Audio Research VT200 Amplifiers

VT200

200w x 2 Channels

User Reviews (12)

Showing 1-10 of 12  
Hans Huber   AudioPhile [Dec 25, 2013]

Using the VT200 with an ARC CD5 and LS27. Great balance. Good tight bass. Smooth highs and mids. No listening fatigue. Great combination. The music is effortless. Does run warm with 16 power tubes and 10 signal tubes. Needs to be retubed every 3000 hours so am expecting to spend some money on quality tubes. Best combination I have put together yet. Tried the amp with an SP11. Terrible match. They don't like each other. The VT200 does sound better in balanced mode than single ended. Played around with cables and you can definitely hear the differences. Ended up with Cardas interconnects and Nordost for the speakers. Paid $4600 for the amp. Cannot think of another amp within this price range that I would rather have. Heard a lot of SS amps and even the pure class A units do not have the same magic. I have drifted over to tubes and this is where I am staying. Have not heard the ARC Reference 150 but it is also out of my price range. Did have an ARC D250mkii, great amp but not in the same league as the ARC VT200. If you are looking for an amp around the $4500 range, this is one you should put on you audition list. Just remember, it needs a 6550 retube that will cost between $600 and $1100 every 3000 hours. The $1100 is worth it, you get what you pay for. You will also want a good front end for the VT200. The VT200 has a hardwired power cord so power cord experimenting is a little more complicated. Biasing the amp's 6550 power tubes is not too difficult. However, replacing the six 6922 driver tubes should be done by a tech. The remaining 6922's are easy to replace, they are a straight swap. You should get around 4 to 5 thousand hours out of the 6922's. Good amp for tube rolling. This amp does have the magic. Find one and invite yourself to a listening session. Remember to take your own music along so you can hear the difference. Enjoy.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Lifesdream   AudioPhile [Jul 26, 2008]
Strength:

It sounds wonderful, speed, power, delicate, depth, wide image, dynamic, quiet

A great Value on the used market.

Weakness:

Very expensive to retube, its heavy and needs to be shiped on a pallet. Do not UPS or FedEx. You need two people to move it. Generates a lot of heat,
Not for everyone.

The other reviews have said it. Great value on the used market. It sounds wonderful, speed, power, delicate, depth, wide image, dynamic, quiet. The best I have ever had, although D79B come close. I am sure Ref 210 are better but costs a lot more. When buying make sure of the condition of the tubes, it is expensive to retube.

The few negatives still make it worth while.

Customer Service

Audio Research offers FIRST CLASS SERVICE!

Similar Products Used: ARC D400 MKII, AVA OmegaStar 440HC, ARC D79B, Kenwood LO-7M, Hafler 500,

Current system,

Linn LP12/Ittock/Valhala/Denon 103D
ARC PH3SE
Cambridge 840C
ARC LS25 MKII
ARC VT200
Magnepan 3.6
ACI Titan XL
Autoformer
Black Mountain XLR's
Analysis Plus Oval 9
Kimber Hero
Denon TU850
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
JDS   AudioPhile [Jun 22, 2003]
Weakness:

Need to run aircon in the summer as it pumps out around 900watts of heat. It is a bugger to lift.

What an amp! Improving source, preamp & cables all to very high end around it has not reached its limitations. Bass is deep & tight enough to resonate internal organs & mighty fast - this really surprised me from my first valve amp, albeit a hybrid one. Midrange fluidity, tonality & palpability, soundstage & noise floor top notch. Very very detailed. The reviewer below has summed up this latest generation Mk2 very accurately - best of both worlds of semi-conductors & conductors! in this respect, it has similar characteristics to my Pass labs aleph 4 100W stereo amp which was also a cracker. System: Cary 306/200 CD, 240V VT200 mk2 run single-ended from First sound Prescence deluxe mk 2 4.0 paramount upgrade with concierto string quartet & violin biwire into proAc Future 2s. PSaudio P600 & lab cables. Cardas RCA caps & Shun Mook isocubes/platforms.

Similar Products Used: Pass Labs, Krell.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
BugX   AudioPhile [May 07, 2003]
Strength:

Power, power, power. Very fast and open for a tube amp. Perfection in the mids.

Weakness:

$$$ expensive. Tube replacement value.

This is about VT-200 MKII. Perfect match for the REF2 MKII. Hybrid? Who cares? It´s sounds, perfect like tubes and fast like transistors.

Similar Products Used: ARC VT-100 MkII
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
arcls25mkII   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 26, 2002]

In previous review, the end part was missing: ..... Krell was also analytical but not for my taste. I felt the listening fatigue with both Rotel and Krell after 1-2 hours but with VT200 my listening sessions were limitless. I mostly listen to jazz and to me, jazz requires a cleaner, better represention, imaging and defition by the audio setup especially for its self improvization. VT200 fulfilled the missing parts in previous setup which Rotel (even Krell) could not match. I also tried VT100mkII, although it had the magic of tube warmness, it lacked the latest detail and soundstage of VT200. Since I also consider to upgrade my speakers in future, I chose VT200 for both better performance and future compatibility over VT100. This is the first time that I fully discover music inside the cds, it is a big big improvement. By adding the magical cd processor+tube preamp Audio Aero Capitol 24/192, the music is much more alive, detailed, neutral and I have the synergy of tube pre and power amplification. I think VT200 for the price i paid, is a bargain since the tubes inside are also new. I think of trying a tube preamp (ARC LS25, Ref2 etc.) to see if any dramatic changes or improvements. In my current system, Capitol 24/192 is directly connected to the power and I do not have a seperate preamp. Choosing the right audio equipment is a very subjective case. I am trying to argue tubes are better over solid state, or ARC is better than Krell etc. But what I discovered is that there is much more fun and happiness for me with tubes and for the system have now. Rest of the system: Transparent Audio Ultra Bicable; Ultra XLR connectors; B&W Nautilus 803; PS Audio Ultimate Outlet+Lab power cord

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
arcls25   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 26, 2002]
Strength:

What can I say: It is something very special

Weakness:

heat is a significant issue. After 1-2 hours, the room needs cooling by air condition. It is huge, not so easy to fit to any hifi rack etc. It needs definitely a big space to breath and to circulate its heat. For its brand new price, I should give a three or four stars for its value (VT200mkII is nearly 11k)

Perhaps this is the story of how I shifted from the solidity of Solid State to the magic of Tubes. I try to improve my audio setup and always thought SS is a better solution for power amplification. The idea was simple, during my previous listening experience I liked the tube sound, but tube amps were more subject to heat, they were generally expensive so were the tubes inside, bass definition was weaker (what a mistake by me) etc, so I always felt tubes were less practical. I upgraded my speakers, cd player, preamp, connectors, speaker cables but not touched to the power amp which was a Rotel RB-1090. It is a champion for the value wrt price (Read my review for Rotel RB-1090 on November 1, 2001). I tested it against more expensive SS power amps and although this comparisons showed me its weakness in some areas, I was never forced to upgrade it, until I had a chance to try an AudioResearch VT200 at home. Last month my favorite dealer sent me an ARC VT200 and Krell FBP 300 to try. Both of them showed me the areas that I suffer (critical tones of midrange, smooth and detailed highs, a better and detailed midbass and bass harmonics etc.) But while I was listening to Krell, I felt that I am listening to Krell's own bass and soundstage. I am not arguing FBP's quality, soundstage, bass definition etc, but to my taste, the soul and neutrality of music was not there. Then came VT200, a second hand unit which all of the lambs were replaced. VT200 gave the music with a pure, neutral and musical way. It had a huge sounstage that I never felt with SS amps. No exaggaration of bass, or critical tones, no coloration, but just music in its pure and simple way. Bass definition was well defined with full of details and deepness. Although Krell and Rotel was louder in bass, lower information was dominating the rest of the band in critical passages, so the full body of music was dissappeared. On the other hand, VT200 had a better sounstage, and I never felt that the musicians and frequencies overlapped, squizzed, compressed, and full body of music was completely there. VT200 gave the bass lines as exactly as they were. The highs were rich, smooth, vocals shined, I discovered the hidden or missing textures and details in my cd collection which I never heard them this way with Rotel. Krell was also analytical but not for my taste. I felt the listening fatigue with both Rotel and

Similar Products Used: Krell, Rotel, Mark Levinson, Classe, Conrad Johnson etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Francisco Queiroga   Audiophile [Dec 14, 1999]
Strength:

Troble free and very good mounting

Weakness:

Power cord fixed

Neutral, present and clear sound with astonishing sound stage.
Very musical doted of natural presentation.

Similar Products Used: Audio Research D-90, Mc Cormack DNA-1, Krell KAS 300S
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Roberto Pereira   Audiophile [Nov 06, 2001]
Strength:

Worm, 3D sound, So Powerfull that can drive anything

Weakness:

Lot of tubes to change

It' the mosta amazing amp that I heard in my life.
The sound is smooth, worm, but very very detalied and dynamic.
The sound is almost 3D.
Can drive any speaker very very easy.
Work much better with the Balanced input.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Steve A   an Audio Enthusiast [May 26, 1999]

I bought the VT200 used for $5K - replacing a Krell KS200S - and I feel the change was a clear improvement - Its more
open and smooth than the krell - (but I miss krell in other ways)-
While the amp sounds great - its downside is a) the price b) it takes
16 6550 power tubes and 10 6922 input and output tubes - 26 tubes in all -
thus maintenance is a pain and an expense
c} its very big and runs hot - my living room
gets really warm when the amp is on -
But given the downside - coupled with my ARC LS25 - the music has never sounded
better and that's what its all about - so thus I give it a 5.0 score.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Dave Borda   an Audiophile [Aug 07, 1999]

The VT-200 is "THE" best stereo amp on the market for all the most important reasons...it get's the music right! No other amp can engage a listener so fully as to transport them to the "musical event" itself. Anyone that has attended a live symphony, stumbled across a "Live" acoustic Jazz band or an intimate pop concert will immediately understand. Those who have grown up listening to the usuall fair of crappy music on even crappier stereo systems while at the same time attending worthless concerts @150+db levels will be content to remain steadfast in their lack of understanding!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 12  

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