VAC 450S Dual Mono Stereo Amplifier

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A redefinition of world class performance.

One of the world’s finest, cost-no-object amplifier topology in a half size, half power, half price configuration.

 

Testimonials

VAC 450S Dual Mono Stereo Amplifier

“In one word, I was literally ASTOUNDED at what I was hearing as soon as I ran a signal through them. Even with the 300.1’s as a reference for comparison, the Statements simply redefined my benchmarks right out of the box.”
– customer letter

“WOW! They are by far, without qualification, the finest I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. FANTASTIC stuff. My profoundest thanks and compliments to you and the VAC team for a truly landmark achievement. I’m in heaven!”
 – customer letter

“Vocals? Ahhh… one could almost see the emotion in the singers face.. More than that, the experience brings you even closer.. to visualizing even the gait in Sinatra’s movements as he performs with Count Basie or Sarah Vaughan with her eyes shut as she digs deep into her own human experiences and emotions to bring new meaning to the lyrics of a song. All this without missing a single bass note or accompanying orchestrated passage or brush stroke on a cymbal. ASTOUNDING … simply astounding.”
customer letter

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Audio chassis on top, power supply below

Overview

VAC 450S Dual Mono Stereo Amplifier

The VAC 450S Dual Mono Stereo Amplifiers are designed and manufactured with full devotion to music and absolutely no regard to cost or manufacturing effort. Quite simply, they produce the most extraordinarily good sound that is possible. This is not a subtle improvement; it is a whole new world, and no less than the redefinition of the term “World Class”. VAC’s “first principles” design approach led us to four critical factors in the design of the Statement Series: increased precision of control over the drive/output circuit; architectural control over stray interactions within the amplifier; architectural control of mechanical resonances; and avoidance of electrically large, slow components. The result is a design completely unique to VAC.

The potential benefit of hand wiring is that the designer gains infinitely more freedom in “voicing” through the ability to select the brand, conductor material(s), insulation, size, and geometry of wires used to build the amplifier. This has been exploited in many previous VAC designs. However, the approach presented in the Statement Series far exceeds conventional hand wiring and previous three dimensional techniques. Careful orientation of parts in three dimensions allows passive control of radiated fields to an unprecedented degree. Special consideration of the ways in which they interact with the chassis, sensitive circuit points, and each other lead to natural ways of directing the energy without resorting to conventional shielding, which would have increased stray capacitance and introduced energy-storing eddy current effects, thus limiting openness and smearing detail. VAC’s natural approach avoids these problems and greatly increases purity and resolution.

Modularization of circuit assemblies, particularly the Modular Output Tube Assembly (MOTA), allows the mechanical properties of the stages to be independently controlled. Parasitic mechanical constraints of critical capacitors is essentially eliminated. The lengths of many critical leads and connections can be optimized. All of this yields greater precision, solidness, and subtlety of dynamics and transients.

VAC 450S Dual Mono Stereo Amplifier1
Available in silver or black finish

While the MOTA technique improves how the audio circuit deals with mechanical energy input, the overall architecture of the amplifier chassis and separate power supply minimizes the presentation of external vibration. We start with 0.25″ aircraft aluminum for a rigid basis, and tailor the mounting points and couplings for the desired results. Between the two chassis, 105 lbs. of custom-wound magnetics contribute to optimal mass loading. Custom machined feet provide a light controlled decoupling of the power supply from the external environment, while the audio chassis connects via a proprietary tripod of stainless steel cups and balls, controlling of the flow of vertical energy inputs and dissipating lateral energy inputs. The unique VAC design provides a gentle yet powerful docking and, unlike prior art, is not prone to dangerous instability.

VAC’s Very High Speed Parallel (VHSP) technique uses fast, lithe devices in an analogue parallel processing configuration that allows the speed and control required to preserve delicacy and natural sound. Key elements include special output transformers with an astonishing 750 kHz bandwidth, an extraordinary new version of the legendary KT88 beam power tube, and an extended range of Class A1 operation. There is palpably more control and greater subjective power per watt coupled with exceptional preservation of the nuance and expressiveness of the “first watt”.

The VHSP ‘divide and conquer’ electrical architecture stands in stark contrast to the approaches seen in other amplifiers. Some feature a single ponderous transmitting tube with high stray capacitance, very high operating voltage, and a corresponding degradation in output transformer coupling due to high impedance and high insulation requirements. And the magnetic circuits of most high power amplifiers have high inertia and can not track and convey a musical waveform with the faithfulness we require.

The external power supply’s massive transformers are isolation mounted in a separate shielded segment of the chassis and potted in place with a special material to ensure low mechanical noise and vibration. Proprietary techniques give the bridge rectifiers the low noise associated with vacuum tube rectifiers, but deliver the speed and high passive regulation inherent in silicon diodes. Active voltage stabilization is used where appropriate. VHSP is used in the filter banks, greatly extending the bandwidths of the critical power sources. Additional filter banks are located in the audio chassis, directly at the points of use, for more than 400 joules of energy reserve.

Balanced and single-ended inputs are provided, as are output connections to precisely match loudspeaker loads of 2, 4, and 8 ohms. Everything you need to monitor and optimize operation is at your fingertips (no voltmeters required). Of course, the internal parts are the finest kind, specifically chosen for sound and reliability. The finish is high gloss hand polished black or silver with glass.

The VAC 450S Dual Mono Stereo Amplifiers are entirely designed and handcrafted by VAC in the United States of America.

If you are ready for unmatched performance and excellence, if you are ready for the highest sonic performance in the world, then you are ready for a VAC Statement.

Specifications:

VAC 450S Dual Mono Stereo Amplifier

  • 225 watt/channel dual mono stereo amplifier with separate power supply
  • Gain: 37 dB, SE; 31 dB, balanced
  • frequency response 4 Hz to 75 kHz
  • power bandwidth 20 Hz to 70 kHz
  • single-ended input via RCA jack, non-inverting
  • balanced input via XLR jack, non-inverting relative to pin 2 (“pin 2 hot”, traditional EIA/RCA
  • broadcast/recording standard); amp is fully balanced in this mode
  • 12 volt triggers
  • illuminated logo; may be switched off
  • dimensions: 17.8″ wide, 18.25″ front to back (not including connectors), 9.75″ high (audio chassis), 128 lbs.
  • dimensions: 17.8″ wide, 18.25″ front to back (not including connectors), 5.5″ high (power supply), 80 lbs.
  • 8 x KT88, 6 x 6SN7
  • detachable power cord, standard IEC power receptacle
  • may be factory configured for operation at 100, 120, 220, or 230/240 volt operation
  • Two years parts and labor warranty, excluding tubes (USA, see manual for full details).