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Quad VA-ONE tube headphone amp / dac ?

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by Jodet, Jul 6, 2017.
  1. Jodet
  2. Jodet
  3. project86 Contributor
    I heard it last year and didn't really care for it. Not terrible mind you, but I just think they are trying to do too much in one small package. The DAC part is pretty mediocre, particularly over USB, and the speaker amp section is so underpowered as to be of very little use. What left is a decent headphone amp with a rather high price tag for what it is.

    Quad also has the PA-One which I think came out first. It uses different tubes and doesn't have the speaker amp, so in theory it could be better. Haven't heard it though. Price is still higher than I'd like at $1799.
  4. Jodet
    I just got to hear one with Harbeth P3ESR's in a small room - was absolutely stunning. Amazing midrange. If you have efficient speakers or a smallish room I'd say this might be a very nice option. I'll bet this would be great with Compact 7's if you're not fussy about volume.

    Didn't get a chance to listen on headphones, maybe another time.
  5. E8ArmyDiver
    I wanted to dust this thread off since I've been living with this rig for about 6 months now...Tubes are still factory & this is a wonderfully musical amp..Driving LSA-1 Signature monitors in a borderline medium treated room.Superb all in 1 solution...
  6. Jodet
    I'm using mine in a small room (my hobby shop) with a pair of Proac Tablette 10's and the sound is astonishing. Reminds me of my Quads, especially on vocals.
  7. enduser
  8. enduser
    I've got a PA-One (Serial ......0002) and have done tons of tube rolling... RCA Red Base, Heintz-Kaufman, Sylvania, ADZAM, etc. Finally settled on Phillips/Mullard rectifier (square getter) and Sophia Electric for the SN 6's and 7's. Hi_Fi Tuning fuse and etc. Pushing HiFiMan HE-1000 V2's, Cardas wires, Source Board, BDR cones, etc. Using RCA inputs because the XLR's don't go to balanced circuitry. Very, Very happy. Don't see that the VA-One offers any upgrade for me. Think you'll find performance is driven by tubes, fuse, wires, and mounting isolation. If you're purely headphone (no little speakers) think you're better off with the PA-One.
  9. Jodet
    At a hifi show in Germany Quad was showing a new PA-One 'Plus', don't have any other details on that. Had an XLR headphone input which is a nice feature.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  10. enduser
    Find a Phillips/Mullard rectifier (UK plant, late 1960's).... then look for Sophia Electric 6 SN and SL 7's. Forget tube rolling. Get the Sophias. Unless you want to buy my RCA's and Heintz & Kaufmans, and etc. Then, replace the fuse.
  11. enduser
    Quad isn't going to put high-end tubes in a $1,599 amp.
  12. Jodet
    No, Quad is going to put cheap Chinese tubes in a $1599 amp. That's why they s/b replaced.

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