I own and have heard the Vandersteen 5s with the AYRE V-1 and the BEL 1001 MkV monoblocs. With the V-1 they sounded really good: musical and vigorous but lacking a little depth (and that was through an ARC Ref-2). With the BELs they were relaxed and had good depth but were too reticent overall for my tastes (and I own the BELs too). I was surprised at how much better the already incredible bass of the 5s was improved by solid state amplification since Vandersteen filters the low bass going to the amps then compensates via the built-in sub. Nevertheless tubes are absolutely the way to go with the 5s. With tubes for the mids and highs and SS room equalized subs for the bass you really do get the best of both.
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