Stereophile magazine considered this tube integrated as the Rolls Royce of integrated amp. And rightfully so. It is solidly built, big and heavy. Using just four EL34 tubes, the Avatar can be switched between triode and ultralinear mode via a toggle switch just beside the EL34 tubes. So depending on the speakers you are using and the sound you prefer, you have the option of 27W or 60W respectively. The small tubes used are four 12AX7 – two for line stage and two for its phono section (MM and high output MC) and three 12AU7 driver tubes. For tube rollers, they would be delighted with trying out new tubes without breaking the bank. Biasing of the output tubes are extremely easy. You just need to remove the bottom front plate, press the respective button for the EL34 tube and adjust accordingly via observing the biasing meter just above it.
Listening to the Avatar is just blissful. The richness, the fullness of its musical presence in our listening room is as good as any $10,000 pre/power combo we have listened to. It was dynamic when the music called for and luscious when vocals come into play. Its just an all round top performer. Unit was just completely checked out and serviced where worn out parts were replaced and recapped. We spent more than a $1,000 to get it back to factory specs. EL34 tubes are new and just installed with maybe about 1 hour of demo use. A new set of four 12AX7 tubes will also be included with the current set inside the unit now. Unit has the optional remote control installed ($400 value) where you can adjust the volume level from your listening chair or mute the unit.
Cosmetically, the VAC is in nice shape. Some scuff marks/nicks here and there but nothing major. Manual is available online on VAC’S website. Preamp will be securely packed for safe shipping.