VTL, BAT (150 wpc)
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I don't think VTLs are auto-biased. Having an auto-bias is a great advantage for longer tube life so it's important! BAT is being converted to mono by reconnecting other channel tubes to the one channel path giving 4 tubes per channel as mono version(mentioned by Tom Hankins) Mono version is VK150 and it's pricey new or used. Otherwise a great contender to your consideration with very good built quality.
What is your budget?
How savvy you are with troubleshooting? Most of powerful tube amps are not user friendly, burn tubes fast and require some technical knowlege or if not, sending it to service provider would run into tripple digits just for shipping.
Do you have money-no-option situation?
What speakers do you have?
Nope... money is an issue so I'm unable to invest heavily.
Speakers, currently are Silverline Sonata IIIs which I have posted for sale actually. I do have others though. Though, none as good as the IIIs.
They feel like 92 db speakers running at 6 ohms or so, nominally. A BAT vk60 ran them very well to quite remarkable sound levels.
They responnd best to amps with good power supplies. My preff is tubes normally... but The Sonata IIIs don't seem to mind what topology the amp possesses. So long as it's a decent amp or above.
I simply want to get different color speakers and perhaps trade up there too.
So $2K $3K approx. is about the whole budget for amp (s).
Blindjim I think audiofeil in Clarence NY carries the line;as I have seen ads from him on Audiogon selling the product.
I bought mine on audiogon used last year;it has been a great amp driving a very tough load (soundlab m2's) and it autobias's as the op was inquiring about;there might be other sellers but audiofeil is the only one I can think of.
The difference between 200 watts and 100 watts is 3db.....not a lot....call it 150? I don't know how to do logs, but it is sure to be almost unhearable.
Autobias? terrific idea! Why didn't I think of that?
93db speakers MAY be able to use 200 watts if they are in a pretty good sized space and pushed. Running them at say......30 watts continuous with 9db amp headroom? Somebody do the math on that.
The other possible reason is large phase angle loading. In that case, I'd probably want to rethink tubes...
Blindjim I have had 4 tube amps;vtl 225 monoblocks,manley ref 440/200 monoblocks,cary slam 100 mono's and the audiovalve's I currently have.
The vtl and manleys sounded very similiar and they were driving merlin 4b+'s and dunlavy sc3's;controlled bass,midrange that most tube lovers crave and extended highs,the manleys ran 6550c's and the vtl's ran kt88's.
The cary slam 100's are the ones I had the longest;running jjkt88's at 95watts triode;these amps were the best I have owed until now;these amps drove the dunlavy's and the sound was just fantastic and then I got the itch to see what electrostatics were all about and found the cary's to do a very good job but were being taxed and it was noticable;loss of bass control on the panel,the midrange fell apart and the overall sound was degraded;these amps were the first generation on the slam 100's and it was fixed at triode with no ultralinear switch as the newer models had.I traded them in on the audiovalve challangers and have never been happier.Sound is first rate from top to bottom,they seem to control the panels with ease.Build quality is excellant and I have not experienced any problems with these amps since I aquired them.
I have not tried tube rolling on them as I am rookie in this area but have made some inquiries on where to start and what to try.
....on the Moscode front, there's but a slim chance of me landing one.. 401 or 402. Consequently as I'd be lurking on the preowned pages for one. They aren't often visiting thsoe pages either.
The D class amps interest me still. With my speakers a good set of Class D monos ought to be a nice fit. they'll coast on my current speakers but will enable me to be a lot more flexible in making future speaker matches.