Always go with the company which provides superior customer service and support. Do a forum search; you'll find all of the information needed to make your decision.
Are you planning on using the amp to drive the VR Jr's or some other speaker? This will be a big determinant of what result you'll get.
The 300b amps in general are lower power and will need a very efficient speakers to sound their best. They tend towards glorious midrange and rolled off low & high frequencies. Tubes are some of the priciest.
EL34s lean towards a balance that's great w/rock, warm mid-bass, and great rhythmic drive. Great ability to tube-roll to tailor the sound.
Although not as familiar w/your model, my old VRs preferred amps with relatively high current vs. other tubes designs(e.g. BAT).
More info will help...Cheers,
as for speakers. It depends. If I am able to do the VAC, then for a time, maybe a year, the speakerage duty will fall to what's on hand now. namely, Phase Tech's former flagship, PC 10.5 w/87db, 4ohms, or Phase techs monitor series PC6.5 w/86db 8ohms.
A lesser priced amp might could afford me surely better speakers. The JRs are in line to be shipped out soon.
I've not much of a problem going with what's on hand. for a limited time. then my idea was to do sonatina IIs.
Well the room is 14x20x8.5 or so. and the now plan is to improve on what is on hand as much as possible.
so the current decision is to get more eff speakers, and a solid choice in amp which will not cost terribly to keep up. Talking with VAC and my tube source, retubing the VAC is markedly pricey so far as I am concerned. 1625, and 1100, respectively. it will need it not right off, but shortly. that's a real killer adding in the price of the amp itself. it also means a less than good running amp and old speakers for a good while going that way.
Given other pressing matters, I struck a deal on some higher eff speakers, and what i believe is a solid tube amp choice, which will also soon need retubing... but for only $450 - $500.
Though it's not my first choice I think overall, it's best I make this move, given current circumstances. So it winds up being a vk60, and Silverline Sonattas.
I can after having in house the higher eff Sonattas, try other tube amps if the 60 is not my fix. I wasn't able to previously without major worries in matching amp & speakers. So that part makes sense. retubing the vk60 seems also a good idea as it is indeed a good tube amp, and a classic... almost.
Though a departure from my original intent, and my first choice, it's not the end of the road for tube amps or speakers for sure. For now however, it's at least, a goodly step in the right direction ampwise, and a sure step up speaker wise. in all, I'd think, I'm ahead this way, and I'm not going into hock to do it.
Results? we'll see pretty soon.
Any other thoughts?
Whoa! My info on pricing 300b's is sure higher than that, like double.... or more. A lot more. I did do some research too with creditable tube vendors for a good while.
Those sound great huh? Lovely. the retubing price wasn't the only thing that made me move away from the VAC I was looking at... but it was significant among the reasons.
I will get back with my results.
Sure do thank you for the help.
I used both Kevin, and Andy to price tubes with. Andy was less by a good margin. kevin said the 'now' tubes would not be the exact same as orig. he also said some sonic diffs were to be had as well... though nothing poor, just not at the same level as orig. Which then points me towards NOS... and still higher costs.
In all however, more than the costs for retubing were responsible for my change in paths... and it's not over till the fat lady sings, right? With me though, things tend to stick around more than six months. Another part of this departure might lead to another amp for bi amping. I have no idea.
I had every intent, and resources needed to get a VAC, and now this notion instead. things happen beyond my control which just either make more sense, or are less frustrating to do, as I trudge the path to a happier sonic destiny... or least ways, a different one.