Viva Solistino Amp

Viva Solistino amp?

I am considering purchasing the above amp.

I have poured over previous Viva threads, which mostly cover its big brother. And so far all are positive regarding the performance of these amps. The dealer that I’m working with says the Solistino now share the same transformers as the Solista and has “…closed a fair gap between them…” The difference in price between these two amps is $ 4500.00 dollars and I cant justify this spread.

I would be interested in any comments from current owners and their experience with Viva would be appreciated.

My speakers are from Daedalus audio “Argos” which are rated 97dB efficient. There is nothing wrong with my current tube PA +SS amp by Modwright. But now I'm  curious about the tube experience. My system is listed on the system page.

I know that Viva does not encourage tube rolling, not sure that’s a big deal as of now. And that this amp does run hot.

 Other amps I have considered is the MasterSound Compact 845 and the Ayon Crossfire. Both are less than the price of admission of the Viva.

Have owned 2 VIVA amps still running one and I have tube rolled never heard that VIVA said not to? VIVA amps are built like tanks and I tend to run amps about 10-12 hours a days and VIVA have never let me down. I have also owned master sound 300b amps and they to are well made and good sounding but not as pretty as VIVA. Any 845 will run hot if heats a issue consider a VIVA with different tube compliments mine uses 4x 300B and doesn't produce much heat but has ability to drive most any loudspeaker I tossed at it from 110db horns with no noise to maggies.
I have heard, and liked, the Viva amp running 845 output tubes.  I have also heard their headphone amp. 

I own a Viva fono phono-stage.  The Fono has been completely reliable over the eight years (I am guessing here) that I've owned it.  I don't know about any discouragement to roll tubes, so, I've tried several different tubes in it.  

Viva gear is quite nice sounding and well built.  The look is a bit funky, and the gear takes up a lot of room, but, for me, the phono-stage is a keeper.
I can't speak to the Viva amps, but since you are possibly considering Mastersound and Ayon, I'll pass this onto you - I have the Argos V2s and aside from driving them with Modwright LS100 & KWA100SE , I also alternate driving them with a Line Magnetic 518IA (22wpc 845 SET integrated) , or a Finale Audio 7189 MK2 (EL84 22wpc integrated). I like both with the Argos (did swap in some NOS tubes in both), but will also offer that several Agon members have indicated that the Line Magnetic 508IA (48 wpc  300B/805 integrated) has a somewhat more refined presentation  than the 518.  Again just mentioning for what it is worth. 

No comment on Viva sound quality but I saw one in person for the first time at Cap Audio Fest. A preamp I think, it wasn't being used but dear lord was it gorgeous! Dark purple faceplate and yellow chassis, I stood over it drooling for a few minutes. Whatever you decide good luck and happy listening!
You have good taste. I’ve heard Viva amplifiers ( but not the Solistino) and they’re wonderful sounding amplifiers and should mate beautifully with your speakers. I can’t imagine how this wouldn’t be a successful long term pairing.

Facten mentioned the Line Magnetic 508ia and I believe that this is a very viable alternative match as well.
Best of luck,
Much thanks for your replies, as far as tube rolling goes this is from the dealer

"We Viva dealers and Viva discourage tube rolling because some of the "NOS" (new old stock) tubes can't take the voltages or current that these amplifiers require from them. Spending lots of money on exotic tubes would be fine if you were buying a Pentode/Triode mode amp because they generally use multiple output tubes so as not to over work them. They don't run "as hot" but they still throw heat... you're burning tubes here".

My take on this is that some NOS tubes can cause the amp to underperform and or damage the amp.

I'm sure the stock tubes are fine and are matched to perform well with Viva amp....Although I would like the option to roll if I wanted,   I don't know if I would or not. It was a few years before I changed the tubes in my PA. 

The LM amps are very fine amps, but my reason not moving to them are very petty....

Pulled the trigger on the Solistino amp, ordered thru Black Bird audio. Dan was a pleasure to deal with.
I’ve owned the Little Solista since 2008 and had no desire to upgrade. Are you telling me the big Solista is only $4500 more? It used to be more than double the price. Mine cost about $7500 back in 2008, but I had it upgraded with the new transformers about a year later, so that was like an additional 2k or so.  But I am very pleased with the sound.  Personally, if I had the money and the room, I would go for the big Solista, but that sucker is BIG and heavy.  The only think I will tell you is that, IMO, it takes about an hour to reach its full sonic potential after power up.  Enjoy.  
@maxboy00   Congratulations and looking forward to your impressions.


I have also owned master sound 300b amps and they to are well made and good sounding but not as pretty as VIVA.
By "pretty" do you mean aesthetically?

Can you also provide your take on the differences between Mastersound and VIVA? Thanks.
Congratulations! I believe that the Viva will mate with your Daedalus Argos in a beautiful and compelling fashion.  If you don't mind let us know your initial listening impressions. 
By "pretty" do you mean aesthetically? Yes- but the master sound 300b amps I had are far from ugly just I prefer the look of VIVA. Both delivered wonderful 300b SET sound both reliable as stones and I run amps more than most users. Differences between are to slight to define even though I had master sound in office and VIVA in main system at same time. I would say both are very similar and I am pretty sure master sound sourced transformers from VIVA.

Thanks all for the very kind replies.

It will take a couple of months to get the amp in - house, due to the build time and where my order is in the que. 

@ Chayro, Both the Solista and Solistino have the same transformers that are standard and the volume control is also standard. The Solista is over 15k and I couldn't justify the difference in cost. But I get your point. 

@ Charles 1dad...Thanks for your comments, I appreciate reading your posts on tube gear...very helpful.
Thanks for your comments. I just believe that you've made a very fine choice and won't have the slightest regret.  Note Johnk's comments on the Mastersound and Viva amplifiers he owns.

These high caliber well executed type of SETs  have an organic foundation that yields a very natural sound quality and realism that's difficult to match in my humble opinion. You are going to have superb sound. 
@maxboy00 Congrats on your new amp and best of luck with the brutal waiting period! I would imagine a Viva amp in addition to sounding good would have very high WAF as they say. Cheers!

I know this is an old thread but curious if the OP can offer any updates or anyone else add to their experience with Viva?
Well the Viva is still front and center in my system. I am still using the stock tubes that came with the amp, but I plan on replacing them early next year.

The Viva mates very well with my Daedalus speakers, in its ability to drive them. The speakers sound good at low level listing and when I turn it up, but ….the volume is rarely is past the 9 o clock position. I particular like the fine imaging and rich sound stage which is very evident when listing, so far I have not experienced any compression or lack of head room. I also upgraded my DAC which has not hurt anything, to me, all my core components have good synergy.

No fan of subs in two channel, but I added a pair a few months ago…..thanks to A-gon forum, and this is where… the only thing that I don’t like about Viva…their web site has no information on any spec with their products, and their OM is just as poor. Aside from four line inputs, there an input labeled ‘D’ and ‘S’ with the sub connected to either the line or ‘D’ the subs were okay but the speakers were flat and lifeless. I moved it to the ‘S’ port and bam, the main speakers came back to life. On the plus side my dealer has been great, I have contacted him several times post purchased, including, the rear inputs on the amp, and he has been very responsive and provided detail information and explained what the rear inputs are designed for.


Thank you very much.

I’m happy you are loving it.

If I’m not mistaken, D is direct for bypassing the pre section and S is a subwoofer out.

 I also agree about the lack of information and specs on the website, it’s a little frustrating.
Yes the D input is a direct connection for a preamp and S is for the sub should be self explanatory, but with no info from the OEM, it was trial and error. 
Hi maxboy00,
It gratifying to read that you are very happy with the Viva SET  amplifier.  I believed it'd be an excellent match with your speakers and expressed this several years ago in this thread. Congratulations and I wish you many years of enjoyable listening with your fine audio system. 

+1 on the fine sentiments to @maxboy00 . 
It’s awesome when someone finds a piece that they love.

Again thank you for your kind reply and your spot on advice. As I originally stated, I had read many of your tube related posts and respect your insight.....


Thanks, I appreciate your coments. Yes my Viva is a keeper.

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