I own a Vecteur L4 cd player and had many oppurtunities to hear their integrateds when there was a dealer nearby in Hampton NH that carried them. Vey impressive ... easily my choice over the ones you mentioned in the list... I am probably to much of a tube head to own one... I have looked long and hard at the few used Vecteur integrateds that come up and may grab one.
If you do get up to a dealer make sure to give the cd player a listen...quite a leap in performance over your Rega.
I am planning to give the VTL-IT85 a shot to see what tubes sound like with my N803s. I heard them at the dealers - it had a lush sound with a lot of presence, but sounded a tad syrupy for me. I am planning to demo that amp in my room, see if I am happy with the sound.
I am also considering investigating the Unico Hybrid - but its not available for demo anywhere near here i,e. Boston.
The B&Ws seem to prefer SS with quite a bit of power and a high current amp. So the Vecteur does look like the top choice for me in my price range.
Would you explain how the Vecteur CD Player betters the Rega ? I am planning to hear it if I go to Montreal to demo the integrated.
BTW, it is hard putting together a system - its not so much that I mind working for it, but that to demo some component, other than the heavily advertised "hifi" stuff that most local dealers seem to carry, i,e. usually a few British & American amps, is not easy. Literally no one seems to carry the French - YBA, Vecteur or Italian stuff. I like the "CableCompany's" policy of loaning out a bunch of demo cables on deposit. Maybe a company like AA could consider doing that with demo components, although with a bigger selection. I don't feel upto ordering a bunch of new integrateds, keeping the one I like and returning the rest.
I have pretty much exhausted all possibilities with the local dealers, except the VTL-IT 85.
Plodding on in search of the sound,
Hello, having just bought a vecteur i6.2 and l4.2 a few weeks ago, I can share my experiences.
I wanted to upgrade my Cambridge a500, cd 500se kit from my student days driving infinity il40's and I planned on keeping the infinity's for a while, changing the electronics.
I listened to a bunch of stuff
mf 3.2 kit
moon nova and i5
Arcam A85 and cd 72-cd 92
Rotel amp and pre amp (forgot the model number)
Linn ikemi and lk 140
I listen to very varied music and I wanted something at ease with a piano concerto at dinner and with some trip hop during a party.
To my hears, it came down to the vecteur completely blowing away anything else I listened to. The soundstage was wide, the dynamics were there, it had the oomph to drive the infinities but most important, it just sounded right. This is by far the most musical gear I listened to.
So... back went the Quad gear and now I own the I6.2 and l4.2 and the music is all there.
So if you can, go give them a listen, trust your ears, for mine, this was the kit to buy.
Thanks for your response. It definitely has me excited about my trip to Montreal at the end of this month. I have demoed some of the gear you mentioned. The MF integrateds (3.2 & 308) had a gorgeous midrange but were a little slow in orchestral and rock music. The B60 was way too harsh on some pieces. I tried some separates like the McCormacks (RLD1 & DNA-125) - they had good soundstaging, detail, imaging etc. but to me were simply not musical enough - for one they lost a lot of the glorious midrange voicing which the MFs had and so didn't quite draw me in. I auditioned a VTL IT-85 - it was very musical, but rolled off detail in the high and low frequencies, couldn't keep up with large scale orchestral pieces. I also auditioned Krell KAV400 (sounded like icepicks with the B&Ws), the Levinson 383(way too cold and analytical) and the Classe CAP 151(somewhat nice sounding but too recessed and dark) - again these didn't draw me into the music either.
I am planning to audition a tube preamp and a ss power - something like a VTL 2.5 and a McCormack or a Bryston.
I guess I am kind of looking for the VTL's musicality, the MF's rich midrange and the McCormacks' speed, bass slam, sounstaging and detail. All of that put together may seem a lot to ask for and ~$3-4K may not seem like much dough (to me it is a lot though). I am trying to find a single integrated amp that will do all of this for me and hopefully the Vecteur will be it.
I am a little amazed at the dearth of integrated components that are well put together in the above areas or even separates for that matter in my price range. Equally amazing is how some assume in the audio world that to gain reasonable performance (not perfection mind you) in all these areas require upwards of $5k or even five figures. I always look for exceptional value for the money and I thought the NAD was by far the best value, given its price. Hopefully, the Vecteur 6.2 is such a value standout at its price point.
This is a long post and before I ramble on too much, could you give me an idea of how the 6.2 does with human voices (with your system+speakers ofcourse).
I am also surprised that there don't seem to be too many Vecteur integrated owners out there. Glad to see you are one and that you seem to be floored by it.
I will be sure to post on the Vecteur once I've heard it and made my decision.
thanks for the offer to listen to your Vecteur CD player. I may take you up on it, at a later point. I've been demoing a ton of amplifiers recently and its sucked up any free time I may have.
If the performance of my Vecteur 4.2 CD Player (used as a transport via an Audio Note DAC 1 Signature) is representative of the other products then they are fine. I mean, they work damned well! I actually listen to CDs again and retired the Marantz CD63 II.
Audio Note is one of the Few Ways...respect those WAYS.
You should consider Pathos Logos integrated first (it is shame to name it integrated however)but second Vecteur is really
winner among all the other integrated amps.
If you liked some aspects of the NAD, you might consider their new C521BEE. Otherwise, I can say only great things about Plinius (specifically, the 8200 MKII).
I wonder, too, if your impressions of each of the integrateds that you auditioned were dependent on the ICs you used. Perhaps different ones would affect your evaluations?
I finally ended up getting an Audiomat Prelude Reference MKII 30 wpc tube integrated amp. Then I upgraded my cdp to the Vecteur L4.2. The rig just shines. The synergy between the components is just right.
Thanks for letting us know where you ended up.
I am much in the same position as you were.
Did you every audition the I-6.2 and how would you compare it to the Prelude Reference Mk11?
I did audition the I-6.2. This was along with Pascal Ravach, (Mutine distributor of Audiomat and Vecteur products) at his place. I really dug the music - played jazz and rock mostly. This was the first SS amp I heard that makes music first. I was also struck by the amount of depth, decay, reverberance and ambiance it unearthed. There are other audiophile qualities, but none of these are thrust at you. The Vecteur L4.2 and I6.2 uncovered detail that I didn't even think existed. But this combination is primarily about music making and then about various audiophile attributes. When I listened, there was a "rightness" about the music, that's hard to describe. You know it when you hear it. It would have been the perfect partner for my B&W Nautilus 803s. (I heard it with the N805s).
And then I made the biggest blunder of all ;-)
I listened to the Audiomats. The Arpege's bass control was not enough for my speakers. So in spite of Pascal's warnings, I listened to the Prelude. Voila! Everything about the Vecteur was there - only better, hard as that was to imagine - the synergy was about the best I have heard. I drove back from Montreal pretty late that night, but I had the music playing in my head the whole time.
I don't care much for reviews unless I can substantiate what I read by actual listening, but UHF is, for the most part, right about these amps - I was able to substantiate this with my auditions. In the end, your other audio equipment and listening room will dictate what's right. If you need a SS amp, go with the Vecteur. But if your system could use a tubed amp, the Prelude is very much the ticket.
Atleast, it is the ticket to musical enjoyment/heaven in my system.
Last but not the least, Pascal was extremely generous with his time and help in getting my system worked out.
Thnaks very much for the informative post. Yes, Vecteur amps are really something special.
The Vecteur I-4 we recently had in our systems bested the following list of well reviewed gear:
BelCanto Evo2i GenII
DK Designs VS-1 Reference MKII
PS Audio HCA-2 / PCA-2 combo
Pathos New Classic One
Unison Research Unico
Panasonic XR25 & XR-45
Bryston 3BSST & PCA-2 / TVC Passive
Blue Circle BC28 & PCA-2 / TVC Passive
Really shocked us for sure. Musicality is spades!
The Audiomat Arpege was beyond steller as well and bested the I-4 in one system (with B&W Sig805's) but did not have the drive for the other system (88db 4-ohm floor standers & large room). The Prelude must truly be something special & we can not wait to hear it.
I would be amiss if I didn't temper my recommendation for the Prelude by pointing out that in comparison to the Vecteur I6.2, its bass slam/attack does take second place. But that's a small issue for me while looking at the broader music canvas and the Prelude shines in the organic whole. This is ofcourse in the context of my system, and while the B&W N803s are not an easy load, the Preludes are able to control them just fine. Bass resolution, detail is pretty good, but the Vecteur may have more slam in the lower regions.
In comparison to the Arpege, the Prelude is definitely not as forgiving of either sources or speakers. In fact, I rather liked this attribute of the Prelude. In a simple and neutral system, the Prelude will really open up - organic musicality, inner detail etc.
I may explore Audiomat or AudioNote Dacs in the future.
I know its been a while, but I actually ended up organizing my system around tubes, so I am (have become) a tubehead, I suppose. And I did listen to the Vecteur CDP and ended up replacing my Rega with it. Thanks for your post from August of last year.
I am looking into separate amp stands for my Audiomat and Vecteur CDP. Any recommendations. Right now I have both components on cones (amp's built in cones and cdp on AudioSelection large cones) into MDF shelves lying on carpet. For starters, I am thinking about a MapleShade amp platform or a Zoethecus.
How is your system working out ? I had a momentary power interrupt that seems to have introduced an (annoying) edge in my system that I am in the process of working through. Am awaiting to demo an Equitech 1.5q that should land up here any day now.
Prelude Ref. owners who are in love with them: Try a VAC Avatar Super (integrated) and fall in love all over again. And it includes a very sweet phono stage. I have have relegated the Prelude to my second system. For a sweet CDP, try Vecteur's L-4.2.
Is your Prelude mark 1 or 2?? TIA