Offering: GORGEOUS VAC ALPHA Integrated Amplifier in striking Black Lacquer with Chrome Knobs!
One non smoking, no kids owner who has enjoyed it with a pair of Sonus Faber Guarneri speakers
and Argento cabling! (see our other ads)
This amp was updated and benched at VAC in Jan 2011 and performs flawlessly.
The VAC Alpha truly is a cost no object design. Consider that the output transformers and main power transformer are the same units used in the Phi Beta, from which the line stage circuit is also borrowed.
The Line Stage
The line stage circuit is the heart of any true integrated amplifier (it's amazing that most so-called integrated amplifiers omit this stage altogether). In the VAC Alpha, this circuit is mounted on the rear panel, right along with the input jacks, output jacks, and main signal switching. The signal pathways are the shortest, purest, most direct possible. The circuit is shielded, preventing interaction with the radiated signals from other stages or the transformers, which are mounted at the most distant points. The amplifying tube is an extraordinarily linear octal twin triode which is direct coupled to the output twin triode. The heaters for this stage are developed from a separate toroidal power transformer and are full regulated. Five normal line level inputs are provided (one of which may optionally be balanced), along with a full tape monitor loop, and a fixed volume CINE input for easy integration into multichannel systems. A preamplifier output is provided and is ideal for subwoofers, or may be used in conjunction with the power amplifier's direct input to accommodate external crossovers.
The Power Amplifier
If the line stage is the heart of the Alpha, the power amplifier provides the voice, with power, passion, and finesse. It incorporates the new direct-coupled all triode input and driver stage design as used in the VAC Phi 300. Overall, the power amplifier has but one capacitively coupled stage, leading to extremely wide bandwidth, fast response, and impeccable behavior under stress. Multiple speaker connections are available to best match the continuous available power of 90 watts/channel into speakers of 2, 4, or 8 ohm nominal rating. Adjustment of the KT88s' idle currents are made directly from the front panel using built in indicator lights; no meters or tools are necessary. A direct input is provided for use with external active crossovers.
The Phono Stage
Although it may seem a bit of an anachronism in the 21st century, a considerable number of VAC owners either use LPs or are considering adding this capability to their systems. Accordingly, the VAC Alpha incorporates a superb all triode phono stage using the same circuit type found in the Signature Preamplifier. The RIAA equalization curve is passively derived, no through sonically damaging negative feedback. Special steps are taken to provide pure, uncontaminated power and avoid stray interactions with the other stages. The sound quality of the internal VAC phono stage easily competes with separate stages costing more than the Alpha itself; its inclusion is a great benefit to analogue users. Interestingly, deleting this stage would make only a small difference to the overall price of the Alpha, so digital only audiophiles may relax!
What will you hear?
Vivid, emotional sound. Extraordinarily potent, lifelike bass. Solid, unwavering placement of voices within the soundstage, each fleshed out with proper size and projection. Speed. Presence.
For those with passion and ears to hear, the VAC Alpha will be the indispensable integrated.
Dimensions & Tube Complement
Size: 17.8" wide, 8.5" high, 16" deep (452 x 216 x 406 mm), plus knobs & connectors
Weight: Approximately 95 lbs. (43 kg.) shipping
Phono: 3 x 12AX7 twin triodes
Line: 1 x 6SN7 octal twin triode, 1 x 12AX7 twin triode
Power amplifier: 2 x 12AU7 twin triode, 2 x 6SN7 twin triode, 2 matched pair x KT88 beam power kinkless tetrodes
Included with this Alpha is a NEW, full set of VAC back up tubes!
The Audio Gallery
Thanks for Looking and Thanks for Buying! WE APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!