Purchased my VAC amp from local NY dealer 11/1/2016 and it has been breathtaking with absolutely addictive sound quality every day since my purchase. Loved this amp since day one. I am ready to convert system to solid state. ( I bias the tubes maybe once per month but it has been maintenance free since day one) A description which describes my own reaction perfectly follows:
So, the bottom line is that this amp has lightning speed, incredible bass with slam and control, exquisite detail across the entire audible spectrum, the ability to handle with ease dynamic contrasts, and it projects an expansive soundstage with amazing imaging and an airiness and delicacy that I can only describe as magical. Or perhaps stunning. Or perhaps jaw-dropping.
The groundbreaking Phi 300 series pioneered the unique direct-coupled Class A triode input and driver circuitry that allowed VAC to get closer to the sound of the recording studio or concert hall than ever before. This consummately musical performer is also extraordinarily flexibly, with settings for fully balanced or single-ended input, selectable front panel attenuators, 150-watt/channel stereo or 300-watt mono modes, and triode or ultralinear output operation. The visual celebration of tubes behind the thick front glass is a fitting match for the joyous sound. Its eight beam power output tubes yield 300 watts in dedicated mono mode or 150 watts/channel in stereo mode at the choice of the user. Front panel level controls may be engaged to aid in balancing biamplified systems.
Both balanced XLR and single-ended RCA inputs are provided. The chassis is machined aluminum, with the tubes beautifully showcased behind 0.75” glass. Also included are standard 12-volt triggers. The Phi 300.1a is based on our direct coupled input & driver circuit. Both single-ended and balanced (fully balanced amplifier mode) inputs are provided.
The chassis is custom machined 0.25” aluminum welded into a solid unitary structure, finished in metallic black paint. The 1” thick aluminum front panel is finished in hand rubbed silver metallic lacquer. Unique led tube bias metering makes it easy to maintain and optimize. Output matching taps are provided for 2, 4, and 8 ohm speakers." This is a 120v version.
The day I received the amp( new), I discovered a minor defect on the right low corner of faceplate. You can see that in picture. It is functionally perfect and it draws the admiration of every person who enters my home. The defect is not noticeable unless I point it out or you walk up close to examine it
150 - stereo
300 - mono
36 dB, SE/stereo
30 dB, balanced/stereo
37 dB, SE/mono
31 dB, balanced/mono
4 Hz to 75 kHz
13 Hz to 70 kHz
Single-ended input via RCA jack, non-inverting
Balanced input via XLR jack, non-inverting relative to pin 2 (“pin 2 hot”, traditional EIA/RCA broadcast/recording standard).
Connections to precisely match loudspeaker loads of 2, 4, and 8 ohms