Correction,the speakers are 91 db and also 4 ohm.
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First of all, nice system. I have owned the vk60 but replaced it with a vk200 when I became interested in Magnepans. I miss it dearly. I think it would drive the Beethovens with no problem, and they are great buys at the current used price. They do draw quite a bit of power and produce alot of heat, which may be a problem for the amount you run them, a dedicated line would be great. I think a new tube set runs 450 from BAT, when the time comes, but could be found cheaper if you look around. I can't comment on vtl, but have heard the smaller Cary mono's rock with sensitive speakers.
I run my system at least that many hrs,as well.AND, yup, tubes cost money.But hey, my power co. loves me.
I do both 2ch and ht in the same room. Anybody that thinks tubes ain't for HT may not have the right tube amps and speaker combos. While I have a mish-mash of amps and speakers for the rears,sides, and center, my fronts:CJ8xs and SAP Quartets have more bass than I can use.
You are running your system about the same amount of time that I do. I have all tubes from start to finish. Unless you are disabled I assume that much of the time your system is running your listening is on a casual basis, i.e. your not sitting in the sweet spot just listening. In this same situation I added a small tube integrated (35wt) and took a line out from the pre-amp tape loop out. I use seperate speaker cable and banana plugs and interchange the main system and the integrated depending on what I intend to do. Interestingly I find that the main system now only operates about 15 hours a week and I'm not obsessed with the deterioration of the tubes in my main system.
I have in the past used a SS integrated in the same configuration, which makes it even simpler, and cheaper.
No I am not disabled, in fact I have run 3 marathons and hoping to run one this year, but I do sit on the couch way too much. It's just that it sound so good, I seem to get frozen to my "spot".I also have wireless internet going now, I can sit and shop for music and components. I only get up to change the selection or get a beer.
Although your recomendation makes some sense, I really dont want to add the the cable mess and I don't have any more shelf room in my rack. I guess something to consider would be a tubed integrated. Then I could lose the VK-200.
I just received on Thursday a used Cary CD-308,which is in such good condition, it doesn't look like it was used. I played it most of the day yesterday and I felt I was still missing the "magic" that I have recently heard on a system that had VTL mono amps. But on listening today the cd player seems to be opening up a lot. Could it be that since the previous owner hadn't used it for a while it needed some breaking in?
I have a pair of Vienna Acoustics Strauss and a BAT VK-50SE preamp, as well as a VK-D5SE and VK-P5. I'd recommend a SS amp, FWIW. In my experiences, the bass on the VA's drops below 4 ohms, remember 4 ohms is the average impedence. I don't feel that a tube amp can control the woofers you have, bass will be under damped and soft.
I just sold my Clayton Audio M100's which were perfect mates with the VA Strauss, however, I found they didn't mate so well with the preamps that I liked (mostly tube variety). I've got a Blue Circle BC 204 on order, this is a hybrid design. I considered a BAT VK-75SE and a CJ Premier 140 (as I also currently have a CJ 16LS mk II preamp). However after talking with many Strauss/Mahler owners, and trying a VAC 100/100, I realized that a tube amp would not cut it with these speakers.
The BC 204 has a tube input stage and a SS output stage, and is fully balanced. If it's too expensive, maybe you could try a BC 202, or look for a used Threshold/Clayton/Rowland. I've found these amps to work well with VA speakers. I owned the original Beethovens before I upgraded to the Strauss a couple years ago.