VAC SIGNATURE MKIIa PREAMPLIFIER
The internal parts are specified from the finest and most exotic materials, as extreme measures and the most careful “voicing” are required to reach this unequaled pinnacle of perfection. The liberal use of sound deadening material compliments the aluminum chassis, creating a solid mechanical foundation. The VAC logos are backlit with an elegant blue in normal operation, but display red when the mute is activated. These are set in the heirloom-quality sculpted 3/8” faceplate. The main unit features two large gold-plated knobs for gain and input.
Through its principal outputs, the Signature Preamplifier contains no coupling capacitors whatsoever, so nothing hinders the purity and detail developed by the hand-wired direct-coupled Class A1 triode tubes. Additionally, no loop negative feedback is used; the output interface is completely stable and free from dynamic interactions with the load. In addition to five standard line inputs (four when phono is fitted), a fully balanced input is provided. Fully balanced outputs are present, as are dual standard RCA outputs.
Cinema Bypass allows high-end stereo systems to integrate seamlessly with home theater. The Cinema Bypass input is a fixed gain input that allows your source component to control volume, and passes this signal through to the stereo power amplifiers without further processing.
The optional phono stage is a zero-feedback design incorporating six low-noise triode tubes. Sensitive and quiet, it is capable of handling even low output moving coil cartridges. A rear panel switch allows engagement of wideband transformers to provide a proper and balanced load to low output pickups. Electrostatic decoupling prevents the heater circuits from “talking” to each other, a common cause of lost detail. Indeed, a completely separate power transformer and filter circuitry are dedicated to the phono stage, eliminating any disturbance of the delicate phono signal by the powerful line stage. Variable load switching is provided.
The lacquered aluminum remote control is standard. Uniquely, our remote system is implemented with electromechanical switches and controls. This approach is considerably more costly than the usual digital interfaces, but has several major advantages. First, no VCAs, relays, or transistor switches (switched ladder networks) are used in controlling volume. This is mandatory for sonic purity. Second, VAC’s careful implementation avoids the use of microprocessors, which generate significant noise signals that, while sometimes not audible directly, can do damage to the sound. Third, the front panel controls are direct and intuitive to use, their positions indicating at a glance exactly how the unit is set.
Features and Specs:
• Gain: 12 dB
• Inputs: 3 sets RCA line input, 2 sets balanced/RCA selectable inputs, 1 set RCA tape monitor input,
set RCA cinema bypass input, optional 1 MM and 1 MC (or additional line input if phono is not fitted)
• Outputs: 2 sets RCA, 2 sets balanced XLR (EIA “pin 2 hot” studio standard), 1 set RCA tape output
• Tubes: 2x 12AU7, 2x 8416, 7308, 6922, E88CC, ECC88, 6DJ8, (or 12Dj8 twin triodes)
• Absolute Phase: correct from all inputs to all outputs
• Frequency Response: flat over audio band, -3 dB bandwidth 5 Hz- 210 kHz
• THD: <0.009% @ 1 kHz, 1 V RMS
• Maximum Output: > 8 V RMS
• Output Impedance: < 150 ohms, 20 Hz- 20 kHz, static (i.e., not dependent upon feedback)
• Maximum Input: infinite signal (attenuation precedes the gain circuitry)
• Recommended Output Load: > 300 ohms
• Power: external power supply, detachable umbilical cable, detachable IEC power cord
• Tape Output: unity gain from selector, non-inverting for archival integrity
• Cinema Bypass: yes
• Voltage: may be ordered for 100v, 120v, 220v, or 23-/240v operation
• Remote control included
• Illumination: illuminated logo may be switched off
• Finish: black or silver
• Warranty: 2 years parts and labor, excluding tubes
• Audio chassis (not including knobs and connectors) 5.5” x 18” x 14.5” (14 x 45.7 x 36.8 cm)
• Power supply (not including connectors) 4.3” x 18” x 14.5” (10.9 x 45.7 x 36.8 cm)
• With phono: 61 lbs. (27.7 kg)
MSRP $18,000.00 – Signature MK IIa Line Stage
MSRP $23,000.00 – Signature MK IIa Preamplifier w/phono
If you are interested in this product, have questions, or want to schedule an audition, please call 1-714-630-4100.