VAC Signature iQ200 - Page 12
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  1. #111
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    I might add...I tried KT150s in mine and didn't like it as well, thought it lost a little of the magic.
    Rance


    Synology DS411+II | GigaFOILv4+Keces P3 Power Supply | Audioquest Diamond Ethernet | Lumin S1 | VAC Master Line Stage | VAC Signature 200 iQ amps | ARC REFERENCE 160M amps | JBL 4367+Isoacoustics Gaia I | SVS PC-4000 subs x 2 | Shunyata 6000T | Luminous Audio Technology cabling and power | Solid Tech racks | Vicoustics room treatments | ASC Iso-wall/Iso-ceiling construction

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  3. #112
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    If I had to downsize it would be the hardest piece to give up.
    In my system Kt150s are like attaching testicles to it.
    Larry


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  5. #113
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    Post removed, will start separate thread.
    Last edited by Robd2; November 9, 2019 at 08:43 AM. Reason: Post removed, will start separate thread.

  6. #114
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    I listen to plenty of rock on mine too. In fact, Neil Young is “Down by the river” right now 🤗

    In addition to your overall impression, I’d be grateful to hear what you think about the KT120’s in the 200iQ.
    Analog source: AMG Viella 12; Ortofon Anna cartridge, van den Hul Crimson Stradivarius XGW
    Digital source: Totaldac d1-seven DAC, Totaldac d1-server with Gigafilter
    Pre amp: VAC Master with phono
    Phonostage: ​Constellation Andromeda
    Amps: VAC 200iQ monoblocks
    Speakers: Magico M3 with MPods
    Cables: Synergistic Research Galileo
    Power products: Synergistic Research Power Cell 12 UEF and Transporter Ultra. Galileo power cords.

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  8. #115
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    Everything you guys have been saying about these amps is right!

    The 200iQ monos were extremely impressive last night. They do sound better than Apollo Darks, in virtually every aspect. They actually sound more powerful - they’re not by Wattage, but they sound more composed, smooth, lifelike, and ballsy when needed. Definitely a dose of the VAC magic midrange, and a very natural touch of warmth. YES they can rock, better than the Apollo’s in fact! The Apollo Darks overall sound a little "flat" and dull compared to the VACs. This with stock KT88. Had a bit of a dumbass moment where I had the wrong setting on the phono stage earlier in the evening, so my KT120 impressions are invalid but I’ll try again. Once I set things right, the KT88 were really faultless, I was wanting for nothing but more and more listening time. Same comparison issue with one amp vs 2, but now that I’ve enjoyed 2 for a night I doubt I’ll be able to downgrade to 1.

    I wouldn’t say they’re quite night and day better than the Apollos, which do a fine job - but they certainly are a very significant, very apparent improvement. I think amp is probably the weak point in my system now (sorry Rogue - I’ve been with them for ages and finally outgrew their line) and the VACs will more than rectify that.

    Also let me note I tube rolled the hell out of the Apollo Dark’s small tubes, and achieved a very notable boost in performance over the tubes it shipped with (and it actually shipped with Telefunken smooth plate 12ax7 and RCA Clear tip 12au7, not junk by any standard). So a stock Apollo Dark is even further behind these VACs. Man, replacing 3 quads of KT120 in the Rogue was a big pain (did it 3 or 4 times over 9 years), and the exotic small tubes I settled on were expensive and extremely hard to find. So nice how the VAC sounds like it does with stock Russian tubes, and only 2 quads of KT88! My only regret will be that I think the Apollos look cool as hell, just a nice aesthetic fit for my setup. The VACs are a bit more awkward here IMO but it’s sound that rules here.

    In short I absolutely want a pair! Man the price is gonna kill me though
    Time to sell a bunch of gear!!!

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  10. #116
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    I think they'll look better in black! Yes that's hockey pucks instead of a proper amp stand. The ones for the Apollos won't fit here. I'm gonna be poor for a while so this may have to do - and nobody's getting a Christmas present from me either lol. I'm getting excited about these amps, guys.


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  12. #117
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    Very cool @mulveling. Any specific thoughts on the base response of the 200IQs?

  13. #118
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    Quote Originally Posted by Robd2 View Post
    Very cool @mulveling. Any specific thoughts on the base response of the 200IQs?
    It's awesome. Wonderful power and slam; more than the Rogue monos. I wasn't entirely expecting that, given the Rogues should be pushing close to 300 Watts/ch (and the Rogue amps are generally reputed for their power, slam, and dynamics), but it's very welcome as there had been this nagging suspicion in the back of my mind I was missing something more there that the Canterburys could give. The intuition was right. The 200iQ monos simply have a beautiful touch of warmth from the midrange down into the bass, and the exact right tiny amount of "bloom" to make notes and instruments feel more fleshy and alive. Treble, as typical from the best VAC gear, has the exact right amount of sparkle while being clean, beautiful, and never harsh, glarey or irritating. These really just nail the right balance and mix of everything. I wanted an amp incarnation of the sound from my Renaissance SE phono stage, and these 200iQ's are IT. Kevin is just a master of voicing tube electronics, and he seems to be getting better at it with time. I feel like I should have explored this route sooner.

    The Rogue voicing is definitely more dry/analytical, and I selected its NOS tubes (Mazda 12ax7 silver plates, 1950s Sylvania black plate 12bh7) to maximize the dynamics and bass response rather than trying to "beautify" the mids (e.g. Mullards). Even with that it STILL can't compete with the 200iQ monos on dynamics. And I guarantee you that if I threw in all the tubes to make the midrange pretty, it STILL could never match the VAC on that front

    Maybe next year I'll give VAC preamps another try, and look at maybe having an all-VAC system
    Part of my problem there is that I'm obsessed with digital remote volume control on my REF 6, and that will be HARD to give up. Also, for whatever reason, I usually find something sonically that doesn't 100% jive with me on their Renaissance preamps (III and V) - unlike their phono stages and now these 200iQ amps. Weird. That may away when the VAC preamp is sandwiched between two sibling VAC components!

    I'm like 99% set on ordering a pair now, but I have another night of two of auditioning to work out that last 1%

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  15. #119
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    Glad to hear you like them! Your description of the sound matches my perception, too. I keep thinking I should try KT120’s or 150’s, but then I turn on the system to listen to some music, and it just sounds so “right”. Makes me forget about upgrading this or rolling that—I just want to enjoy the music! For me, that’s what this hobby is about. I have no doubt there are “better” amps. The 450iQ’s probably do some things better if I know Kevin! But would they allow me to enjoy the music more than I do now? Doubtful, because I’m enjoying the h*ll out of my system now.

    The one thing I would say: if you can find a way to get the Master preamp, try to audition it. While the VAC REN preamps are VERY good, the Master is in another league. I was flabbergasted at how much more musical information it conveyed relative to my previous VAC preamp. I believe it’s the single best piece of equipment I own.
    Analog source: AMG Viella 12; Ortofon Anna cartridge, van den Hul Crimson Stradivarius XGW
    Digital source: Totaldac d1-seven DAC, Totaldac d1-server with Gigafilter
    Pre amp: VAC Master with phono
    Phonostage: ​Constellation Andromeda
    Amps: VAC 200iQ monoblocks
    Speakers: Magico M3 with MPods
    Cables: Synergistic Research Galileo
    Power products: Synergistic Research Power Cell 12 UEF and Transporter Ultra. Galileo power cords.

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  17. #120
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    Quote Originally Posted by mulveling View Post
    I think they'll look better in black! Yes that's hockey pucks instead of a proper amp stand. The ones for the Apollos won't fit here. I'm gonna be poor for a while so this may have to do - and nobody's getting a Christmas present from me either lol. I'm getting excited about these amps, guys.

    WOW. Beautiful system.
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