Van Alstine products

Feedback on products, experiences, and service is requested.
Hello: I have a SuperPas 4i preamp. I have had a CJ PV10al and a Modulus 3a also. The AVA remains in my system and the other 2 are gone. The CJ was a close contender and I could have kept either but for the $$ the AVA is pretty hard to beat and with a tube phono included it is a hard pre to beat for the $$. I also have a Fet hc350 amp driving Maggie 2.7s. The AVA hc amps are a brute and are a great amp. As for service AVA is nearly unbeatable. If you mail AVA with a question you will likely get a reply very quickly, even on the weekend. The reply will probably come directly from Frank himself. That is pretty much non existant customer service from anyone else. My experience with AVA over the past 6 years has been great. A high end product that AVA and Frank VanAlstine believe in and excellent service. Super way to run a company .
Have you compared the fet valve amp to any similarly priced amps? Can you offer any comments on its tonal balance?
i have used a number of VanAlstine products over the years. The company service is excellent and comparable to Krell, Transparent, and any of the best. their products are the Best bang for your buck on the market. i compared their solid statee amps to Bryston, Classe, Adcom, Krell, B&K and a few more. The AVA clearly is a superior sound to all of these. Then when you factor in the price issue these products can not be beat. The owner is passionate about music and the price ripoffs in the high-end and has run his company with those values singing out of everything he does. The only downside to these products is aesthetics. They are plain vanilla. But if value outstanding audiophile sound on a smaller budget this the way to go. Check out their Biro speakers also, best speakers under $10,000 on the market today - BAR NONE!
I own an all Fet/Valve system w/ an omega IV dac, biro speakers, parasound cd transport, and a fanfare tuner. I like it and can't think of anything better for the money. Seriously, if my income ever affords me to spend close to five-figures for each component, I'll go out and do some serious auditioning and, obviously, use what I have now as reference point. I'm not saying they are the best period, I have heard of several people who opted for other brands for various reason. But overall I am content with the performance, something that seems quite rare these days with audiophiles, and have no plans to upgrade, aside from better acoustic treatment and eventually the matching sub.
I would like to add my impressions of the Fet amps. I have used Mac SS, Quicksilver Tube and Krell SS in my system. The AVA "to me" has mellower high end than the harsh sound of the Krell. I did not like the Krell much and it wasn't around very long. The AVA is not quite equal to the Quickie midrange but close. Where I think the AVA Fet amps excel is the tight punchy bass. I have not heard any amp in my listening experience that will provide that magic with the Maggies. For the $$ it is a hard powerhouse to beat. I have the hc 350 and cannot imagine why you would need the 550 but there are a lot of Power Maniacs out there that would love it. I have never had any buyers remorse with the AVA. Not with the Quicksilvers either. I am still smarting on the beating I took on the Krell but when I listen to the AVA Fet I heal up a little more all the time.
Thanks to all for the feedback.
I owned one of the Van Alstine amps about ten years ago. The service and response were excellent like all of the people before me have said. I thought the imaging was very weak. It was tight and sold but it didn't have depth or body.
Nothing beats the AVA in price/quality ratio, nothing, period.