VAC Statement system inbound!

gadawg58

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Apr 7, 2018
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So after much thought and listening I have decided to pull the trigger on a complete VAC Statement setup. Just placed an order for VAC Statement Preamp and a pair of the Statement 452IQ mono amps. I considered and listened to many different options but nothing sounded as much like music to me as the VAC Statement setup. I originally heard the VAC Statement setup at the Florida audio expo and always thought that was best of show but it’s difficult if not impossible to gauge how something will sound at home from what you hear at a show. So finally reached out to my local dealer and he arranged to have Kevin send us the complete setup for evaluation after CAF this year. I’ve had the setup here since CAF and to be honest once I heard it here at the house with my Wilson Alexx speakers it was an easy decision … other than deciding to write that check! :cool:

I’m listening to the demo gear one more weekend before it goes back to Kevin next week (huge thanks to Kevin and Scott Walker Audio for allowing me to audition this gear at home) and I’m not sure I’ll be able to listen to my old setup between now and the time my VAC gear arrives. Ordered the Preamp in black with chrome knobs and ordered the amps with the Red top and black front with the chrome feet. Should look sweet. Going to get an HRS SXR rack to sit all this on since I already have some of the M3 Isolation platforms and also just recently purchased a Sonorus ATR-10 mikII which I’ve also had demo of for several weeks. Mine should ship in the next week or two so at least I’ll have that to play with until the VAC gear arrives. Here is the room with the demo gear … I’ll post new pics when all the new gear arrives with racks!

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earl3090

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Jun 7, 2019
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Congrats!
 

Holli82

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Love my VAC! IMG_2977.jpeg IMG_1229.jpeg
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 24, 2015
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Big congratulations! VAC is fantastic!
 
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gadawg58

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And now the waiting begins ... LOL
 

christoph

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Holli82

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Lovely gear :cool:

Sorry for OT here but do yourself a favor and try different tubes in your Horizon :eek:
old photo--Horizon was brand new with stock tubes.
 
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christoph

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Holli82

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craigr

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Dec 5, 2022
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I have been considering replacing my REF 6SE with the VAC Master preamp. (Will be using a D'Agostino Momentum MXV stereo amp, Shunyata cables, SF Il Cremonese speakers). I heard, thanks to kindness of Bob in Raleigh NC, the VAC with Gold Lion tubes on his Wilson Alexia speakers. The presentation was indeed "full", "musical" (best I have ever heard Wilson speakers which I find somewhat clinical). But, I felt that some articulation, a degree of detail, was missing when the musicians (classical music) were playing rapid parts or en masse orchestral pieces.
Question: Is this a characteristic of the VAC Master preamp per se, or the Gold Lion tubes (vs say Telefunken or Amperex)? Does anyone have experience with this preamp and other tubes?
Thank you.
 

gadawg58

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Apr 7, 2018
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I have been considering replacing my REF 6SE with the VAC Master preamp. (Will be using a D'Agostino Momentum MXV stereo amp, Shunyata cables, SF Il Cremonese speakers). I heard, thanks to kindness of Bob in Raleigh NC, the VAC with Gold Lion tubes on his Wilson Alexia speakers. The presentation was indeed "full", "musical" (best I have ever heard Wilson speakers which I find somewhat clinical). But, I felt that some articulation, a degree of detail, was missing when the musicians (classical music) were playing rapid parts or en masse orchestral pieces.
Question: Is this a characteristic of the VAC Master preamp per se, or the Gold Lion tubes (vs say Telefunken or Amperex)? Does anyone have experience with this preamp and other tubes?
Thank you.
I think that there are likely too many variables at play here to assign what you heard to any single component. You definitely need to try and audition the VAC Master at home with your system because it will sound very different from your ARC (better or worse depending on your point of view). I can tell you after auditioning a complete VAC Statement system at home for the past month there is a great deal of synergy with the VAC pre and their amps. If you are running a Ref 6SE with the Momentum's (which might be brilliant) you really need to hear that in your setup to be sure it's better (you like it more) than where you are today. It's possible you might also like the Ref10 better than the VAC Master because they both have very different presentations and while both are really good I'm guessing you will like one much more than the other. Good luck and have fun!

George
 
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harsheel_dbs

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Mar 12, 2020
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Congratulations! VAC owner here as well, and I agree with the Pre+Power synergy comment. Out of curiousity, which other setups did you demo before landing on these Floridian jewels?
 
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2fastdriving

Active Member
Jan 19, 2023
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Dear Lord I am jealous. That is an amazing upgrade, just stunning in every way. Congrats!
 
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gadawg58

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Apr 7, 2018
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Listened to Soulution, MSB and Boulder at a couple of dealers recently and didn't find any of those to be nearly as engaging as the VAC gear. I have been using REX level BAT gear and while it's really fun to listen to it's not in the same league as the Statement gear. I wouldn't even try to use audiophile terms to describe what the Statement gear sounded like other than to say it just sounded more like live music than any other equipment I have listened to.

Two other brands that I have listened to in the past and also really liked were Gryphon and Dartzeel however we don't have a dealer for either of those brands where I live so I stuck with what I could demo at home.

George
 

vintage_tube

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2012
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East Coast
Congratulations on the Statement Preamp and fabulous 452iQ's.

I just returned from a road trip to Sarasota with a pickup load of Kevin Hayes marvelous creations. I have spoken with Kevin many times over the years and to meet him and have a tour and meet the skilled technicians at VAC was an audio highlight.

I can't pinpoint the moment exactly but in 2017 I was swayed to go SS with D'Agostino Progression & matching preamp. As time went on, I began to realize I made a huge mistake & yearned for my roots -- tubes. I was determined to rectify that misjudgment and accept the fact I erred.

The opportunity arose in late July '23 and confirmed an order for a pair of the massive 215-pound VAC 450iQ monos and a Master Preamp w/o the phono (I had a Renaissance SE Phono from a few years earlier).

So, after a 12-hour return trip and a good rest, it took the better part of the day to rebuild my racks, add the HRS M3X2-1921's, G7 Footers/G-Links/Conecoasters, add a few new Nordost Odin 2 digital AES/EBU cables from dCS Rossini Transport to APEX DAC, straighten out & reroute/secure cabling, etc., without BREAKING ANYTHING.

I did build myself a tube hour meter using aka Radio Shack parts -- hooked it up to the 12v trigger output port on the preamp.

Anyways, this is the end result & again congrats on your VAC's:

Best to all,

Bob

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gadawg58

Well-Known Member
Apr 7, 2018
220
214
150
Congratulations on the Statement Preamp and fabulous 452iQ's.

I just returned from a road trip to Sarasota with a pickup load of Kevin Hayes marvelous creations. I have spoken with Kevin many times over the years and to meet him and have a tour and meet the skilled technicians at VAC was an audio highlight.

I can't pinpoint the moment exactly but in 2017 I was swayed to go SS with D'Agostino Progression & matching preamp. As time went on, I began to realize I made a huge mistake & yearned for my roots -- tubes. I was determined to rectify that misjudgment and accept the fact I erred.

The opportunity arose in late July '23 and confirmed an order for a pair of the massive 215-pound VAC 450iQ monos and a Master Preamp w/o the phono (I had a Renaissance SE Phono from a few years earlier).

So, after a 12-hour return trip and a good rest, it took the better part of the day to rebuild my racks, add the HRS M3X2-1921's, G7 Footers/G-Links/Conecoasters, add a few new Nordost Odin 2 digital AES/EBU cables from dCS Rossini Transport to APEX DAC, straighten out & reroute/secure cabling, etc., without BREAKING ANYTHING.

I did build myself a tube hour meter using aka Radio Shack parts -- hooked it up to the 12v trigger output port on the preamp.

Anyways, this is the end result & again congrats on your VAC's:

Best to all,

Bob

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What an absolutely gorgeous system you have! Congrats on your system as well ... the VAC gear is wonderful and love how it sounded on my Wilson's also! I've also been listening to a Rossini Apex and comparing against my Esoteric D-02X DAC. Will be listening to several more DAC's as well once my VAC gear arrives and is well broken in! Congrats again and enjoy!!!

George
 

vintage_tube

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2012
30
64
923
East Coast
I have been considering replacing my REF 6SE with the VAC Master preamp. (Will be using a D'Agostino Momentum MXV stereo amp, Shunyata cables, SF Il Cremonese speakers). I heard, thanks to kindness of Bob in Raleigh NC, the VAC with Gold Lion tubes on his Wilson Alexia speakers. The presentation was indeed "full", "musical" (best I have ever heard Wilson speakers which I find somewhat clinical). But, I felt that some articulation, a degree of detail, was missing when the musicians (classical music) were playing rapid parts or en masse orchestral pieces.
Question: Is this a characteristic of the VAC Master preamp per se, or the Gold Lion tubes (vs say Telefunken or Amperex)? Does anyone have experience with this preamp and other tubes?
Thank you.
It was a nice get together Craig - I enjoyed your visit. Regarding your question on the Genalex Gold Lion 12v tubes -- I dunno Sir. I'm a Genalex reissue diehard and have over the last number of years immediately replaced all factory 12v tubes with the Genalex Gold Lion Gold Pins regardless of component manufacturer. They test phenomenal & do believe they are much better built than a Chinese tube -- that's reason #2 and primarily why I have that habit.

Should I go back and do an audio comparison -- probably, but it is IMO an extremely exhaustive affair that eats into actual audio nirvana enjoyment time. I like what the Genelex reissues offer so what's done is done.

Bob
 

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2019
2,890
2,382
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Sweet looking systems. Would be nice to hear them. All those tubes look like loads of power. Effortless ease.
 

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