VTL Siefried vs Audio Research 610T

Hello, What are you thoughts on these two amps? I'm looking to purchase a pair of one of them. The speakers are Wilson Maxx II's.

VTL's price was raised to 50k for these amps so that might not them out of the running.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Dave Wilson is running Siegfrieds with Alexandrias in his home. AFAIK his previous amps were Lamm ML2.1. Call John at Wilson Audio and ask - he knows David's sytem very well.
thanks for your response...I should also let you guys know that my preamp is ARC REf and I also have the CD7. The the heat that the 610t may throw off wont be much of a problem as these will be going in a pretty nice size room.

I currently have the ARC Ref 210 and while they sound nice Ii'm looking for more power so in addition to the sound upgrade i will also achieve more headroom.

thanks again.
FYI - Dave's current system consists of ARC Ref 7, ARC Ref 3, VTL Siegfrieds and X-2 Alexandrias. And it sounds superb.
Here's an interesting review on the Siegfried:


Thanks Sherod...I actually read that review earlier tonight.

Lots of love out there for the Siegfried.

How is VTL in regards to service. I seem to recall that being an issue with them some time ago.
I own the Maxx 2/210's/Ref 3/CD7 combination within a custom-built room and am very pleased with the results. No question the 610's would be a dream upgrade within that system. I think at this level, component matching within the same line almost _always_ makes the most sense, especially between pre and amps. I seem to recall Wilson also having a pair of the 610's and absolutely raving about them. As with all successful manufacturers of speakers, Dave and the guys at Wilson always have a variety of electronics on hand at any given time.

With regards to service rep at VTL, I think that is an unfortunate tag from long ago. Since Luke and Bea took over, their service commitment seems exemplary and the electronics are all first rate.
Err no question about it, I have both sitting here in front of me, I much prefer the AR 610's.

I have lived with the Seigfried's for a year and tried many different tubes in them, the best sounding were the EAT KT88's but there reliability was not so good (a biasing issue I think) I ended up with matched GE 6550C's. Which were far better than the stock tubes.

We also always had a channel imbalance issue which with the 610's has disappeared.

We have just received a pair of REF610T's and the build quality is superior, the sound is much better IMHO, the soundstage is wider and deeper with superior transient speed. The bass is deeper and the resolution is stunning. One aspect I like very much is vocals have a 3D perspective to them, you can clearly hear everything that is being sung. My wife and I almost stopped listening to music with the VTL's now for 1st time in months we have had several late night sessions, which says it all really.

System they are being used in is Wilson X2's/Aesthetic Callisto & IO with dual power supplies/source is Rockport Sirus 3/CEC TLX, Audionote DAC 5 and cabling is all Transparent.

Oh and Dave uses a number of different amps, John is using the 610's at home with Maxx 2's. Wilson's policy is to not specificaly recommend components.

If you send me an email I will send you some photos.

"My wife and I almost stopped listening to music with the VTL's now for the first time in months".

Is there any hope for the rest of us? Forget whether Siegfried or ARC 610t is better - if one is not drawn to listen with all your previously proclaimed amazing and satisfying equipment, including what you proclaimed to be the best speaker on the planet(Wilson Alexandria)- then are the rest of us also fated to a disconnect from our music listening without a NEW 40k amp, or for that matter w/o the world's best loudspeaker?
Both are very expensive amps. Its very important that David Wilson uses $45k Siegfrieds but I suggest you to read:


Also, I have heard that Wayne Donnelly - Positive Feedback reviewer, who knows about equipment and MUSIC, recently sold his Siegfrieds and use relatively inexpensive Spectron Musician III SE in stereo mode. As good as the stereo is - two of them, in fully balanced monoblock configuration (still much cheaper then Siegfrieds) are pure " tube magic"
All The Best in Your search,
thanks for your replies...I'm going to audition the Siefried's in my system this week and the 610T's in the coming weeks.

Question for the Wilson owners...What speaker cable are you using with your Maxx's or X2's? I'm using Audioquest Everest, I had them with my previous Vandersteens and decided to use them for now but I've never tried another cable with the Wilsons.
Dave uses Transparent Opus, the guys at the ARC factory (they have Maxxs 2 driven by 610Ts, BTW) use Shunyata Orion, and so prolly does Samuel, who AFAIK is a Shunyata emploee.

Both of those cables are a bit rolled off on top, Orion on top of that is a bit rounded and tad warmer than both AQ and TA, which IMO may actually compliment Wilsons quite nicely. Everest (which I also own, BTW) on the other hand is much more linear to my ears, much more open on top. As such, it is much better suited to speakers like your ol Vandersteens than Wilsons. No wonder AQ CEO, Bill Low, uses Vandersteens 5a at home.
Transparent, Audioquest Everest is brighter

How many hours on your amps until you felt they were burned in?
I have ~ 250h on both Ref 3 and Ref 110, and the amps are still changing (for the better). I would say, that the first 150 hours are crucial. If you have any more questions pls send me a PM or post them in my "system" thread.
it took about 200 hrs before they fully broke in IMO...but, they sound pretty decent after 50 hours.
"Dave Wilson is running Siegfrieds with Alexandrias in his home. AFAIK his previous amps were Lamm ML2.1. Call John at Wilson Audio and ask - he knows David's sytem very well."

that's correct ....BTW, they still use the Lamm ML 2.1 in the sound room at Wilson Audio.

I owned the precursor of the ARC 610T ( the Ref 600 Mk lll) which was a very good amp but IMHO the Lamm ML 2.1 is a better amp. I had the 610T on oreder until I heard the Lamm 2.1 and I was smitten. The mid range and upper end is so much better than the ARC ( I still have an ARC Ref 3 which I feel is the best preamp on the planet).

As for the Lamm ML 2.1 I have now the distinct privilege of having heard his new ML 3 which makes the Ref 610T, Sigfrid and my ML 2.1 look like mere pretenders to the throne. My close friend has a pair in his home for loan from Vladimir and I will have the opportunity to play them this week in my system which also consists of X-2 Alexandrias. Stay tuned

BTW to the original poster the ML 2.1 with the MAXX ll sounds superb.
Have a read of Marc Mickelson's review of these amps with his Maxx ll's

With regards to the original thread question and my answer, my affiliation had _nothing_ to do with my opinion. I simply shared first hand experiences that were in no way related to our business. In threads involving our products, I contribute merely to correct misstated facts or false assumptions, and _always_ announce my position. Your comment implies some furtive motive or thread sabotage. I can't imagine why you saw that as somehow relevant enough to bring up here.
Wow, Samuel, relax. I have no intention whatsoever to imply anything, apart from the fact, that you prolly use Shunyata cables beeing a Shunyata emploee.

You guys make great products (I'm using Anaconda Helix Alpha PCs myself) and that is why I brought up the Shunyata Orion cable as an alternative to the Everest that both Jon and I use.

Cheers and Marry Christmas !
I have been following this thread, and am curious of one
thing. This is directed for Jon p, and there may not
be an answer here. I know you have mentioned the objective
of wanting to increase your power and headroom here. Is
there anything you are looking for from the VTL from a
sonic standpoint that you may prefer to the ARC. That said,
at this price point I would also want to hear the competition.
FWIW, I have VTL 750's. I am now looking for a slightly
warmer, more textured midrange. I am considering going to
KT-88's to achieve this. I am not sure this helps now.
However, I believe VTL offers their amps w/ a KT-88 option
so this could come to play at some point. My comments are
based on tetrode mode only.
You will find KT88's richer in the mid to upper frequencies, you may lose some lower mid and bass structure, it is a trade off.
I actually own the ref 2. I am wondereing differences btw. those amps and siegfrieds or the 610's. I heard both amp's but in very differnt set up's and I am interested if someone has heard it in direct comparision..
tonight my dealer brought the Siefried's to me to audition for a couple of weeks.

Let me say, I was pretty amazed at what that amp can do. I've heard time and time again the Wilson Maxx's love current. Well, the first time, I now know what folks are talking about.

The Siefrieds and the Maxx 2's took everything I threw at it with unbelievable ease. Even when listening at loud levels it was amazing how it held everything together.

Going to listen more in the coming days. I'll have the 610T's in a couple of weeks to audition and I'm looking forward to that. Though I've only had the Siegfried's for th evening I must say i'm impressed.

Jon_p - pls do not forget to update us afterwards !
Jon_p I did not want to hi-jack your thread but I have some insight of amps with MAXX 2's. If you have the chance get some CAT's to try do your self a favour and do so. A friend has the JL3 mono blocks and the sound was marvelous, he actually recently replaced the MAXX 2's with Asendo M speakers which I will say I prefer another person whom I communicate back and forth with has the CAT JL2 SIG. MK2 stereo amp with his MAXX 2's and says it's a perfect match. I have not heard his system so I can't comment. I had the 610's trying them with my Avalon Isis speakers and VTL 750's but sold everything off. This was a set-up in my designated room and was having manly problems with the Avalon's filling the room properly, I have another system with MBL 101E speakers and I'm awaiting to receive CAT JL3 SIG. MK2 mono blocks along with Berning Quadrature-Z mono blocks. The latter only 24 pairs being made and from what I've read look very interesting.

My 2 cents worth, have fun.
I do agree with you on the CAT JL 3's. I too have a friend with theseamps driving Rockport Hyperions and the sound is exceptional.
The Siegfrieds and ARC 610Ts sound the best I've ever heard on Wilson speakers as far as tubes are concerned.

They like power and current to my ears, despite their purported dbl sensitivity.

And high powered SS gear should not be discounted unless $$$ need wasting.

I suppose it is all a matter of taste. I owned the Ref 600 Mk lll and had a 610T on order until I heard the Lamm ML 2.1 on my Wilson X-2's and I cancelled the order as IMO there was just no comparison. Prior to the Ref 600's I was driving my previous X-1 series lll's with Krell 750 MCX. All of these amps were very good but none near so musical as the Lamm. Recently however the bar has been set even higher with Vladimir Lamm's new ML 3 Reference which for me at least was such a jaw dropping experience that it is tantamount to being at a live performance. I am going to find it very difficult to send this amp back.

I have to agree with you...the Maxx's love current. I've never heard them sound so good. So far, the Siegfried is very impressive. The vocals sound incredible and it has bass for days.

How are going with the amp choice, have you heard the AR 610 yet? Ours have 255 hours now and have opened up considerably.
I have a VTL S400 that is similar in design to the Siegfrieds I love it. Like the reviewer from IAR, it completely disappears. I did make one huge improvement. I was lucky enough to find 12 NOS GE 6550's (still had the VTL logo on the them). They made a huge difference-I could not listen to the "stock" 6550's after I changed them. If you can find the GE's give them a try (kind of expensive and you'll need a lot of them)