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Van Alstine Omega III SL
2 Reviews
rating  5 of 5
MSRP  449.00
Description: 2 channels, 6 line-level inputs, 2 tape lops, headphone out


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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by PMartinez a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 23, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I built this on top of an old Dynaco FET PAT-5 pre-amp. The only criterion that I placed on this kit was that the resultant pre-amp sound better than the original; no easy feat with a Dynaco product.

The result does sound better. The one area in which the PAT-5 lacks is the soundstage, which is somewhat shallow. The VA rebuild easily excells in this area. The dynamics are also slightly better in the VA.

The only fault that I could find was the overall dryness, which some would term analytic nature of it's solid state base. But if I wanted tubes, I would have purchased the hybrid model, which does have the lush, mellow (but not too mellow) sound of tubes.

The kit is also excellent and Frank does really support his product. I had one major problem: I used a 45 watt iron and fried the Noble volume pot. It's easy to do with micro-stets. Frank was nice enough to cover the cost. Mainly, because it took him 11 weeks to turn the pre-amp around. He's done a great business this last year, but it's richly deserved.

The phono-preamp is darn good for MM cartridges and the input-output options are mind-boggling, because of it's Dynaco ancestry. It's an amazing bargain.

If you love music and don't have a fortune, either buy used or consider a VanAlstine product. It's that simple.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $275.00

Purchased At:   AVA - the website

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by George J Ollapally a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 19, 2001

Bottom Line:   
When I wanted to upgrade my audio system, I asked members of the basslist, which is a forum of very savvy DIY speaker enthusiasts( among others) for some suggestions, for a preamp kit. I received 3-4 uniformly good recommendations for Audio by Van Alstine. I sent email to Frank Van Alstine, and after some email discussion with him, selected this model with a 220V power supply and have had no regrets about my choice. I could possibly have chosen one of his tube models but not knowing enough about tubes at the time, I selected this solid state model. AVA uses good quality parts ( even supplies the solder), is a no-nonsense company that believes that what goes into a product is the most important thing.

I bought a kit to get it past the Indian Customs who stiff you on import duties on finished products-kits make it through the X-Ray machine! AVA had a parts list that was 100%, their assembly and wiring instructions were very obviously based on years of experience,and included photographs, and I got the wiring and assembly job done in just two evenings. No other kit has been so easy for me(but
the other kits have been much more complex!)

The product itself was, at the time, AVA's mid level offering-the RB(Real Basic) model was below the SL and the EC model was the top of the line one. The only real difference as I recall was that the EC had a balance control, which mine doesnt. AVA has now dropped the RB and only offers these two ss preamp models, the others are tube preamps.

Having used it for the past 12 months, I can report that it works to my complete satisfaction. There are more than enough input and output jacks-I use two line out jacks-one ste for the sats and another for my sub. The volume control is made by Noble(Japan), very good quality. The one minor problem that I have faced relates to the on-off rocker switch, which is a translucent red plastic one, with a built in light. After using it for a week or so the light packed up. I havent opened it out to see how it can be repaired /replaced.

Unlike US residents who can return products for refunds, a buyer like me has to risk buying a product that may not suitable and have no option of returning it.AVA's product has been a source of complete satisfaction to me.

Strongly recommended!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Factory direct

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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