This is it. If you’re looking at this then I don’t have to tell you that this is probably one of the best integrated amps ever made in the sub 5 digit range. Built like a tank with the finesse of a ballerina. These don’t come up often and don't go unsold for long.
It does so many things right. It will power most any speaker, has a sweet phono section and goes form ultra linear to triode with the flip of a switch. The VAC Avatar SE delivers a sweet, rich, open presentation with plenty of air and midrange detailing and a soundstage that’s broad and deep and true to the space. Whether it’s a large concert hall or a small intimate club the music is always rendered as it should be, with spirit and intent.
On to the nitty gritty: this thing is over 15 years old so yeah it’s got some miles on it. I’d give it a 7/8 just for age, I mean there was no such thing as streaming when this was built. That said, I’ve taken good care of this baby because, frankly its wonderful piece of equipment and worth it. It’s been in a smoke free, kid free listening room its whole life with me. I believe I am the second owner. Bought it in 2005. It’s only had a Thorens turntable, Wadia CD player and an Audio Note DAC hooked up to it. The fit and finish is outstanding and it still looks amazing. I’ve lost the remote and the original box is long gone (who wants a 15 year old box?). There’s a chip on the Tape/Monitor knob it’s no big deal to me but in the interest of full disclosure I’ve included a photo. No impact on functionality and is about the size of 2 pin heads. As I said I’ve lost the remote but it is it set up for one as part of the SE package. You can pick one up from VAC for around $100 or so, and probably a new knob too. The remote function is volume up/down and mute/unmute that's it. Don’t have original manual but I will provide a downloaded copy. It will of course be well packed (and must be insured), with tubes in a separate box. This thing is heavy its got some serious iron. Probably will ship at 65-70 pounds. I will also include an extra pair of el34s that I have. The existing power tubes have about 150 hours on them and the preamp tubes about 500. A quality set of power tubes usually last over 1,000 hours, the preamp tubes longer. I would recommend getting a few different sets for tube rolling. All the tubes are readily available as both NOS and new production at reasonable prices. At the end of the day this thing is sweet involving and incredibly musical. You be hard pressed to find anything better at twice the price. I have bought and sold a bunch of stuff on audiogon in the early 2000’s but once I settled on this puppy I was done and now that it’s time to move on, I frankly can’t revive my old account. I have feedback on eBay as go2cameraguy. Buyer pays PayPal fees. Personal check must clear prior to Shipping
2 x 12AX7 low noise (phono)
2 x 12AX7 (line stage)
3 x 12AU7/6189A (power amplifier)
4 x EL34 (power amplifier)