Considering a new amp for my Vandersteen Quatro CT

I've been using a Bryston 4Bsst2 with my Vandersteen Quatro CT for the past 5 years.  This was not an amp I purchased for the Quatro, just one that I happened to already have.  It is about 12 years old. It has been a solid performer and I have no specific complaints....just curious what a different amp might offer.  My preamp is an Audio Research LS-15.  There are three amps that have been recommended by various sources.  The Ayre VX-5 Twenty, The CODA Model 8, and the Moon by Simaudio 760a.  These are all in my general price range.  Anyone have experience with any or all of these?  Which would you think would be the best match with my speakers?


We are a coda dealer so we are going to be biased th.8 is a fabulous amp clean detailed transparent while  still sounding a tad warm huge soundstage great bass

the amp is in reality three different amps depending on bias

You can order one way and re-bias the amp in the future for more power

we tend to go with level1 150 watts class a/b which would be perfect for your quatros.


however at any time you can have the amp re-biased to get either 250 or 400 watts a/b

so if you ever got a much less efficient loudspeaker you would not need another amplifier


add to this incredible build quality, a fantastic warranty, manageable  size and weight, runs warm, not hot.  made in America you just cant go wrong.


Dave and Troy

Audio intellect NJ


Coda dealers


Since you have a fantastic sub and mains are high passed taking MUCH of the load off of your amp, you can cast a much wider net - IMO seeking out an amplifiers with “ magic midrange “ vs. a lot of $ going into an amplifier you “ could weld with “. Obviously a place to start is w Quattro owners, dealers and RV… I commented the owners forum on your thread there :-).

Dont miss the opportunity to greatly shorten the speaker wire impact to sonics AND added expense by making the move to monoblocks… this is where a dealer / designer focused on systems engineering / thinking / synergy will be of help… The 7 / HPA 7 system ships w 30” speaker cables…for a sonic…reason.

Best in your search and quest !


Just want to point out that the ARC LS15 specs suggest that using it with an amplifier with input impedance less than 20K ohms (balanced) is not recommended.


The CODA is the only amp of those you mentioned that does not meet this spec.


I agree with @tomic601 you could cast a wider net (lower power amplifiers can work well with the Quatros).

I forgot about Belles Aria Monoblocks. Well within your budget, unless you go to the Signature, but well worth it.

Call or PM John Rutan (Audioconnection). He'll give the best info. and he won't try to sell you.


I think the Ayre is the best of the three. ARC would be my second choice but not on your list. Had you considered mono block amps?

Spending thousands on another amp is a waste of money. The Bryston is an excellent and reliable amp. You will only be fooling yourself to think that a newer amp will somehow sound better and more "musical". 

Partial to Simaudio have a 600iV2 and love it. I also have a Norma Audio Revo IPA-140B that is fantastic. If were going separates again these would the Amplifier Brands I would look at, as well as AGD.  

Spending thousands on another amp is a waste of money. The Bryston is an excellent and reliable amp. You will only be fooling yourself to think that a newer amp will somehow sound better and more "musical". 

But a pair of Brysons would be able to use shorter cables and also have some extra headroom and ease of power supply punch.
If one was prone to liking Canadian gear, then there is also some goodness in a pair of Brysons.

Personally I would consider running a pair of Brysons as mono blocks, over a big spend up on fancy cables.
Even if it was a pair of stereo amps doing hi/lo on each side.

… but I have always liked mono blocks and short speaker cables.

Spending thousands on another amp is a waste of money. The Bryston is an excellent and reliable amp. You will only be fooling yourself to think that a newer amp will somehow sound better and more "musical". 


Interesting comment but I do not have the same opinion.  We manufacturer audio products and repair audio products plus live in the NYC area where we have heard and have access to more audio components than most people have ever heard.


That being said, the Ayre is a good choice, and you should also consider the Asthetix hybrids.  Depending on where you are located and what your budget is, I use our Class A tube amp on my Vandersteen 5As which so far provides the best sonics I have heard on the 5As.  Since we repair so many amps, I get to hear what they sound like so you can say that I am biased but it is not only my opinion as many people have heard the sound.  You do not need that many watts as you might think to drive your speakers.  Even the old Counterpoint SA-100 power amps sound good on the Vandersteens for cheap plus they can be upgraded to reference level.

PM me if you want to discuss.

Happy Listening.


+1 for the Coda.  I have the Coda Integrated, the CSiB, which is for all intents and purposes a Model 8 with a built in lines stage.  Same chassis, no VU meters.  I've had mine since January, and extremely pleased with it.  Big step up from the Bryston 3BST / BP20 combo that I had been using the previous 18 years.  I have the v1, and like the Coda 8, the first 18 watts of the v1 are in Class A.  v2 and v3 have more watts in class B, but less in Class A.  So if 150 watts per channel floats your boat, if you get the Coda, that is the way that I'd go in order to get more of that Class A goodness.  Speakers in my case are the notoriously difficult to drive Thiel CS 2.4s.  The Coda drives them effortlessly. 

IME you would be more impressed with a better preamp than changing your amp.

I also have a pair of the Vandersteen Quatro CT and use the Ayre 5 Twenty-series products (KX-5, QX-5 and VX-5 Twenty’s) and the sound is great. That said, I am looking to upgrade my speakers to possibly the Kento Carbon or Model 7 mkii if or when I find a suitable used pair at a good/great price.

Have you considered the Vandersteen M5-HPA amp? For what it’s worth; While I have not heard them, I was told they sound better than the Ayre amps.  There is a used pair for sale in Colorado.  They're asking $11.9K

I will echo Jim’s @tomic601 recommendation of the Vandersteen mono’s. No doubt an obvious system symmetry approach.

But, if more than you want to ‘pony up’, I recently added a pair of used but excellant Belles MB-200 mono blocks in my system driving my Treo’s. Belles just knows how to make everything he makes musical. Also, a great fit with my ‘new’ Belles Aria Signature preamp. Happy camper.

@twoleftears Very good recommendation I always forget about Belles.  

Belles Virtuoso power amp



I have 5As powered by Ayre and it's a very good match.  That said, Richard V typically demos his speakers with ARC electronics, so that might be something to keep in mind.  And, although I have only heard them briefly, the Vandersteen amps are impressive, and they were designed to match with your speakers.  My local dealer, who sells all three brands, says he likes the Vandy amps better on Vandy speakers than either ARC or D'Agostino. 

Whatever you choose to do, happy listening!

McCormack and Vandy have a long history of playing well together. I’ll give you two options of excellent candidates, but I’d recommend the cheaper version because your speakers have powered subs and it’s got a lot of Steve’s latest upgrades already installed so you’re getting a SOTA amp at a screaming bargain.  My only recommendation with either amp would be to send it to SMcAudio and have the gravity base installed — by all accounts it takes the amp up several notches in performance.  I’m having my DNA-0.5 RevA upgraded now and sprung for the gravity base.  To me this will be a keeper amp for life