VAC amps-grainy ?

gentlemen- i own the vac pa 35/35 triode tube amp w/killer n.o.s. tubes. a dealer of s.e.t. wavac amps told me that he felt vac's were grainy ?! i've never felt this or heard this before. i hold him of my idea of replacing the volume control function on my AA ddev3.0 dac. it can sound sligtly hard when really pushed. i'm going to replace it with the ft audio lw-1 passive line stage. my speakers are the smooth-sounding silverline sonatinas. i also have the smooth shunyata blk mamba&sidewinder powers cords. any comments on the source of this hardness in my system or the vac being "grainy". thanks mike
The VAC is a very good sounding amp, and if you already have NOS tubes, I would look elsewhere for the problem. The Wavac amps are better than the VAC, as your dealer suggests. The real issue is whether something else in your audio chain needs improvement before investing in a Wavac. I have no experience with your DAC, but as a rule, I do not like passive controllers. I don't know how you plan to bypass the volume control function on your ddev 3.0. If possible, borrow before you buy, and don't rule out an active tube preamp as a possibility.
I have heard of no instances of VAC products, and yours specifically being grainy. A dealer will often denigrate a product, but trust yourself. If you like the sound, then you'll be happy. Even if he is being forthright, people have different tastes. Some people love chocolate, some vanilla. I know I'd be happy with your amp/speaker combination, but that's just me. As far as your DAC goes, I have no experience with this. But if the sound did bother me, I'd listen to a different one, just for comparison. And again, NEVER trust a dealer more than your own ears. They make no money if you're satisfied with your system. Talk is cheap, if he could put a bug in your head about your amp, if may open your wallet. All I know is that VAC makes great sounding stuff, and I don't even own any. Certainly, audition the passive preamp with an active one, if you're going to upgrade. Go with the one that feels(and more importantly, sounds) right to you.
Your dealer has you right where he wants you! You have a world class amp and it should be the least of your worries. I have had dealers tell me stories (bad) about VAC but when I ask to demo their choice it is always thousands more than the VAC. They just want to plant the bug in you. Look at your source, pre amp and the cables. As you will learn, if you want the system fixed you must do the work, not sales people. This is why the internet is growing. I have tried to eliminate my pre amp (VAC) but it always sounds better with the pre in!
Yes, I too feel the vac amps are somewhat hard. I have heard the 30/30 and it did sound hard.Also heard the 80/80 and it too was hard.I know this will upset vac owners but this has been my experience with vac. Possibly comes from their use of silver coated wire. In my experience this type of wire is always hard or grainy
I would look at the input/output impedance between amp and pre. Then see what ohm setting your amp is in relation to the speakers. Check to see if there is a more harmonious setting for the two as a combo. Good luck.
WOW..I own a VAC Ren 30/30 and believe it to be one of the best sounding amps I'v ever heard. I've been into this stuff for over ten years and have owned or listened extensively to at least twenty different amps both solid state and tube. My speakers are Genesis 350's known to be brutally revealing with a bad front end and/or amp (Conrad Johnson Art is front end)I think the 30/30 does it all. Detailed yet musical, incredible imaging, deep and wide soundstage, and timbre that is on the money. It even sounds decent with the Chinese tubes they give you, but once you upgrade to good NOS then you've really got something. I'm not a technical guy, but I've got to believe there's something else going on in your system. Careful, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater! Happy listening.