Von Schweickert used VR-5 Anniversaries
19 responses Add your response
I'm very familiar with Tannpy Kensington SE; they are fabulous speakers that
will respond well to a tube amp of that quality. Also look at the newer Definition
10A (Alnico) in that range -- I've not heard it, but it's a very similar driver with a
more contemporary cabinet & look.
The VAC 160i is a fabulous amp that I've heard (though factory upgraded) with
the Magico S1, but not (yet) the Kensington. The VAC + S1 is a simply beautiful
combo -- I heard it with a Clearaudio Innovation Compact and Ortofon Cadenza
Red. I'd imagine the Kensington SE or GR would be excellent as well; the 10A
may also be an interesting choice.
I'd be very confident in either a Tannoy or S1 pairing with your VAC.
Well, if you still haven't pulled the trigger, and your room is on the smaller size, I'd suggest hearing the Nola Micro References with your VAC (or if your room is larger, the Metro Grand References). I'm driving mine with a Phi 200 (almost got the integrated, but decided on a Shindo preamp with a separate amp) and am very happy with the pairing. Makes superb music.
This thread was quiet for a few months, so I thought I'd add some input. I bought VAC Sigma 160i last November. I ordered it with balanced input and MC phono options. I had a pair of Harbeth SHL-5 left from my old system, so I was using the VAC with them for a couple of months. I hate to say it, but it wasn't a very impressive combo. Harbeths performed so much better with a SS amp. Swapping Cardas for CrystalCable interconnects and speaker cables helped a lot, but still, I wasn't impressed. I am now using the VAC with a pair of Vivid B-1's, and THAT sounds like music. Stock tubes, but considering swapping the preamp section for a different ones.
I had a vac avatar super for a few years and auditioned the 160i through tannoy speakers which sounded great. This amp has enough drive to open up a lot of speaker choices, mine did work very well with Devore Silverbacks as well. That's a very nice integrated amp, I'm not sure why it isn't talked about more.
I use a pair of Salk Sound ss8's with the VAC and am quite pleased with the sound. I have also swapped the Chinese stock tubes with nos Mullard 12au7's , Cifte 12au7's, the Mazda silverplate 12ax7 that I often switch with a 1958 Mullard longplate 12ax7, plus the Black KT88 treasure series tubes. The sound has improved greatly.