VAC " AVATAR " integrated amplifier This just back from a visit to Kevin Hayes and the VAC Company in Sarasota Florida.
Work was completed and shipped from VAC July 26, 2016 . (see pics) A simply sublime integrated with a very nice phono stage as well. Clean inside and out and ready to perform to the highest standards . Specifications
Type: Integrated vacuum tube amplifier with MM phono stage and home theater (direct power amplifier) mode.
Tube Complement: two 12AX7 low noise (phono), two 12AX7 (line stage), three 12AU7/6189A (power amplifier), and four EL34 (power amplifier)
Options: Remote control for volume (motorized direct control) & mute
Power amplifier ("Home Theater" direct mode):
Output matching: 4 or 8 ohms nominal
Power output: 60 watts/channel ultra-linear; 27 watts/channel triode
Frequency response: 9 Hz - 35 kHz +0 / -0.5 dB, 3 Hz - 71 kHz +0 / -3.0 dB
Power bandwidth: 11 Hz - 63 kHz + 0 / -3.0 db ref. 50 watts
Gain: 25 dB ultra-linear; 23 dB triode
Residual noise: 1.5 mv at 8 ohm output
Channel separation: -72 dB @ 1 kHz; -60 dB @ 10 kHz
Line stage preamplifier:
Gain: 24 dB
Maximum input signal: Infinite (attenuation precedes line stage)
Noise contribution: Approx. 0.1 mv at power amplifier output
THD contribution: Approx. 0.04%
Tape output: Unity gain from selector, non-inverting
Phono stage preamplifier:
Gain: 37 dB (measured at tape output)
MC phono stage in place of the MM optional
Residual noise: 3 mv at output (S/N ratio approx. 69 dB)
Overload: 117 mv @ 1 kHz = 8 volts RMS output, 460 mv @ 10 kHz
Frequency response: RIAA +/- 0.25 dB
Notes: Does not invert absolute phase.
Dimensions: 17.5 inches wide, 8 inches high, 15.3 inches deep (+ knobs & connectors)
Shipping weight: 67 pounds
Sent this amplifier to VAC last year for a new front panel to be installed . While there this Avatar was given a complete once over top to bottom. Just came back to me August 2, 2016 and in its rather extended absence I have reluctantly migrated to a much more modest system.
So here is your chance to get as close to a new " VAC Avatar" EL34 Tube integrated as possible for a great price. I could easily rate it as excellent but there are a couple of super minor imperfections in the powder coat on the top of the case that could be easily fixed by new owner.
It was delivered in a new double box from VAC with all the tubes safely removed. Upon receipt I put the tubes carefully back in and gave it a listen and she sounds amazing. Brent at VAC swears that the EL34 is the better sounding of the tubes when I asked about the possibility of re-wiring and going with KT88's. Have researched replacing the tubes for an inquisitive Audiogon member and according to tube depot website the complete replacement compliment would run about $140. All the current tubes tested fine while at VAC. In one of my many talks with VAC I was reminded me that Valve Amplification's current integrated is about ten thousand dollars.
A new VAC remote can be ordered new from VAC and they are now made from metal and are much more robust for $200. I passed on picking up a new remote as the shipping to and from Florida , new panel cost , complete inspection and reassembly ate up my budget. You can order the new metal remote from VAC or use a harmony universal remote I imagine if you wanted to wait . The remote I believe only does volume and mute if I remember what I was told over the phone in one of my many conversations with VAC service.
The Tubes have been safely removed and are labeled and bubble wrapped and the unit is back in its double box. includes the stock A/C cable and fresh owners manual from VAC. Dare I say modern classic integrated from an awesome company with wicked good customer service and products.
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