I was happy with my system for 30 years; now I need a new amp...and more?

Greetings, can you help? My amps died. I have a wide range of listening: rock and roll mostly (70's mainly), some jazz, minimal classical.


Sources are LPs and CDs. I even still have a Nak tape deck for live music tapes...

I had VTL 80W mono blocks since 1992, combined with VTL Deluxe Preamplifier.

Speakers were EPOS ES11 (still have them, been in boxes for years), then some used Thiel CS3.5 (sold), now some Klipsch R820F that I got at Best Buy (I know).

Source is AR turntable that I've had since early 90's, don't remember what cartridge but it's relatively new.

CD player was Cal Audio Labs that stopped reading discs a few years ago (is this worth getting repaired? Tend to doubt it), now Phillips 900 series CD player, seems solid.


The VTL tube preamp had some bad tubes which are now replaced and it appears to be functioning well.

The tube amps had major issues with capacitors and I decided to sell them and move on instead of getting them repaired.


So! Now I need to get a new amp. Ideally I would use the existing preamp, possibly combining it with a solid state amp. I know the speakers are not that great, and the CD player probably needs upgrading.

The room is small--I sit about 12' from the speakers, the ceiling is average height (10'?), the room has a concrete floor covered with a rug (not carpet) and there are a lot of windows.

Budget is a bit flexible. I was thinking first I need the amp, then maybe upgrade the CD player (is it bad?), and finally the speakers.

One option is the Schiit Vidar 2 amp which, if I just get one, would work with the existing tube preamp (need balanced inputs to use two as mono blocks, which I don't have from this preamp). I would like for the amp to NOT run super hot if possible.


Budget (all are ± $500)

I could spend up to maybe $1500 on the amp

Up to maybe $1000 on the CD player (ideally less, or maybe not at all?)

Up to maybe $2000 on the speakers but that wouldn't be for another year or so. Focal?


Also: Minimal local dealers for stereo equipment! Tough to audition gear, plus it's not the same as hearing it in one's own room.


Looking for recommendations for an amp I can use with my tube pre-amp but also would consider something integrated (and sell the Deluxe to fund it) or other options?




The Van Alstine is integrated with no phono stage so I probably wouldn't go that direction. My speaker cables are excellent.

Musical Fidelity M5si is sold by Amazon and has free returns....that is tempting. Nobody likes the Schiit Vidar2 option?

While someone with a bigger budget buying lots of things at once can have an easier time. For you with relatively small budget buying many things I would recommend the Kef LS50 WIreless 2. This is the active version of the Ls50 Meta. 


But amp is what you want, and within your budget, I can very happily recommend you the Audio Aegir if you listen at sane volume, Used can be had for $600. 

Or the wonderful Van Alstine 120 Vision set. Also within budget. 

If you can sell everything and overstretch your budget, and buy nice quality speakers that can make you very happy, everything complete in 1 package. Look at the Kef Ls60. Shop around, see if you can snatch a good deal from a dealer. Economy is bad. Pretty sure dealers are having a hard time selling. And they will be eager to sell a pair for a nice price.

All the components you need to buy, and the amount of money you have to cash out. I wholeheartedly believe the winning recipe is in an active loudspeaker. Good luck searching. 

Hi, I don't want to sell everything or overstretch or buy an active speaker, but thank you for the input. I also mentioned that I was hoping for an amp that wasn't super hot, and the Aegis is stated to run hot.