.
I have thought about a LOMC and step up with the Slee. However, I also ponder if I go with a LOMC, would I just change the phono stage all together given the step-up is about 2k. I just did have the Benz H2 retipped which is another reason of maybe going this route later (probably even after the speaker change)
Any thoughts on Cary 805’s and the SLP05?
Regarding my room. It is 11x18; set up in the rule of thirds, with listening position at the front 1/3. The rear of the room I have my desk and workstation for my recording studio space, which is tucked in 2 closets in the back of the room. The electronics are set up in a bay window/turret with the speakers in front. The speakers are aperiodic loaded and the woofers fire down so rear setup isn’t as finicky. I am draping the windows of the bay, adding pillows along with bay sitting area and trying to figure out a place for a bass trap. The first reflection points are where my record shelves are. I have ordered panels for my second reflection point and the rear walls/doors of the closets where the recording equipment is. Wood floor, covered with a large persian area rug.
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