Speakers for A/R VT 100 Mk2/Aud.Illusions Pre

I'm running AR VT 100 MK 2 and Aud Illusions preamp,would like suggestions on what speakers I should audition with this setup,I listen to acoustical,vocals,jazz,70-80s rock,also what power cords should I try for same setup...thx much....Sully

If you like bass for rock and blues, I would go for a set of vandersteen 2ce signatures. These sacrifice detail, but give you wonderful instrument weight and coherence. I tried my vt100m2 with the van 3sigs and felt it didn't have the juice to drive them. If you want to spend big money, the van 5's are the way to go. You will need a big room for these, and you will need to biwire.

If you want to listen to vocalists, jazz and soloists and get wonderful low level details at the expense of bass, I would go with a set of audio physic virgo's or avanti's. This is my current setup. These are also nice in that they are all nice looking and little smaller. Email me if you want some virgo's. I will refer you to a friend who MIGHT be selling his. These speakers are very finicky about quality of recording and equipment. Sometimes a little tough to live with for that reason.

A nice alternative to audio physic is the proac 2.5 (or higher). Reasonably sized and nice looking. These are very natural sounding, similar to a vandersteen but more precise and with a better sense of instrument texture. You will lose some detail but gain some bass and instrument weight over the audio physic. They are more forgiving than the ap. If you like the natural, laidback sound of the scanspeak driver sound, these have it in spades. The shamrock Eire (www.shamrockaudio.com) is another great scanspeak speaker.

If you want to listen to orchestra, go for a set of magnepan 1.6's. Very big. The music will be a little lightweight, but it will have a tremendous sense of scale and placement. This combo WILL eat up tubes. I've never heard anything that comes close for classical orchestral works.
Not knowing your budget or room size, it is difficult to advise. I own an ARC VT100 MK2, ARC LS 15 preamp and EAR 834 phono stage, and find them well matched with Mirage M3 speakers. For a smaller room, I would consider something like the B&W Nautilus 804's with the REL Storm III sub. You have to go out and listen to a lot of speakers, learn the trade off's inherent in the designs, and go with the sound you can't live without. My favorite power cord with your amplifier is the JPS Labs PowerAC.
I find the VT100 Mk 2 to have plenty of power for the 3A Sigs. I believe your problem was that the Mk 2 likes to be run balanced and you can't do it with your preamp. The Mk 3 doesn't seem to sound much different balanced or unbalanced but the Mk 2 does, and I can see why you might say that.