Valve Amplification Company Signature IIa Preamplifier


Valve Amplification Company
1911 N. East Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34234
(941) 952-9695


Associated Equipment

Analog sources: TW-Acustic Raven Two turntable, TWAcustic Raven 10.5 tonearm with ZYX Airy 3 cartridge (0.24mV), Ortofon RS-309D tonearm with Ortofon 90th Anniversary SPU (0.3mV) and Ortofon GM Mono Mk II (3.0mV)
Digital sources: Cary 303/300 CD player, Apple iMac with JoLida Glass Tube DAC
Preamplifiers: Lamm LL2.1 and deHavilland Mercury 3 line stages, VAC Renaissance III preamp (with phono), Herron VTPH-2 phono stage, EAR MC4 step up
Power amplifiers: VAC Phi-200, VAC PA-100/100, Herron M1 monoblocks, deHavilland KE50A monoblocks
Speakers: Von Schweikert Audio VR5 HSE, Von Schweikert Audio VR-44 (for review)
Speaker cables: Siltech 330L, 330L jumpers
Interconnects: Siltech 330i, Cardas Clear, Auditorium 23, DH Labs Revelation; Cardas Clear
USB cables: Wireworld Silver Starlight, Cardas Clear
Power cords: Siltech Ruby Hill II, Siltech SPX -800, Cardas Golden Reference, Harmonix XDC Studio Master
Power conditioner: Siltech Octopus Signature 8
Accessories: Box Furniture S5S five-shelf rack in sapele, HRS damping plates, edenSound FatBoy dampers, Winds VTF gauge


thotdoc -- Sun, 10/07/2012 - 23:43

Unless you are playing with your equipment every day, sticking with the tubes the manufacturer voiced the equipment with is your best option. Why do I believe this? I've used tube equipment since the 60's. Currently using Atmasphere MP1 and MA1s. One can become very lost when rolling tubes. B4 rolling tubes ask yourself, are you disciplined enough to always listen to EVERYTHING that has changed...not just the thing that changed...before making a decision about whether the change is better OVERALL? I can not tell you how often that sweeter sounding tube, or that tube that expanded the sound stage or gave me more details ALSO changed the sound in ways that were not so good....that I sought to fix by rolling more tubes in other places.

Hifimaniac -- Sat, 12/29/2012 - 23:22

I agree with the comment on sticking with stock tubes, especially with this particular preamp. Kevin Hayes designs his equipment around high quality, current production tubes and the sound is excellent. I have made subtle changes in my Signature IIa swapping out the stock 12AX7 tubes for the Psvane 12AX7s in the phono stage. They are manufactured in the same Shuguang factory in China but are manufactured to a higher standard and sound more musical; have a lower noise floor and longer decay than the stock tubes. By the way, this is a killer preamp. I replaced my Audio Research Reference 5 with this preamp and I couldn't be happier. The notes seem to have more body and three dimensiality to them. Bass extension is better and the soundstage superb. In my VAC Phi 200 monos I swapped out the two front input tubes, 6SN7's with Psvanes larger equivalent the CV-181. This subtle changes takes a really great amplifier to another sound level. Check out Psvane tubes as an alternative to NOS equivalents and give them at least 30-40 hours to settle in. You might even have some crackling the first 20 hours but it will go away.

Scottsdale, AZ 

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