VS55 Power Amplifier
"An amplifier has to be something truly magical to follow, let alone partner Audio Research Corporation's SP16 pre-amp. When I reviewed it for the May issue, that delicious control unit, 'affordable' by ARC standards, reminded me of why I fell in love with the Minneapolis brand above almost all other post-transitor valve amp makers. The associated stereo power amp, the VS55, merely reaffirms my faith. The warmth and appeal of the combination's sound are such that if at any time in your 'audio past' you auditioned, borrowed or (lucky you) owned a piece of Audio Research equipment of 1972-1990 vintage, you're gonna wonder who requisitioned the time machine.
Don't choke on your cornflakes: I don't mean that the VS55 sounds 'old'. I'm simply suggesting that it's as commanding and as instantly-recognisable-as-a-champion-product as were ARC classics of yore, like SP-10s and D-150s. But that's all -- the rest is pure 2002.
The VS55 shared the SP16's openness, the sweet top end, the clarity. Detailed and revealing, the VS55 also matches the SP16's 'freedom from the oppression' of amplifiers which are too hygienic. To put it another way, the VS55 sounds like a tube amp all the way, and I would even nominate it as the most vivid way of demonstrating tubes versus transistors.
.........we are talking about a future classic."
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by Ken Kessler
excerpt taken from Hi-Fi News
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