It's been a while, but I finally received my VAC Phi 220 monos to drive my 5As. After a wonderful discussion with Kevin regarding the Phi 70 and my 5As, he felt the Phi 220s would actually be the better amp sonically.
One thing I questioned (as others did), was I changing amps just for the sake of change, and would there be an improvement in sound quality (in a positive way, not JUST a change). The DNA-500 is a fantastic amp and tremendous value. I've owned quite a few solid state amps and the DNA-500 was by far my favorite. I thought my system sounded great, but wondered, could it get any better? Indeed it has.
I am absolutely thrilled with the Phi 220 monos and my 5As!!! They have mated "perfectly" with my 5As as if they were made for each other. They take all of the things I loved about the DNA-500 and improve upon them in a meaningful way. One area where the 220s really better the DNA-500 is in high frequency reproduction. The 220s are more extended, more natural, and most of all more musical. I also find myself truly engaged in listening, being immersed in the music with no distractions. The sound is just so "right" to me I've stopped trying to analyze for any shortcomings. Granted, they cost almost three times as much than the DNA-500, bit IMO they are worth every penny.
The 220s are also very quiet amplifiers and don't run too hot at all. In terms of build quality and appearance, these are the finest pieces of electronics I have ever owned. They remind me of a finely crafted, one-of-a-kind product that you know the builder takes immense satisfaction and pride in producing.
What can I say? I think Kevin created a masterpiece both sonically and visually. He's one of the most pleasant and responsive persons I have had the pleasure of dealing with. He personally auditioned the amps for two days prior to shipping, making sure they met his approval.
Kudos to Kevin and all at VAC for a "statement" product.