I am looking to upgrade my system with a new integrated amplifier. Does anyone have any knowledge comparing the VTL IT-85 versus the EAR 834? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
By the way, I have a pair of Klipsch CF-3 speakers which I will use solely for music listening. I only listen to CD's and it is fed via a Sony SACD player. My listening room is 20x16 feet with high ceilings. I listen to all sorts of music from classical to jazz to rock to hip hop. In the future, I may change my speakers to a pair of Legacy focus 20/20's.
Hello Rkwu,

I have been servicing high-end hi-fi for the past 25 years. During that time I have changed about half a dozen power transformers in VTL's.
When one asks for a particular replacement transformer from them, they always say "send the unit back to us for service", or some such rubbish. I have come to the conclusion that they have produced so many different models that they can't remember which transformer goes with which amplifier. Seems to me that they have a "new" model every moon phase.
I now refuse service on any of their products.
On the other hand, Tim de Paravicini started out doing all the design work for Luxman in the late '70s. When he went back to England in the early 80s, he started up Esoteric Audio Research. To my way of thinking, he is the "Tube Guru" of to-day. Not only does he produce his own E.A.R.-YOSHINO products, he also designs complete lines for a number of other "manufacturers".
If you are using Klipsch CF-3s, which have a sensivity of some 100dbs, perhaps you might consider his Model 869 instead of the 834. Nothing wrong with the 834 - its a really good and reliable unit, but its also overkill for your speakers at 40 Watts p.c. The 869 is 15 Watts and is also single-ended, using EL 509 valves - which in that circuit will last just about for ever! Both amplifiers are integrated and are about the same price. Add an 834P phono pre-amplifier...and you'll be in heaven!
Remember that every 3db more efficient your speakers are, you double the effective power of the amplifier. To put it another way, the average 100 Watt amplifier driving into 87db speakers ( a very normal situation) will sound the same as a 12 Watt amplifier driving your 100db speakers.

Enjoy the music -