Valve Amplification Company PA100/100 Amplifiers

PA100/100

105 Watt Tube Stereo Amplifier

User Reviews (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6  
ITWORKED   Casual Listener [Mar 17, 2006]
Strength:

iou

Weakness:

oiu

iouiou

Customer Service

oiuoiu

Similar Products Used: oiuoiuoiu
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
thedoublee   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 17, 2006]
Strength:

Very balanced, detailed, and clean presentation while still managing to err on the warm side. Lots of power on tap. My value rating is for the used price since this is no longer a current product.

Weakness:

None really for $2k used. Be prepared for its weight when you take it out of the box, all the weight is at the rear of the unit (obviously).

My system is:

Cary DVD6
Cary SLP-50B
VAC PA100/100
Totem Mani-2 (biwired)
Velodyne HGS-10

I think the system any given component is used in as an all-important factor in any review. The above components work very well together. The VAC outshone an Anthem Amp1 by a huge margin (though I still own the Amp1 and it is a good value used) and it trounced a Krell KAV150.

The Mani-2's need power with the dual-woofer setup, and the PA100 is up to the task. Great bass control. When I first hooked up the Mani-2's to the VAC I listened for a while and then decided to lower the crossover frequency of the Velodyne only to discover that it wasn't even plugged in! This is as much a credit to the VAC as it is to the Mani-2's. The sub's X-over remains set at 40Hz ever since.

Mids are warm and detailed but not overly emphasized, highs detailed but never too sharp. The tonal balance is very consistent as I turn up the volume, even up to levels beyond what is comfortable. I remember with the Amp1 that there was definitely a sweet spot on the volume knob where things sounded at their best, adn above that the background would begin to get congested. With the VAC the backgraound stays super clean with the volume well past the 12 o'clock position.

Aesthetics and build quality are superb, the little Cary preamp with its almost identical look is a great understated match for the PA100. I wish VAC had stayed with this look in its newer amps, though it won't keep me from auditioning them as my budget allows.

I am considering finding an identical match for my PA100 so that I can biwire/biamp the Mani-2's. Also if anyone has done any tube rolling with the PA100 I would like to know your results.

To wrap up, an excellent amp and I think a superb value for around $2000 used. Seems like the prices have gone up a bit lately in the used market for these. It seems to me it would function well in a broad range of setups.

Customer Service

Questions asked of mfr have been responded to immediately by the man himself, Kevin Hayes.

Similar Products Used: B&K ST202
Anthem Amp1
Krell KAV150
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
gdavis   AudioPhile [Jan 23, 2005]
Strength:

Build quality, power, great sound.

Weakness:

none, other than highs coming up a little short, but then again that's tubes for you.

An outstanding tube amplifier. A ton of horsepower - 105 watts/channel with build quality second to none. The VAC pa100/100 does everything correctly, but voices seem to be its forte. Jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton seemed to be center stage performing right there in in my listening room. (wish she were). Bass is very good as well, more refined, if you will, then solid state. The VAC's mids are to die for, can't believe all the sound coming from my Tyler Acoustic reference monitors. The highs are very good indeed, but frankly not as good as solid state. I miss my ARC d200 for those. Really a very fine amplifier. I suspect I'll have one of VAC's preamps soon.

Similar Products Used: Conrad Johnson Audio Research Company Yamaha
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike Wolfe   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 23, 2001]
Strength:

Most emotionally involving amplifier I have owned.

Weakness:

Not user switchable to full triode.

I love this amp. It is one of the best I have ever had in the push-pull arena. I am currently running it Ultralinear, as it comes, but soon will have it wired for full triode just to relieve my curiousity. In case anyone is wondering...my system is the 100/100 and a Theta Miles CD player running directly into it. Speakers are Audio Physic Virgos with SR Resolution Reference Bi-wire speaker wires. Interconnect is SR Designer's Reference with active shielding. I am running all from a PS Audio 600 A/C Synthesiser. All on Bright Star Big Rocks with a Little Rock on the Miles and the 600. I have been using '68 vintage Gold Lions, Which have really made this amp sing along with Tele 12AU7s and various other driver/phase splitter tubes including 7316s which are great! Anyways, this is a VERY simple system that really satisfies night after night of listening. All bought and built around the VAC.

Similar Products Used: Too many tube amps to list.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
JACK C   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 06, 2001]
Strength:

MIDS AND HI'S ARE LIQUID,AND SMOOTH.BASS IS SOLID.

THIS AMP DRIVES MY PROAC RESPONSE 2S'S BEAUTIFULY.IT HAS THE SMOOTHNESS OF A TRIODE AMP, WHILE RUNING IN ULTRALINEAR. VOCALS AND GUITAR NEVER SOUNDED BETTER. AMP RUNS WITH AUTHORITY AND FINESS.SOUND STAGE IS WIDE AND WELL DEFINED.MID'S AND HI'S ARE GREAT. BIASING THIS AMP IS THE SIMPELEST I HAVE ENCOUNTERD,PLUS YOU GET A LIGHT SHOW FROM THE BIASING LIGHTS. KT 88'S HAVE A REALY NICE SOUND .


I AM GIVING YOU A REVIEW ON PA 80/80 THAT HAS BEEN RETUBED WITH VAC KT 88'S (MATCHED QUAD).I HOPE TO UPGRADE TO THE PA 100/100 IN THE LATE SPRING. HIGHLY RECOMENDED.NEXT BEST CHOICE WAS AUDIO RESEARCH VT 100. AT $1500. MORE. ALSO A GREAT AMP.

Similar Products Used: AUDITIONED EXSTENSIVLY-VT 100,MV55
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Henry   [May 24, 2001]
Strength:

Transparent mids and highs, strong but tight bass, plenty of power.

Weakness:

None

I was upgrading a 10-year-old B&K ST140 (great amp, but I wanted to take it to the next level).

As for solid-state, I liked CJ's products a lot. I thought the Krell (KAV300i) had fantastic bass, but at the cost of an edgy high end (caused by the integrated preamp, it sounds much better with an good Krell pre).

The VAC Avatar turned my attention to tubes. I loved the sound, but at 60 wpc, I was concerned it didn't have enough power for my relatively inefficient (86dB) Hales Revelation 3s (though it sounded great, even at very respectable volumes...)

VTL offers relatively cost-efficient tube power, and I was nearly ready to buy their TL2.5 pre and ST-150 power amp when I listened to the VAC Standard Pre and the PA100/100.

The VAC has less power than the ST-150, but still plenty, and was much more transparent. While I like that "rolled off" tube sound to a degree, the VAC is so much more open and has so much more information, yet still without being fatiguing. I think the balance is perfect.

As stated in the prior review, biasing is a piece of cake, and you can leave on the four bias LEDs to function as a level meter if you like.

The demo model at the store would distort on a particularly thin recording I tried, when played at very high volumes. I tried the VTL (with about 50% more power), and had the same problem. At home, however, I can take it louder than that (and well past comfortable) with absolutely no issue, so it must have been something wrong there, so I'd recommend you don't disregard either product if you hear the same.

And while I bought tubes for quality, primarily for jazz/fusion stuff, it's an extra bonus that it can REALLY hold its own with heavier stuff (e.g., Metallica's black album).

So if you're looking at this price range, I highly recommend you listen to the VAC (with VAC's Standard Pre). In my opinion, it looks cool, too.

If not, try the Avatar (especially if you have efficient speakers).

Similar Products Used: Solid state: CJ, Krell, old B&K.
Tube: VTL, Rogue, VAC Avatar
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-6 of 6  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com