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richieb

Why VRD's

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I have thought about this for some time and now that all members have sold their VRD amps and no toes to be stepped on I think it safe to open this question. What is everyone's infatuation with VRD amps, whether mono or stereo? Is it a loyalty to Craig and his love for Klipsch? For me this falls back to the recent thread on tube vs. SS and the sound each offers. Yes I owned VRDs several years ago, with Corns and Belles I believe. At the time I thought they were good, not great and presented a very SS like presentation. I suppose if I go tubes it's SE rather than PP/Ultralinear which is what the tube amps I've kept/own are, SE. Please enlighten me although I have feeling this question is sacrilegious with this forum but its something I've wondered for a time.

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For their lofty reputation within this community whos reputations i respected. I didnt have room/unlimited funds to add endlessly to my collection so they were sold for another piece that was also let go. And on, and on -----. I actually gave thought to buying USN's for another try but looked at the half dozen amps sitting in front of me and thought the wiser.

And don't take this post wrong, I just wonder the greatness most everyone hears in these amps. Whereas I thought they were ok, nothing more, nothing less.

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My opinion is that they are good looking American made Dynaco Mk III clones. I find also that a lot of people either find that the low powered amps either don't have enough power or they are just unwilling to jump into an amp with low power for fear it won't be enough. Craig's amps a good compromise of going tubes and still getting high power, low distortion and good damping which is what SS is known for. 

 

Personally I acquired mine from a local audiophile that didn't want to put the money into it needed for repairs. He made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I fixed her up and have been listening to it for the past few months, it's a good solid classic sound and design. The actual topology is very similar to lots of Hi-Fi amps from that era, think of the Mullard 5-20 which I built and too has a very SS vibe. I am not saying that's a bad thing either. A tube amp or any amp for that matter with plenty of power and good specs is what Hi-Fi is about. Low distortion, good damping, lots of headroom is what makes the VRD's what they are.

 

 

I sold it because it's too much of an amp for me, I am happy with low powered triode amps that run cheap tubes.

Edited by xxJPMxx

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I have thought about this for some time and now that all members have sold their VRD amps and no toes to be stepped on I think it safe to open this question. What is everyone's infatuation with VRD amps, whether mono or stereo? Is it a loyalty to Craig and his love for Klipsch? For me this falls back to the recent thread on tube vs. SS and the sound each offers. Yes I owned VRDs several years ago, with Corns and Belles I believe. At the time I thought they were good, not great and presented a very SS like presentation. I suppose if I go tubes it's SE rather than PP/Ultralinear which is what the tube amps I've kept/own are, SE. Please enlighten me although I have feeling this question is sacrilegious with this forum but its something I've wondered for a time.

 

 

I think it's a good question as well. And as for it being a potential question of someone's reputation, it shouldn't be. If you thought it was OK, and not great, that's your opinion.

 

There are a few builders on here that have a nice looking product and good reputations, but few who will actually work with you on answering questions, and asking questions to get you in the right arena for what you need. We all like to hear other people's recommendations on products before making a decision and if we don't make the decision others think we should have made, they will voice their opinion on how we shouldn't do the opposite of their opinion.

 

The problem with this site IMO is everyone that's not in the "clique" is afraid to step on anyone's toes, and the "clique" has no issues with bashing anyone else they feel like if it doesn't follow their liking.Questions like this should have comments from all sides.

 

I didn't purchase an amp from Craig, but because of his reputation had wanted one.You are about the 5th or 6th person who has said this. I wound up purchasing a lower ended entry level Chinese SET amp that I just had modified. When I had asked about getting a low ended one I was told don't bother,it's a waste, save your money. And I get that,some want to save us from ourselves, but I feel a lot of posts don't get answered for the question that's asked. It always answered with spend more money,get a better speaker or amp, but doesn't always answer the question. And for some of us, more money and better speakers aren't always an option. Had I not purchased the lower ended model, I may not have purchased one in the 1st place. What it did for me was taught me a little about tubes. I also wouldn't know the difference between pentode and triode sound wise had I not purchased the amp.

 

I think this question is an excellent one,and if owners would chime in on the good, bad, or indifference of the amp, it would help out others that are looking to get into tubes. I don't think it's any way of questioning anyone's reputation either. It's an opinion about a specific product, not their whole line of amps.

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why any tube amp over a good/great solid state amp...

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Bought based on someone's reccomendation. Kept them because they are great amps, great price, awesome iron and they are dead quiet.

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Next you'll be saying Hi-res digital audio is better than vinyl.  :rolleyes:

Edited by Thaddeus Smith
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why any tube amp over a good/great solid state amp...

 

 

Silicon is for the masses because of the ease and cheapness it can be produced at, that's it.  Tubes are technically superior. NASA and the military still use them because they operate just fine in high radiation areas like space. Also they are faster, they can operate in the teraHertz region. Silicon has greater limitations.

 

So I ask you Schu why would you settle for ordinary cheaply mass produced silicon junk when your stereo can use the superior technology.

 

 

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/185027-the-vacuum-tube-strikes-back-nasas-tiny-460ghz-vacuum-transistor-that-could-one-day-replace-silicon-fets

Edited by xxJPMxx
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I'm guessing Schu doesn't spend much time in high radiation areas, like space.

 

 

Maybe he should, being a Federation Officer and all.

Edited by xxJPMxx

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Silicon for the masses? That's a little short sighted I'd venture to say. You mean Best Buy masses then yes. Which is why many Asian tube amps have have flourished, cheaper prices for the masses.

Military use for tubes, you are correct. My favorite tubes amps have all used the Russian 6c33 power tubes, a brute of a triode. Used in Russian MIG jets, Russian missile guidance, etc. Why? Because they are not prone to radiation pulse failure like SS components are.

BUT - and I know this is asking a lot in this forum - can we keep this on discussing the topic - VRD amps!?

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I have thought about this for some time and now that all members have sold their VRD amps and no toes to be stepped on I think it safe to open this question. What is everyone's infatuation with VRD amps, whether mono or stereo? Is it a loyalty to Craig and his love for Klipsch? For me this falls back to the recent thread on tube vs. SS and the sound each offers. Yes I owned VRDs several years ago, with Corns and Belles I believe. At the time I thought they were good, not great and presented a very SS like presentation. I suppose if I go tubes it's SE rather than PP/Ultralinear which is what the tube amps I've kept/own are, SE. Please enlighten me although I have feeling this question is sacrilegious with this forum but its something I've wondered for a time.

 

 

 

I suspect you are missing out on a lot of Pioneer and Emotiva conversations.  A quick search of the forum, using Google, of the term "Emovtiva" on the Klipsch forum returned 8,820 hits while the term "VRD" only returned 2,670 hits.  Here are the results of a few other common audio terms.  Not every hit is a conversation since the search will pick up the term listed in the signature section of the forum member posting.

 

Term                  # of hits

Klipsch:               57,100

Sony:                  18,800

Pioneer:              13,600

Denon:                13,600

Yamaha:             13,500

tube:                    13,100

Onkyo:                 11,300

Emotiva:               8,820

Marantz:               8,040

JBL:                      6,150

DAC:                    6,060

Harman Kardon:  5,670

McIntosh:             5,650

Dynaco:               5,550

Sunfire:               5,190

Aragon:               4,090

Carver:                3,990

Welborne Labs:   3,980

Scott:                   3,840

Rotel:                   2,980

Altec:                    2,910

Fisher:                  2,780

VRD:                    2,670

Sansui:                 2,490

Solid State:          2,460

Jolida:                  2,370

ampsandsound:   2,240

Wright:                 2,150

NOS Valves:        2,090

Juicy Music:         2.020

Krell:                     1,750

Eico:                     1,730

ALK Universal:     1,680

Moondog:             1,670

Blueberry:             1,480

single ended:        1,210

triode:                      968

SET amp:                948

Quicksilver:             724

DRD:                       600

Cayin:                      538

First Watt:                450

pCats:                      104

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My opinion is that they are good looking American made Dynaco Mk III clones. I find also that a lot of people either find that the low powered amps either don't have enough power or they are just unwilling to jump into an amp with low power for fear it won't be enough. Craig's amps a good compromise of going tubes and still getting high power, low distortion and good damping which is what SS is known for. 

 

Personally I acquired mine from a local audiophile that didn't want to put the money into it needed for repairs. He made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I fixed her up and have been listening to it for the past few months, it's a good solid classic sound and design. The actual topology is very similar to lots of Hi-Fi amps from that era, think of the Mullard 5-20 which I built and too has a very SS vibe. I am not saying that's a bad thing either. A tube amp or any amp for that matter with plenty of power and good specs is what Hi-Fi is about. Low distortion, good damping, lots of headroom is what makes the VRD's what they are.

 

 

I sold it because it's too much of an amp for me, I am happy with low powered triode amps that run cheap tubes.

 

 

 

In general, I agree with this, although, not really a Dynaco MKIII clone; however, most of the forum history of the development of the VRD front end has been deleted along with a certain 30,000 forum posts. 

Edited by Fjd

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In general, I agree with this, although, not really a Dynaco MKIII clone; however, most of the forum history of the development of the VRD front end has been deleted along with a certain 30,000 forum posts.

 

I didn't follow those threads so I suppose I missed out. Clone is probably not the best word since there are gross differences, maybe a tip o' the hat is what I should have said. The similarities are there though, three stage Class A/B Ultralinear amp using KT88's, high open loop gain to employ a healthy amount of negative feedback. They even look similar to the Mk III which is why I used it as an example is all. Overall a pretty Classic design, tried and true.

Edited by xxJPMxx

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Can I ask the OP what pre amp he was using with the VRD's?  I personally have been very pleased with my VRD st 45. Great sound at a very reasonable price. I have always used it with a tube pre amp.

 

Josh

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Bought my first tube amp, the VRDST-45, used off forum due to the forum talk about Craig and his stuff being nice and suited to Heritage; I really liked it. I got the itch for something different and sold it to fund the new SS monoblocks; big mistake. As soon as I could I I asked to have the monos built. I liked the wow factor of looks over the VRDST as tis cool to have monos. The build quality, personal assistance / customer service kept me in the brand as I was still leary of the dreaded tubes.........

 

Five years later with only one infant mortality of a rectifier, steady as it goes, non-drifting bias and zero issues I have no problem  recommending them to anyone with suitable speakers. They are dead quite, not "blooming", sound really good to my ears without anything else to compare them to (thought briefly of adding a SET along side to compare) and my wife liked to point them out to her friends. She is still a little upset that they and the Basis are gone.

 

They were used with a Peach and NBS pre. The ST-45 was also used with the same Peach.

Priorities change

 

Mike

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Richieb, joshnich, Mike, or anyone with VRD's what power tubes were you guys using in your VRD's?   I have been using the Penta Labs KT88 which I believe were made in Shuguang. I would love to have a quad of original G.E.C. KT88's.

Edited by xxJPMxx

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Richieb, joshnich, Mike, or anyone with VRD's what power tubes were you guys using in your VRD's?   I have been using the Penta Labs KT88 which I believe were made in Shuguang. I would love to have a quad of original G.E.C. KT88's.

Same as you and you know I have packed them and I am not sure what was in the white boxes shown which were in it when I boxed up.

post-19886-0-68120000-1451438948_thumb.j

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Josh, I've been through a lot of gear but I followed forum policy, using a JM Blueberry I believe. I've also had a JM Merlin which I thought was quieter than the 'berry. Best tube preamp I've owned - First Sound - a real masterpiece and to my ears far better than JM.

Another post asked about tube brands and I have no idea going that far back. I can say that I currently use new Gold Lion KT88's in my small Dennis Had SE.

For my Almarro SE I get my NOS Russian military 6c33b shipped from Russia.

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