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  #1  
Old 05-15-2013, 11:18 PM
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kfr01 kfr01 is offline
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Default Ref 110

I am picking up a used Ref 110 on Sat.

It will be my first tube amplifier and I am excited to try it out relative to the Levinson. My Vandersteen dealer is also an ARC dealer and they sure sound nice together in the store...

Cheers
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Listening Room (2 Channel): Vandersteen 5A speakers, Simaudio Moon Neo 400M Mono Block Amplifiers, Esoteric D-07X DAC (preamp) via Apple Mac Mini (Roon), Furman IT-Reference 20i Power Cond., Wireworld.
Listening Room (HT Portion): Vandersteen VCC-5 Center, Vandersteen VSM Signature Surrounds, JL Audio CR1 Crossover, JL Audio f110 v2 Subwoofer, Marantz SR 5010 Receiver, Wireworld

Office: KEF R500 Speakers; rest of system temporarily deconstructed and TBD
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:40 PM
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Congrats Karl. I hope you like it. ARC and Vandersteen are generally good combos. Let us know what you think
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:50 PM
luchocastro luchocastro is offline
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Karl, congratulations. The REF110 is a great amp. Owned one for several years and it is a fabulous amp. Does it have K120 tubes? Mine had the original 6550's and I upgrade to the KT120 tubes. I believe it was a worthy update although I know of some people that had tube problems after the upgrade. Never created problems for me. Enjoy the amp!
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:51 PM
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Cyril --- will do! My brain says solid state is the way to go, especially after comparing Stereophile measurements of class a solid state versus class a tubes, but I am blown away by the musicality and dimensionality every time I hear the Ref. 150 on the Vandy 5A Carbons at my local dealer. So, logic be damned, it is time for me to try tubes. :-)

One question for you, actually: you note the HRS Nimbus isolation system in your signature, have you found that tube gear like the Ref. 110 is susceptible to vibration induced sonic changes? My audio rack is what you might call "corner loaded" and I am pretty sure it sees some serious bass over there.
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Listening Room (2 Channel): Vandersteen 5A speakers, Simaudio Moon Neo 400M Mono Block Amplifiers, Esoteric D-07X DAC (preamp) via Apple Mac Mini (Roon), Furman IT-Reference 20i Power Cond., Wireworld.
Listening Room (HT Portion): Vandersteen VCC-5 Center, Vandersteen VSM Signature Surrounds, JL Audio CR1 Crossover, JL Audio f110 v2 Subwoofer, Marantz SR 5010 Receiver, Wireworld

Office: KEF R500 Speakers; rest of system temporarily deconstructed and TBD
Family Room: Monitor Audio Silver RX6 speakers, McIntosh MA6600 Integrated Amplifier, Pro-Ject RME 9.1 TT w/ Sumiko Blackbird MC Cart.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luchocastro View Post
Karl, congratulations. The REF110 is a great amp. Owned one for several years and it is a fabulous amp. Does it have K120 tubes? Mine had the original 6550's and I upgrade to the KT120 tubes. I believe it was a worthy update although I know of some people that had tube problems after the upgrade. Never created problems for me. Enjoy the amp!
It has the 6550s. My dealer asked if I wanted them to put new K120 tubes into the amplifier, but I told him to hold off....

I am finding that I love the journey aspect of this audiophile equipment thing almost as much as I love the music itself. I can try the K120s down the road.

In a nutshell, how would you say the K120s changed the sound?

Cheers
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Listening Room (2 Channel): Vandersteen 5A speakers, Simaudio Moon Neo 400M Mono Block Amplifiers, Esoteric D-07X DAC (preamp) via Apple Mac Mini (Roon), Furman IT-Reference 20i Power Cond., Wireworld.
Listening Room (HT Portion): Vandersteen VCC-5 Center, Vandersteen VSM Signature Surrounds, JL Audio CR1 Crossover, JL Audio f110 v2 Subwoofer, Marantz SR 5010 Receiver, Wireworld

Office: KEF R500 Speakers; rest of system temporarily deconstructed and TBD
Family Room: Monitor Audio Silver RX6 speakers, McIntosh MA6600 Integrated Amplifier, Pro-Ject RME 9.1 TT w/ Sumiko Blackbird MC Cart.
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  #6  
Old 05-16-2013, 02:01 AM
luchocastro luchocastro is offline
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From memory deeper and tighter bass. The tube also increased the power to about 140 W but power in the 110 was enough so that in itself may not be an advantage (depending on your setup and needs).
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  #7  
Old 05-16-2013, 11:42 PM
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Couldn't wait until Sat. and picked up tonight. Apologies for the horrible iphone pic. First impression: VERY different than the Levinson.
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Listening Room (2 Channel): Vandersteen 5A speakers, Simaudio Moon Neo 400M Mono Block Amplifiers, Esoteric D-07X DAC (preamp) via Apple Mac Mini (Roon), Furman IT-Reference 20i Power Cond., Wireworld.
Listening Room (HT Portion): Vandersteen VCC-5 Center, Vandersteen VSM Signature Surrounds, JL Audio CR1 Crossover, JL Audio f110 v2 Subwoofer, Marantz SR 5010 Receiver, Wireworld

Office: KEF R500 Speakers; rest of system temporarily deconstructed and TBD
Family Room: Monitor Audio Silver RX6 speakers, McIntosh MA6600 Integrated Amplifier, Pro-Ject RME 9.1 TT w/ Sumiko Blackbird MC Cart.

Last edited by kfr01; 05-17-2013 at 10:56 PM.
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  #8  
Old 05-17-2013, 08:48 AM
BillK BillK is offline
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Hmmm, "different" could be good or bad…
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfr01 View Post

Couldn't wait until Sat. and picked up tonight. Apologies for the horrible iphone pic. First impression: VERY different than the Levinson.
Looks great you will love it. Try the K120 tubes when it is time to replace the current tubes. It makes a nice over improvement.
Have you checked the tube bias? Really important for sound and tube life.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:06 PM
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BillK:

In this case different is really just that. Both amplifiers have serious strengths, and they are just different. I'll describe more after I do more listening this weekend, but some of the differences in a nutshell:

ARC Ref. 110 -- musicality in spades; a touch bloomy in the bass; wonderful sense of dimensional spacing; it sings through the highs; more kind to less than perfect recordings; romantic.

Levinson -- neutrality in spades; very tight bass; incredible speed and clarity; analytical nature creates brilliant reproduction when the recording is quality, but can be tough on bad recordings.
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Listening Room (2 Channel): Vandersteen 5A speakers, Simaudio Moon Neo 400M Mono Block Amplifiers, Esoteric D-07X DAC (preamp) via Apple Mac Mini (Roon), Furman IT-Reference 20i Power Cond., Wireworld.
Listening Room (HT Portion): Vandersteen VCC-5 Center, Vandersteen VSM Signature Surrounds, JL Audio CR1 Crossover, JL Audio f110 v2 Subwoofer, Marantz SR 5010 Receiver, Wireworld

Office: KEF R500 Speakers; rest of system temporarily deconstructed and TBD
Family Room: Monitor Audio Silver RX6 speakers, McIntosh MA6600 Integrated Amplifier, Pro-Ject RME 9.1 TT w/ Sumiko Blackbird MC Cart.
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