Hi all, well it has been some time "months" now so has anyone had the pleasure of hearing a pair of these.
I was told they were re-badged differently due to the numbers, now called 450's.
Pix on VAC's website look different than the originals. They now look more like the 300.1. I too would love to hear these monsters one day.
They will theoretically be at CES in January. I believe they have been improved upon since they originally came out, which accounts for the slightly different look. I would like to hear them against my 300.1s, but don't think that will happen anytime soon - I'll probably need a new house just to hold them :-)
I too would like to hear impressions from someone who has purchased them - I know pairs are being made and sold, and have been for a while.
Well guys it's time to refresh this thread because I have actually heard these, listen to them for three straight days.
This was a unique situation for a few reasons,
1. Real world situation, in someones home and just in a normal situation.
2. Three days of listening
3. Paired up with the same speakers (MBL 101E's) as mine along with same VAC Sig. MK2a pre w/phono. What are the chances this could ever occur?
4. Listen to both red book and my vinyl, later being my fav. and preference.
Listening; if anyone has followed along with my journey they know I have tried many different combo's in the end always being open minded, never looked at the price point. I always just wanted to hear what ever it was and in the end the result in my room with my associated gear with no pressure.
I could list the numerous amps but why, it's not really about them.
My initial listening impression's upon arrival;
1. The system was playing at a very low volumn and right away I could hear something very different and very special, everything was so clear, very low floor noise and just made me feel good.
2. After listening to this set-up for three days and going threw my evalution listening to different types of music at different volumn settings I was tring to find fault somewhere.
The only fault I found during this time was my face was hurting from smiling so much, my sleep was also lacking.
All things aside and on the serious side I was looking for faults, any.
These mono blocks are crazy expensive but they are the REAL DEAL!
They truly are special amps and I have never heard anything anywhere that even comes close.
I'm not looking at getting into any debates, this is my own experience but if you ever have the opportunity do your self a favour and have a listen but prior to doing such make sure you are ready to drop some serious coin. The sonics they produce over all are absolutely breath taking! jaw dropping!
My hat goes off to you Kevin and all others involved for firstly coming up with such a design but in the end actually following through with such and producing such a master piece.
I was truely left in awe, I can't wait to get mine.
Dev- You were very fortunate to be able to hear that system in the manner that you were able to. Please be sure to let us know your reactions in your own system when they arrive and congratulations!
You opinion echoes those of several others I have spoken to who also have heard them and/or now own them, as Statement 450's. Its sounds to me as though the overall presentation was just a jaw-dropping event for you.
If possible, can you please discuss or at least point out any specific characteristics that really stood out for you? I know those of us that are already VAC owners, as well as others who are after the best sound they can find, would be extremely interested. Please don't make comparisons to other amps, because as you say, this isn't about them :-)
Your question; "If possible, can you please discuss or at least point out any specific characteristics that really stood out for you?"
Everything! What can I say I have never heard "experienced" anything like this before.
I truely was trying to find some fault.
It would very hard to write such without doing some comparisons and in the end all still being subjective and just my own take, doing this then I would get into debates with others which I have no interest in doing.
That's why I kept it simple letting others like yourself know that I did actually hear such.
As per my info. above being very unique for me was same speakers and pre-amp as mine and the set-up in a normal situation.
You would be best to write such once you get arround to hearing them in your own set-up due to you already owning their 300.1's and set-up in mono block configuration and same pre-amp as mine.
These are truely SPECIAL! and I just can't wait.
Personally for me it's a relief that my amp hunting days is finally over, bonus being that these amps over all sound far exceed my exspectations. I'm already very content with my current speakers, pre-amp, turntable and with one arm/cart combo, still have the other arm to pair up with a cart.
I'm very happy indeed!
Like I mentioned prior be warned!, what you are about to hear is very special indeed and something that you have never heard before, you will have to have them.
Fplanner2010, I will be very interested in your comparison between the 300.1 and 450 Statements. Like Dev, I'm also smitten with our preamp and planning to get a VAC amp next fall.
I seriously doubt there is any way for me to accurately compare the 2 amps unless I put the 450 into my system. I don't think that would happen without a purchase which I am currently not prepared to do. That's why Dev's opportunity was important to hear about, although I don't think he never had the 300.1's.
The only other option I can think of to possibly A-B would be to visit VAC in Fla, first making sure they had a pair of each for me to listen to.
Hi Fplanner2010 & Knghifi,
When I had my Andra 2's I actually tried 300.1's, you can refer back threw past threads but in the end it just didn't do it for me, since then I have heard a couple of set-ups and below are some of my thoughts for what they are worth.
1. With my Andra 2's, one single amp just wasn't doing it for me, two was better but still did not have me wanting to drop the coin. The set-up most likely was not ideal, I had a ARC REF3 and VTL 7.5 original pre paired up, you can read my comments in relation to getting my VAC Sig. MK2a pre. I really still don't believe even with the pre-amp change would have changed my thoughts to the point of not looking for the ultimate amp.
2. A friend of a friend went from one to two and from the comments I came away with was that there was an improvement over all.
Fplanner2010 you have first hand expearience so you know.
I haven't read nor has anyone conveyed to me it was a night and day change, jaw dropping exsperience. I read allot mentioning better base, more contol, sound seems more at ease, images more stable etc.
3. One set-up I heard the owner was nice enough to do an actual demo for me, demonstrated the comparisons from using one to two amps, he was actually selling the 300.1's and I was again looking at possibly purchasing but in the end didn't.
I could most defiantly hear a difference but I would say in relation to what I mainly mention above.
4. The 450's, well what can I say that I haven't already mentioned above.
Never never never never have I ever heard anything like this ever, it's a jaw dropping experience leaving you in awe, well that was paired up with MBL's any ways.
I have personally owned allot of world class amps both tube, solid state and hybred along with demoeing numerous in my own set-up along with hearing in others places.
Some WORLD CLASS tube amps I personally owned; Audio Research 610T's, Ref600 MK2's, VTL Ref750's, Cat JL3 Sig., MK2 just to name a few.
Solid state; Bryston Squared 28's that I currently own, Bat 600SE, Krell numerous, Levinson numerous, MBL 9008 and 9001's, Boulder 2000 series stereo and mono blocks, Rowland, DartZeel, and I can go on and on.
All I can say is I wish these really weren't so friggen AMAZING! they are very expensive and the price just keeps going up, $78K now. I would have easily just left knowing they were better but oh no that wasn't possible they had to be absolute JAW dropping!
Others whom know me or have heard my set-ups know that I just say it the way it is, be it good or bad. I had allot of those components mentioned above in another set-up, speakers were Avalon Isis. I owned those for almost three years, I've always had two set-ups.
BEST of LUCK!
Dev, Congrats on coming to the end of a very long journey.
It's amazing there is enough demand for a 58K amp where Kevin can raise the price by 20K and still a 6+ month wait.
I heard 2 years ago in the peak of the recession, VAC had their best year. Audiophiles have their priorities straight recession or no recession :-):-)
Hi Rtn1, thanks.
We have corresponded over the years and I have peaked in to have a read of your thread to see were your journey is at so you know the feeling. As you know I have owned a few Pass products and always enjoyed, most recent was their new XA160.5's. I felt it was a big leap over the 600.5's.
I agree it's pretty odd that a company can be charging so much money but still be so busy (demand) but as you and I and others whom own their Sig. MK2a pre know what it's all about so well worth the coin along with the painful wait.
My amps when ordered I was told 12 weeks so I should get them by the end of May.
Thanks Dev. I don't think there was ever a $20K raise on the 450's. That might have been the earlier 440s which were an earlier version that were almost prototypes and I don't know that they put many, if any, into the marketplace. As you know, the 450s are all hand-wired and take many hours to both complete and test.
We obviously expect a report in June. Congrats again :-)
Hi Fplanner2010, in relation to the $20K raise that was Knghifi comments just above yours and mine.
I only know the 450's were $72k earlier this year and went up by $6K so now they are at $78K.
What I saw in person was very nice (eye candy) but what I heard was spectacular! I'm looking forward to it.
Dev, I am particularly like to know the difference between CAT JL3 MKII and VAC Statement 450? The final two candidates in my list.
Why are these amps priced to such a premium over ARC and VTL high power alternatives? I like Vac sound but...
the Cat's were actually Signature MK2's. I sent you a email as this thread was not to discussion between the two.
The VAC's originally were 440 but now called 450.
the prices truely are crazy but there are others out there that cost allot more. One that comes to mind being the Lamms @ $135K for very low wattage, the new CAT's, DartZeel mono blocks and others. It's all relative I suppose and what the manufactures can get just like anything else out there in general for sale.
In my opinion, you would be a very brave soul to bring a mega powered tube amp overseas without incredible dealer support and reassurances at the very least.
Not saying anything about the sound, because I am sure the VAC as well as the CAT are phenominal. However, many many tubes, very very hot, extremely heavy. If something were to go wrong, ouch... How much to ship 300-400 pounds plus insurance costs?
Rtn1, you are right, I'd better think twice.