According to a past Stereophile article, he uses McCormack. When I met him in person a while back, he was using Quicksilvers with his own system. Of course, I sure this is all subject to change.
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I've he's used ARC ref or Cary V12 amps for the van 5's, and mccormack's with the 3a's. I've owned the 3aSigs and greatly favored the dna1reva amp with them. I'd go for a mccormack dna 1,2,225. I preferred it to my vt100 with the 3aSigs (vt100 didn't have the authority). Either amp was pretty good. There just seemed to be a synergy with the dna's. I know mccormack uses a 3aSigs to voice the RevABC dna's at their hotrod shop.
I will chime in with the Mccormack. I use a pair of DNA .5's in a vertical biamp with my 3A Sigs. Awfully good sound. After I added a pair of 2WQ's, I don't see how it can get any better. I honestly didn't get as good of high frequency purity with the hower powered McCormack's and I didn't care for the newer models. They sound a touch grainy to me.
In answer to several questions, I compared a single DNA 1 Deluxe to a single DNA .5 Deluxe. Both had Cardas speaker posts and the usual internal upgrades of the deluxe package. The only difference in the two amps was the 1 had Cardas input RCA's and the .5 had WBT input RCA's. I have used McCormack amps for a lot of years. I have felt and still feel there is a slight degradation to the purity of the highs as you go up the DNA line. Yes, there is a power difference but it really doesn't show that much. You have to double power for a 3db increase in volume. The DNA 1 being 185/ch and the .5 being 100/ch. So in absolute terms the DNA 1 would play louder. Other than the high frequencies, these amps sound very much the same. I always felt the micro power amp sounded the best through the mids and highs but it didn't have the bottom authority of the bigger amps.
In comparison of a single DNA 1 to a biamp pair of .5's, I take the .5's hands down everytime. To me, it just sounds better. But I'm sure there will be conflicting opinions(aren't there always?)
I also tried the SMC revision A DNA .5. It is a very nice sounding amp and I'm sure a lot of folks would like it BUT for the money, I'll take the Deluxe.
As I previously said, I do not like the newer McCormack's as well. I really think the input DC blocking capacitor in the signal path imparts a slight grain to the sound.
The quick bottom end and sonics of the McCormack's really match the Vandersteen's well. You could spend a lot of money and only make a VERY small improvement. One amp I'm really wanting to try is the Theta Dreadnaught on the Vandersteens. Heard it in a store and perked my interest. Got to hear it in my system before I can really say anything.
BTW---in my last post, that was suppose to be HIGHER powered Mccormack's. Hope the spell check guru's don't hit me!
Well, BT, thats interesting. I happen to have a DNA1 rev b and a pair of .5s; one dlx and one rev B. Haven't really wanted to shell out for the upgrade on the second .5, but maybe I will. Course, any comparison would involve different ICs, I've got a Y-pair of AQ Emerald and I'm using Homegrown Silverlace for the single-amp DNA 1. Anyone got matched Y cables and straight ins that they want to lend for an experiment?
Very late response and even slightly off the subject, but still relevant. Audioquest has used Vandersteen 3A's in their evaluaton facility forever and have found the little Ayre amplifier to be a super match.
This really surprised me when I heard it because the room was huge. Perhaps 30'x40' with a cathedral ceiling. Impressed me so much that I had Vandersteen build me a pair.