VAC Signature iQ200 VAC Signature iQ200 - Page 15
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  1. #141
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    Thanks! The gold-fleck black finish is really amazing - it looks "wet" and endlessly deep and smooth - unlike those ubiquitous cheap glossy black finishes. The gold flecks are icing. I'm getting a growing itch to replace my REF 6 (awesome as it is) with a black VAC pre now. Need to borrow my dealer's Ren V again to see if the synergy equation has changed (loved its midrange & tone, didn't think it rocked quite as well as the REF 6).

    And as luck would have it, my right ear has remained blocked up all week and it turns out to be a middle-ear infection to go with the sinuses. Haven't been sick in 4 years; was starting to feel immune. Perhaps it's the Audio Gods reminding me not to fly too high to fast. Got some antibiotics from the doc today - here's hoping it turns around for this weekend.

  2. #142
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    Congrats on the amazing new amps! Enjoy in good health. Hopefully the ear issue clears up.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, EMM Labs, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Roon Labs, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stenheim Loudspeakers, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  3. #143
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    Thanks Mike. Ear is still not fully better, though at least it's starting to have moments where it can hear up to 85% again (and then it will close up again grr). But ugh, this is killing me.

    In anticipation of my ear actually getting better at some point, I was a bad boy today and snagged a used Renaissance Mk V at a good price. I'd borrowed one before, and decided to stick with my REF6, but that was before these 200iQ's. I think the REF6's sonic signature is now sticking out more in contrast to the VAC phono stage & amps - it's a bit forward, and aggressive compared to the VAC sound. And that's a double-edged sword - on one side it can really thrash and get the adrenaline rushing with hard rock and heavy metal music, but on the other it can be "too much" on parts of recordings with harsh/shrill top-end energy - and the latter is exacerbated by the Tannoy horn tweeter. Now I want to give the full-house VAC sound a try (and I'll roll some really nice Seimens / Philips E88CC tubes this time). This will probably not be my final preamp destination (at least upgrade to SE status), but I'm so pleased with the VAC phono and 200iQ's I think it's time to give the VAC pre another try. I also feel more comfortable with VAC service going forward, as needed.

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  5. #144
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    Quote Originally Posted by mulveling View Post
    Thanks Mike. Ear is still not fully better, though at least it's starting to have moments where it can hear up to 85% again (and then it will close up again grr). But ugh, this is killing me.

    In anticipation of my ear actually getting better at some point, I was a bad boy today and snagged a used Renaissance Mk V at a good price. I'd borrowed one before, and decided to stick with my REF6, but that was before these 200iQ's. I think the REF6's sonic signature is now sticking out more in contrast to the VAC phono stage & amps - it's a bit forward, and aggressive compared to the VAC sound. And that's a double-edged sword - on one side it can really thrash and get the adrenaline rushing with hard rock and heavy metal music, but on the other it can be "too much" on parts of recordings with harsh/shrill top-end energy - and the latter is exacerbated by the Tannoy horn tweeter. Now I want to give the full-house VAC sound a try (and I'll roll some really nice Seimens / Philips E88CC tubes this time). This will probably not be my final preamp destination (at least upgrade to SE status), but I'm so pleased with the VAC phono and 200iQ's I think it's time to give the VAC pre another try. I also feel more comfortable with VAC service going forward, as needed.
    Glad the ear is getting better. Ear aches are no fun!

    My two cents: You really want to save up (even if it takes a long time) and go Master. Itís just head and shoulders above any of the other VAC preamps (except for the Statement).
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, EMM Labs, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Roon Labs, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stenheim Loudspeakers, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

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  7. #145
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    Boy, it's been a long road on my sinus & ear infection recovery. Still not 100% back, but something like 95% back in the bad ear, at least. Saturday was the first time I had a clear ear for a good listening session with my brand new 200iQ. I think I'm realizing that of great relevance to your preferred tubes in these amps - besides just speakers, music genres, personal preferences, and recording quality - is the question of what volume levels you enjoy. The 200iQ's stock KT88 and 6SN7, though not fully burned in yet, could get a bit too searing hot up top on my Tannoys, at loud volumes, with less than perfect rock/pop recordings. I don't remember the loaner's stock tubes being quite this hot to handle, so a good part of this must be tube burn-in. The use of my own Russian KT120 and Slyvania "tall boy" 6SN7GTA, as I ended up using with the loaner amps, seems to be the perfect remedy - and is sounding just as I remembered with the loaner amps. Almost any recording, with at least some good qualities to it, is immensely enjoyable with this "relaxed" tube complement at my "weekend night" listening levels.

    The Renaissance V pre arrived yesterday - though I know I need to keep an eye on the Master for the long run. As it was with my prior trial of this preamp (over a year ago now), it's pitting the V's beautiful midrange & voicing against the REF6's overall top-to-bottom balance, extension, and resolution. It sounds great, but I'm not sure I'm getting any extra-special synergy sauce with the V paired to 200iQ's, besides perhaps a little more depth to the stage. I love the look of all-VAC faces, but the REF6 sonics are admittedly quite hard to beat. Now I have to wonder how the REF6SE would sound. With the Renaissance V so far, I've tried some Upscale Audio Platinum-grade 1970's Siemens gold-pin E88CC (A-frame), but quickly went back to the stock Electro-Harmonix - the top-end sear of the Siemens here was also too much for my setup, and the EH tubes back it off perfectly. Wasn't expecting the Siemens to get so easily dismissed! Dang, those probably need burn-in too lol. I have others to try yet, including Philips PQ E88CC and Matsushita PCC88, both of which I know to already sound wonderful in other amps. Gotta give it some more time. A lot has changed in my system in 2 years!

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  9. #146
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    I finally tried an octet of KT150. Yuck! Not in my system, not for me. Midrange dry and hollow; recessed. Slam / impact is awesome, but detracts from the overall musical message for the way Iím hearing things. I still prefer the KT120. I like the stock Gold Lion KT88 better than these KT150, though. This was a mistake, but thatís life!

  10. #147
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    Glad you are finally feeling better. Thank you for updating us on your findings with the KT150. All amps are different and it goes to show, try it and see if you like it.
    Wharfedale Linton w/ stands, Avantgarde Duo XD, Klipsch RB-75, Klipsch RP-160M.

    Luxman 590AXII (incoming), Job INTegrated

    Conrad Johnson GAT2, Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2, Misho Myronov Wooden pre.

    Misho Myronov Wooden amp, First Watt SIT-3 (x 2 - one as backup), First Watt F7 (incoming), Job 250 Monos, Valvet E2se, NuForce STA200, AkitikA GT-102 amp, ASL Wave monos, Dennis Had 45 monos.

    RME Audio ADI-2 DAC FS, Lumin U1 mini, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES, Audio Mirror Tubadour III NOS R2R Tube Dac w/ SE upgrades.

    Burmester 948, McIntosh MCLK12, Kimber Kable, Siltech, Cardas, Avanti Audio cables.

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  12. #148
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    I recently tried my stock KT88 Gold Lions again with my new hearing aids and after a week I even forgot they were in the amp. The amp sounded as good as ever and then I cycled the Kt 150s back and I still prefer their sound. The Kt120s I couldnít get rid of fast enough just opposite of mulvelings experience.
    I guess it depends on what your system is composed of, your auditory prowess and tastes.
    I would love to get the KR Audio Kt88ís back in my system as I felt they are the best balanced sound that I have had in my Vac. Itís just the ouch price that keeps me away.
    Maybe you need a Master Pre.....
    Larry


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  14. #149
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    Quote Originally Posted by Dguitarnut View Post
    I recently tried my stock KT88 Gold Lions again with my new hearing aids and after a week I even forgot they were in the amp. The amp sounded as good as ever and then I cycled the Kt 150s back and I still prefer their sound. The Kt120s I couldn’t get rid of fast enough just opposite of mulvelings experience.
    I guess it depends on what your system is composed of, your auditory prowess and tastes.
    I would love to get the KR Audio Kt88’s back in my system as I felt they are the best balanced sound that I have had in my Vac. It’s just the ouch price that keeps me away.
    Maybe you need a Master Pre.....
    I admit my system may be a bit weird. I love my Tannoys, but they can be terribly picky about some things upstream. And I like to listen loud, so that's another variable against many other audiophiles. We all know preferences differ a lot too!
    The 200iQs (especially w/ KT120), VAC Renaissance phono - these went into my system and synergized immediately. Very clear improvements across the board, with those. I actually borrowed a Master pre, and honestly to my shock the Ref 6 is still a slightly better fit overall.

    My girlfriend was surprised at how much difference she heard in this tube swap. She also nailed the sonic differences, without me prompting or leading her to my own thoughts.

  15. #150
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    Re: VAC Signature iQ200

    Quote Originally Posted by mulveling View Post
    I admit my system may be a bit weird. I love my Tannoys, but they can be terribly picky about some things upstream. And I like to listen loud, so that's another variable against many other audiophiles. We all know preferences differ a lot too!
    The 200iQs (especially w/ KT120), VAC Renaissance phono - these went into my system and synergized immediately. Very clear improvements across the board, with those. I actually borrowed a Master pre, and honestly to my shock the Ref 6 is still a slightly better fit overall.

    My girlfriend was surprised at how much difference she heard in this tube swap. She also nailed the sonic differences, without me prompting or leading her to my own thoughts.
    How many hours on KT150 before giving up?

    On my CAT JL7 and ARC REF250SE, KT150 new sounds harsh and 2D until ~50 hours before settling.

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