VAC Statement 452iQ Musicbloc Power Amplifier $75,000 each REVIEW

February 27, 2023 Comments Off on VAC Statement 452iQ Musicbloc Power Amplifier $75,000 each REVIEW

Occasionally, before putting something on that I knew to be a little thin and edgy, I’d mentally ask the 452iQs to be a pal and help a brother out. Nah, that’s not their thing. Yes, they have a wonderful sense of flow.  Yes, they reveal complex harmonic and dynamic textures in a recording without adding any noticeable additional texture or obvious slowing of the dynamic envelope. No, they will not magically be your bro and smooth over the treble or pump up the bass on an edgy and/or bass light recording.

At this level of the audiophile mountaintop, the gear is supposed to be as unerringly faithful as possible to what’s on a recording. But for me, there is good clean and not so good clean. Marginal clean has something in the sound that is missing or is off in some way that is hard to put your finger on. Everything might sound impressive – but somehow, I’m not drawn to the music. I might be having a fun time in a cerebral way by marveling at all the detail, bass slam, or whatever, but I’m not really listening to the music.

The VAC Statement 452iQ is my idea of a good clean. Surely it has something to do with using vacuum tubes and transformers, but I think it has more to do with what designer Kevin Hayes likes to hear. I think he is like me and certain other audiophiles in the sense that, yes, we want to hear everything, but not at the expense of musical involvement. I found the 452iQ to be everything I want to hear in the way of limitless dynamics, 3-dimensional imaging, and wide frequency bandwidth but beyond all that, these amps are musically involving. These days, I don’t want to be steered into listening to the gear; I want to listen to the music. More than a few times, I felt that I was hearing a familiar favorite recording for the first time. Not as in new little details emerging, but a macro sense of simply hearing it.

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