The VAC Sigma 160i Integrated Amplifier – trickle down technology from their flagship separates result in an integrated tube amplifier that delivers much of the VAC magic in a one box solution!
Testimonials (on all VAC products)
“The VAC sound is audio-writ large but properly proportioned; it is elegant, opulent and ebullient. The vastness and spatiality of the soundstage with the Phi 200 is quite surprising when heard for the first time – you likely have not heard the expansiveness a fine tube amp can bring to a system… My experience with the Phi 200 is that I can be assured that no matter which loudspeaker I put into the rig I’ll get top quality sound… Their quality, reliability and unimpeachable sound earn them a resounding recommendation.”
– Doug Schroeder, Dagogo.com (read the review)
“Veteran speaker engineer Albert Von Schweikert wasn’t in the room at the time, but his astounding VR-9SE ($90,000/pair) was making the quite a sound in his absence. The smaller sibling of the flagship VR-11SE, this 350 lb, two-module mini-behemoth was paired with VAC’s brand-new Phi-200 100Wpc amplifier, Signature linestage ($14,000), and recently-released Phi Alpha D/A Converter ($7500). An older Oracle transport and what appeared to be Cardas Golden Cross cabling completed the system. Any notion that tube equipment lacks control in the bass was blown to pieces by this system’s tremendous authority in the bass region and beautiful presentation on high. Fabulous sound.”
– Jason Victor Serinus, Stereophile
“It is critical in manufacturing perfectionist speakers to use related components that reveal all that’s possible; especially in resolution, tonality, dynamics and sound-staging. To this end we’ve evaluated and tried a vast array of the highest end equipment available. VAC’s amplifiers and preamps have turned out to be references of the highest order, and not coincidentally, terrifically enjoyable to listen to”
– Alon Wolf, owner Magico Loudspeakers (Magico’s speakers have won numerous top awards here and in Asia in the past few years and range from $22,400 to over $250,000)
VAC Sigma 160i Integrated Amplifier
The VAC Sigma 160i Integrated Amplifier is a full, true integrated tube amplifier.
These days, it is common for amplifier manufacturers to take a basic power amplifier, slap on a volume control and selector switch, and call it an integrated amplifier. Unfortunately, this approach invariably results in significant sonic compomise, and generally lacks the dynamics and authority one expects in first class sound reproduction.
In the VAC Sigma 160i Integrated Amplifier, VAC has combined all of the elements of separate components into a single, well integrated package. There is a true line stage (with optional balanced inputs), a proper volume control (not a digital or VCA control on a microchip), a superb power amplifier with direct input capability for integration into multichannel/home theater systems, and an excellent phono stage (MM standard, MC optional).
With all of the proper elements present, the true performance possibility of the integrated form is fully realized. This results from the fact that every single stage in the audio chain is in intimate proximity and can share a very tight, precise common ground reference. Like the foundation of a house, this provides a basis from which magnificent things arise.
To ensure coupling only when and where desired, the VAC Sigma 160i Integrated Amplifier incorporates separate rectifiers and power filters for the preamplifier sections for greater purity and stability.
Similarly, the mechanical placement of all of the parts, from the transformers to the vacuum tubes to the capacitors and resistors has been undertaken using the principals embodied in our cost-no-object Statement amplifiers. Each part is a radiator or receptor of stray energy; with careful analysis and orientation, unwanted interactions can be eliminated, all while avoiding the heavy handed approach of bandwidth-robbing shielding.
At its heart, the VAC Sigma 160i Integrated Amplifier just plain makes music. Coupled with its modest price relative to other VAC components and the easy to live with form factor, the Sigma deserves your careful consideration.
VAC Sigma 160i Integrated Amplifier
- 86 watts per channel
- illuminated logo; may be switched off
- 4 x KT88, 4 x 12AU7, 3 x 12AX7
- 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).