If anyone asks, I will post or send hi-rez pictures as testimony that this particular example of the ARC Vs55 is in lovely condition. Not possible to find a used unit in nicer shape, IMO. I will post photos soon in any event.
The ARC VS55 is simply a fantastic sounding tube amp. I'm a tube amp guy (owned over a dozen in last 10 years)and have a soft spot for CJ gear; however, the VS55 competes nicely with a Classic 60 I own. Other expenses (IRS 2016) forces a sale of one or the other, and I am too vested in the tubes used for the CJ (Holland NOS), so the ARC VS55 must, sadly, go.
This amp has had a very easy life, spent powering super efficient Klipschorn speakers (105 dB 1W / 1M efficiency)and Cornwall speakers. I've learned--much to my surprise--that high quality, moderately high power works so much better than you might think on Klipsch Heritage or other HE speakers. After experiencing this amp on my Cornwalls, I am done with DIY stuff!
This VS55 has the best-of-the-best sorted and matched tubes installed. All the tubes were purchased directly from ARC (a $400 value); they sound great and have plenty of life left in them (test at ~45 mA +/-5% at 400V--so almost like new testing). The tubes hold a bias quite well and are very easy to adjust with the rear multimeter probe ports.
Trust my extensive feedback--you will not be disappointed with this amplifier, certainly not the condition, which is as nice as you will ever find gently used like this fine piece of gear for sale.
I will include --if my asking price is met, the matched quad from ARC (and of course the 6N1P trio--also from ARC)--and in addition, I will include a nice matched quad quad of NEW Shugang KT88 AND a matched quad of new-test Svetlana 6550C. These three quads sound so different from each other that I was amazed. Honestly, it's hard to say which are 'best', thus, I will include all three quads! Again, you will not be disappointed and also will get a crash course in just how different tubes can make an amp sound!
This unit performs as good as it looks. This review below is accurate, I assure you; I agree 100% with all the findings. I actually bought the amp based on this anf the following review, and it has replaced my CJ for the past two months of ownership.
In the John Potis review, he says that--compared to the deep and tight bass and the smooth, airy and extended highs, that the midrange was not as prominent as other tubes amps Potis auditioned. Let me assure you that this is because of the ARC 6550 tubes, which have a recessed midrange. The Svetlana corrects this so well, and the KT88-SC also brings out the mids to the fore even more. These three current-draw matched power tubes will let you tune both mids and highs to your own system. The bass is fabulous with all of them, but it's the forward prominence of the mids that changes
dramatically with each set of the matched, new-testing power tubes. The upper extension also varies with the brand of power tubes, with KT88 the most extended.
Please ask all questions prior to purchasing. I can provide additional high resolution photos on request. This item shows very, very low signs of usage; as such, there may be some minor flaws I might have missed, only because I am normal.
NOTEWORTHY: Meet my asking price and get two additional new-testing and new-looking 6550/KT88SC tubes in addition to the quad from ARC (three quads in all)--and--I will split shipping and PP fees with buyer!
Con-USA sales only. If you would like me to reply to you, you must be a member here, and also provide me with your name and email address. If you are not known to the audiophile community, I might be nervous to transact with you--apology. Ebay might be better for you, with respect. Thank you.
Thank you for looking at my stuff.
I also have a Conrad Johnson Classic Special Edition (Classic SE)preamp--yes--with the CJ Teflon caps. If you have the coin, man o man, does the CJ preamp mate perfectly with the VS55--I was amazed. The CJ Classic SE preamp also looks like a showroom model, I cannot find any flaws, and comes with factory supplied Mullard M8080 tubes and a spare pair of Mullard M8080. If I sell these two pieces of gear before 10/1, then my tax bill for 2016 is covered, and my wife will not disown me and my gear.
I would sell the Conrad Johnson Classic SE preamplifier in new condition for $1500 shipped, but if bought together with the ARC VS55, the price will be 20% lower.