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VUUM debuts iPod-compatible vacuum tube stereo

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, November 13, 2006
News Categories: iPod Accessories

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VUUM Audio has introduced a new iPod-compatible vacuum tube amplifier stereo system with speakers. The VUUM VTi-B1—which produces “glowing sound with real bass, natural midrange and dynamic highs”—features a vacuum tube amplifier (15W x2) with dual inputs, an adjustable iPod docking station that allows for charging of your iPod with video output, a pair of speakers in a “piano finish” cabinet, 27-button remote control, dust brush and glove cleaning kit, RCA cables and a pair of high quality speakers cables with banana ends. The system will sell for $700.

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Comments

1

Hmm, this is on the shelf in the UK as “The Fatman iTube”....

http://www.fat-man.co.uk/index_cons.html

Posted by Bob Levens in UK on November 13, 2006 at 10:06 AM (PDT)

2

And this is what is offered in Germany by enmic


http://www.enmic.de/hl-7-Die-neue-Exklusivmarke-von-ENMIC-heisst-eyeTEK.htm

Posted by AL on November 13, 2006 at 11:11 AM (PDT)

3

Anyone know what this costs? I didn’t see the price on the website unless I missed it somewhere…

Posted by Tenchi211 in California on November 13, 2006 at 11:19 AM (PDT)

4

This costs $799.99 CAD (more than $700 USD).  Pretty darn expensive, although it has a unique look with great A/V input/outputs.  Definitely different than any other stereo with a built in iPod dock.

Posted by hunster26 on November 13, 2006 at 11:30 AM (PDT)

5

Do you think you guys are going to get a test-model in.  This looks very sophisticimated and cool.  Not sure I want to shill out $700, but it is very cool looking.

Posted by alexarch in Dallas, TX on November 13, 2006 at 11:43 AM (PDT)

6

I would assume this is another one of those devices made by a manufacturer in China, then sold to anyone who wants to stick their own brand name on it.

Wonder if it’s any good…the Chinese have been trying make inroads into the “audiophile” market of late, albeit with VERY mixed results (I’m not saying this thing is actually catering to audiophiles, but whenever TUBES are involved…).

Posted by flatline response on November 13, 2006 at 11:52 AM (PDT)

7

So, we have so far -
• VUUM Audio VUUM VTi-B1 (CAD $799.99)

• Fatman iTube Valve Amp and iPod Docking Station (£499)

• eyeTEK MP5 eyeTune Basisstation und HiFi Hybridverstärker im edler Chrom und Klavierlackoptik (499,00€)
(sounds real grand that one…)

And could this be the company churning out this “audiophile” (stick a few vacuum tubes in it - that will make it look worthy of the inflated price tag) gear?....

A-Zone International Co. Ltd

Posted by Bob Levens in UK on November 13, 2006 at 12:09 PM (PDT)

8

The original unit was released by Dared - the Dared MP-5. Dared is Chinese, but they are also well respected for some of their Audiophile speaker amps ($10,000+). This was their attempt at a more consumer product.

I own an MP-5 (amp only, Dared only release the version with ipod dock and speakers to OEMs), and while not a superb product, it does a nice job for the money, and sounds great with some different preamp tubes.

Which brings up one last point - it is not a tube amp, it is a hybrid - the preamp uses tubes, while the power stage is solid state. This actually makes it easier to play with different tube types, because there is no need to re-bias the output.

With some minor tweaking, my amp sounds great with speakers, and was definitely a value for the price ($300). smile I don’t know if this bundle is any good.

Posted by devwild on November 13, 2006 at 1:17 PM (PDT)

9

Hmm, Well respected?

“Shenzen Danyigao Audio were founded in 1995”

‘Dared’is not a name which rolls off the tongue when I think about high end audio equipment.

At least not in the UK, maybe because they haven’t dared to venture into our audiophile territory?....

Posted by Bob Levens in UK on November 13, 2006 at 2:33 PM (PDT)

10

Hey, what do you want, it is a Chinese company after all - they aren’t a staple of the western audiophile world, and they are young as you point out. However, some of their amps have gotten great reviews from respected rags, and there’s no denying that they know how to make a flashy product in a solidly build case (which sells more “audiophile” products than one would like to admit).

Perhaps well respected was the wrong term, I’m just saying that you shouldn’t count it out by nationality.

Those cheap stock Chinese 12ax7 tubes are worth changing out though wink

There is a long thread over on head-fi.org if you want to know more about the amp, including it’s flaws. However you should note that the reviewers (including myself) are headphone oriented, and I think this amp is better with speakers. (Dared had never made a headphone amp prior)

Posted by devwild on November 13, 2006 at 3:02 PM (PDT)

11

Oh, and I just realized I typoed the price range of Dared products, I meant $1000+, which is technically mid-high - they top out at $3-5000 I believe. (sorry, I’m tired, wasted my weekend playing games)

Posted by devwild on November 13, 2006 at 3:24 PM (PDT)

12

“Shenzen Danyigao Audio were founded in 1995”

‘Dared’ is not a name which rolls off the tongue when I think about high end audio equipment.

At least not in the UK, maybe because they haven’t dared to venture into our audiophile territory?....

‘Dared’...dared...hah, I get it…

Well, how long do you think any of those Chinese factories that roll out all those neat little iPods have been around?  The Chinese are still relatively new at this game, yet a few of these companies are showing themselves as being very fast learners.

In truth, more than a few high-end hi-fi people here in the States turn up their own noses at this influx. But some of the product we’re seeing is intriguing, and one or two like the Opera Audio LP-5 turntable ($4000, w/o tonearm) are actually VERY good.

And as for treading into uncharted waters…I wouldn’t be so cocky as to discount ANY future moves these upstart companies may make. Someone like Naim or Musical Fidelity may not be shaking in their heels now, but given the labor advantages China has who know what the future will bring? All it takes is continued knowledge transfer, and the Chinese seem to be quite adept at realizing that. For audiophile interest, they may be focusing their attention on the U.S. market for now, but I suspect that even a few Brits are known to be keen on quality bargains.

BTW…according to Sonicflare, the original Dared MP-5 was pretty well-received and generated a number of very positive reviews around the web, a few of which I found via Google though I’ve only actually a few of the comments over on headfi.org. But the gearheads over there seem quite smitten by the Dared.

Posted by flatline response on November 13, 2006 at 3:45 PM (PDT)

13

I want to look, touch, and listen to it, and then make a determination. It states on their website, “Midrange warmth like a blanket on a winter night.” Well, it’s getting colder around here and I’d like to feel the warmth. I like the idea of a hybrid, and this is positively not the run-of-the-mill ocean of iPod crap that provides the stench common to the iPod sewer pond of products.

Posted by FahrenheiPod 451 on November 13, 2006 at 5:22 PM (PDT)

14

To anyone interested.  I have one that is barely used.  I am selling it for $495.  I love it, but will be deploying soon back over seas.  I live in Pennsylvania.  Feel free to contact me.

Posted by james sinclair on June 12, 2007 at 11:42 AM (PDT)

15

I just had a listen to the Canadian Vuum stereo amp (not the ipod one, but the larger integreated amp that looks very similar.

Compared to a much larger and more expensive Onkyo integrated amp (which admittedly had other items built in too i.e. tuner, dvd, etc), the Vuum had a superior sound.

Superior means: much better clarity (including better high frequency sound, i.e. the cymbals actually had some upper partial zip to them) as well as “warmth” (i.e. the mid-range sounded like there might be a musician in the room instead of a vacuum-cleaner salesman playing the instruments).

Music is so subjective, but as a professional musician with 25 years experience, I can compare amps better than any of your “golden ear” armchair crowd.

Still, this has to be taken with a grain of salt. This was not the ipod Vuum amp. Also, I only compared it to the Onkyo.

Would I buy it? Yes.

Posted by Angus on November 24, 2007 at 11:38 PM (PDT)

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