vandersteen 3a sig ss vs. tube

hello everyone,

seems like all the dealers i talk to reccomend tube amps with the 3a's, and mention that richard vandersteen uses tubes, even when i express more interest in their ss amps. but it seems to me that most people here including myself, and many reviewers prefer solid state amps with their 3a's. what's your take on this?
You might want to try an Audio Research 100.2 or 150.2 solid state amp... see if you like it: I've heard the 3a's with the 100.2, and use the amp with my 2 CE Sigs... my dealer says the 150.2's even better, but I haven't had the chance to hear it.

thanks for the input. i'm not looking for amp suggestions. just wondering if anyone else has noticed that dealers tend to reccomend tubes where as others seem to prefer ss.

aloha keith
The Vandersteen's can sound wonderful with tubes as well as ss. I've tried about everything with the 3A Sigs. I've found the midrange is probably a little better with tubes but ss does the frequency extremes and bass better. I currently use solid state because overall, I like it better. Some of the newer tube amps sound more solid state than solid state, however.
I think it boils down to personal preference.
Richard Hardesty uses ss amps with a tube pre and he's a Vandy guru of sorts.
The Ayre amps sound very tube like without tube problems and according to Hardesty, the Theta amps do also.
Personally, I don't like the maintenance of tubes other than I do use a tube pre.
I would think the dealer would talk to you based on your listening preferences and go from there. A blanket tube recommmendation seems to me as the wrong approach. They certainly aren't for everyone.
As for Richard, I think he uses whatever tube amp suits his fancy at the time. I met and talked with him and he also said he'd never heard the 3a Sigs sound as good as they did in Hardesty's system which at the time was biamped with a 4-ch Theta Dreadnaught. Just goes to show.
I hear dad bought the 2cesigs...the dealer swore by AR stuff...I think it sounded better with a SS Bryston B60...just needs more power now...and I want my amp back...jk.

I used both tubes and ss amps when I had my 3A sigs. I lived with the ARC 100, Jeff Rowland amps, and Theta. I would say that if you really want the most out of your speakers it isn't so much tube v.s. SS as it is, bi-wire v.s. vertical bi-amping.
When I went from a HT to a strictly 2 channel system I had the extra amps (5 channel Theta) channels so, I tried vertically bi-wiring the speakers. It was like buying new speakers.
I've auditioned the 3A Sigs. with Quicksilver mono-blocks (similar to the ones Richard Vandersteen uses at home), Theta's original Dreadnought and the BEL 1001 Mk IV and Mk V. So far, my preference is for a pair of BEL Mk Vs. A single BEL is next up, then the Quicksilvers, last the Theta. The BEL is the most convincing and it drives the 3s well whether it's in stereo or mono mode. Mono-blocks are the best as they give the best sense of presence and size amongst other things. The Quicksilvers give a little of the tube bloom without giving up the frequency extremes. They however, do give up the detail that the BELs have. The Theta is now out of production, but it was not as good as the BEL Mk IV in stereo mode...not by a long shot. The BEL Mk IV smoked it. I suspect other amps such as the Spectron might sound good as well. I didn't A/B the BEL with the Spectron on the 3s though... On the 5s the BELs won hands down.

In the end, it's personal preference. The Vandersteens have the ability to show exactly what's upstream of them. So system tuning and matching becomes important if you want the best sound from them.

Good luck!
Actually Hardesty has upgraded to the fives I believe
Hardesty is using the 5a's.