VAC Avatar vs. VAC Avatar Special Edition

Currently an owner of the VAC Avatar and am contemplating of upgrading ($700) to Special Edition and wonder if it's worth the price:

"All new coupling capacitors costing 20x the originals; same for most of the audio path resistors. Many new power supply capacitors. Sound with much more detail, body, image size, and harmonic content (especially in the bass and lower midrange)." - per the Vac web site.

Has anyone of you tried A/B these two amps? Any thoughts or perspective is appreciated. Thanks.

Hi, Steven:

I just a comparison today. I think it was in the IAR journal on the web. I might make an offer on the old one, if you decide to upgrade. Please let me know what you find out, and I'll do the same.



Read this link.
I have a pair of VAC High Power 100 watt per channel monoblocks and a Vintage line stage. All upgraded to MKIII status and about 18 months old. Tested by Kevin Hayes. What would the value of this be. Tubes are Svetlana KT88's

Hi Steve,

I pulled up the above iar article and it didn't address the SE just the super so I doubt that was much help to your question. I haven't heard the SE (I have a regular Avatar) but I talked to Kevin at VAC and he basically told me what you outlined in your post. So my thoughts are it would probably be worth the upgrade but at $700 I haven't run out to do it. I run the amp exclusively in Triode mode, and after she warms up abit the mid-range is quite exquisite! What kind of speakers are you running? I have a pair of the Europas.

I'm running a pair of Sonus Faber Grand Pianos and a REL Strata sub, with a Cary 303/100 cdp.

My dilemma is that for $700, I can get the:

- SE version, which I have no idea how good it will be compared to the original
- or upgrade to a better cd player
- maybe add another $100 or so, I can try the BAT VK300XSE with the super tube. Much more power (150wpc) with tube pre.
- or save more, then plunge in an additional $1k to try the tri-vista 300

All with pros and cons. Guess that's part of the fun...