Will a Separate Amp Make a Difference

I have original Audio Physic Virgo's running off a BAT VK3ix tubed preamp into the separate amp section of an older Classe Cap150 integrated amp. Using Harmonic Technology cables. Will going to a separate balanced Amp - perhaps BAT VK 250 or Ayre significantly improve the sound? I am not unhappy now but wondering about the benefits of a separate dedicated amp.
What are you unhappy with? Every change or substitution can make a difference, but just how much is very subjective. Speaker location and room treatment can have an amazing effect on many sonic parameters.

My personal experiences have found the most dramatic equipment related performance differences comes from replacing speakers. I don't see that as an issue in you case. From memory your speakers were designed to be placed well away and in front of the long wall with only a slight toe in. Hopefully another Virgo user can supply better advise than mine.

Thanks Vic for your response. I have found speaker placement to make a big difference. To a degree I may be responding to the reviews of individual amps (like the Ayre amps you have written about) that suggest that specific amps have distinct qualities that impact sound and performance. I guess I am curious about what characteristics one might expect to be different - in your system what impact do you see - is it bass, overall warmth or soundstage variations. I realize the only way to tell is to swap components but I thought I would pose the question nonetheless.
Personally, I'm done with tubes in the back end of my system even though there is still one in the house. Is there any reason why you haven't considered a tube amplifier?

My V-1 replaced a Cerwin-Vega amp from the early 70's so the difference was striking in all areas. I'm sure I'd have difficulty picking out the Ayre in a blind listen between, say Sim Audio but that's me. My experience is very limited to only a few amplifiers I've owned and I have trouble hearing anything outside my listening room.

Sorry this isn't going to help you much.


I agree with what was stated above however to answer your question I will say that I’ve replaced a good integrated amp with a good dedicated amp (using as preamp as you stated) and have heard more detail, darker background, better timber/timber decay, better bass response/slam, and improved sound stage. With that said I’ve upgraded the dedicated amp two other times and heard an improvement in the above description. Of course one must keep in mind it’s a matter of diminishing returns! How much are you willing to spend?
Thanks Lak - I would like to buy something used through Audiogon and hopefully stay in the $4,000 range. I think it makes sense to try and select equipment to match the relative level of the existing components in the system. I am using an older CAL ikon MK 11 with a benchmark DAC, a REGA 2 and Purist Audio Design older fluid speaker cables. I would think it makes sense to look for a balanced ss amp since it would match well with the BAT preamp that was selected for the impact of tubes. As mentioned in my original note, I am happy with the system and I do enjoy listening - no major complaints. I am curious about whether I have reached a point where I have achieved most of what I can get out of the original Audio Physic Virgos.