VAC Auricle MusicBloc Specifications

Valve Amplification Company
Auricle Musicbloc
Monoblock Tube
Amplifier
Instructions
12 November 2004
Please read carefully before installing
Copyright 2004 by Valve Amplification Company. All rights reserved.
WELCOME
Congratulations on your purchase of the VAC Auricle Musicbloc, and welcome to the family of
VAC owners!
Your VAC is designed not to the latest fad but to substance, providing the highest quality of sound.
Time spent familiarizing yourself with this manual will be well rewarded.
It is our goal to provide instruments of the highest quality, be informative to all of our customers,
and to provide responsive, effective customer service.
Please feel free to contact us if we can be of assistance. We can be reached:
Telephone
Fax
E-mail
Website
941 952 9695
941 952 9691
info@vac-amps.com
www.vac-amps.com
We look forward to being of service, even as you have many years of enjoyment from your VAC
instrument.
Kevin M. Hayes
President, VAC
Page 2
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS & SAFETY NOTES
1.
VACUUM TUBES BECOME HOT ENOUGH TO CAUSE SERIOUS BURNS. NEVER
TOUCH A TUBE WHEN THE UNIT IS ON. IT MAY TAKE SEVERAL MINUTES FOR
THE TUBES TO COOL DOWN AFTER THE UNIT IS SWITCHED OFF. INSTALL
THIS AMPLIFIER IN SUCH A WAY THAT PEOPLE, PETS, AND FLAMMABLE
MATERIALS CAN NOT COME INTO CONTACT WITH THE AMPLIFIER.
2.
DO NOT EXPOSE CHASSIS TO MOISTURE. DO NOT PLUG INTO AN AC SOURCE
UNTIL ALL CONNECTIONS ARE COMPLETED.
3.
Complete all signal (interconnect and speaker cable) connections before connecting the AC
cord to the wall outlet and turning the unit on. Similarly, always turn the amplifier off and
remove the AC power cord before detaching cabling. Failure to observe this sequence can
result in damage to the amplifier, speakers or associated components.
4.
For protection of your speakers and power amplifier, source components should be switched
on before the power amplifier. Similarly, turn the power amplifier off before switching off
the source components.
5.
THESE UNITS CONTAIN NO USER SERVICEABLE PARTS. DO NOT REMOVE THE
BOTTOM COVER. LETHAL VOLTAGES ARE PRESENT WITHIN THE CHASSIS. DO
NOT OPERATE THE UNITS IF THEY ARE WET.
6.
This amplifier is moderately is heavy. Please exercise caution in lifting the unit, and take
care to install it securely in a sturdy, well designed stand so that it will not fall or tip over
(this could cause serious, possibly fatal injury).
Page 3
INSTALLATION
Physical requirements:
1)
Provide Adequate Ventilation-Allow at least three inches of free air space above and two
inches to either side of amplifier
2)
Do not place the amplifier in a completely enclosed cabinet. If equipment cabinet has a solid
front door, a “boxer” fan will be necessary to ensure proper airflow.
3)
Do not stack other components (or any objects which could impede proper ventilation) on
top of the amplifier.
4)
Do not operate the amplifer on carpet, or on any other surface that might restrict airflow.
5)
The amplifier chassis will become very warm during normal use.
6)
The amplifier must be installed in a secure, sturdy, properly built (and ventilated) stand,
cabinet or enclosure. The Auricle is heavy, and could inflict serious injury or property
damage if it falls, or if the stand upon which it is place tips over. This concern is particularly
important in households with small children who might try to climb furniture. In addition,
care must be taken to prevent people, pets, and flammable materials from coming into
contact with the VERY HOT vacuum tubes.
Page 4
Basic Hookup:
1)
Connect a volume-controlled line-level source to the input RCA
2)
Connect loudspeaker cables to the five-way binding posts on the rear panel. Make sure that
all connections are tight (Do NOT over tighten, or damage to amplifier or speaker cable may
result), and that heavy or bulky cables are properly strain-relieved.
4)
Connect the AC power cord to the IEC connector on the rear panel. ALWAYS connect
power cord to component before plugging it into an AC outlet, and make sure that unit’s
power switch is set to the “off” position before making the final connection. For best
performance, try to route the power cord away from signal cables.
5)
Set the TEST switch to illuminate the two front LED’s. Watch them as the amplifier warms
up, adjusting output tube bias as necessary. (See “Output Tube Bias Adjustment”, below)
As with all high performance audio products, the sonic characteristics of all VAC products will
continue to improve during the first several hundred hours of use.
Page 5
Output Tube Bias Adjustment:
Your amplifier has been shipped with the output tube bias properly set. Nonetheless, it should be
checked when you install your amplifier and approximately once every month thereafter. It must
also be adjusted each time a tube is replaced.
Adjustment of the output tubes is quite easy, and requires only a small screwdriver. On the front
panel are two bi-color LEDs, each with an adjacent adjustment control. View the LEDs from
directly from above. Adjust the LEDs to be green when the amplifier is not playing music. To set,
turn the control clockwise until the LED just begins to change to an amber/red color, and then back
the control off just slightly to restore the pure green color.
As music plays, the LEDs will vary from green to red. Check the bias if you ever see an LED stay
red while music is not playing, or if an LED does not tend toward amber or red when music is
playing. If the flashing of the LEDs is bothersome while listening, the switch on the front labelled
"Bias Test" can be set to "0", disabling the LEDs. The switch must then be set to "1" to check the
bias of the output tubes.
Any tube that can not be adjusted to the correct bias point should be replaced. Any tube which
requires constant readjustment should be replaced immediately. Never operate the amplifier with
an LED that shows red when music is not playing.
When installing new tubes, set the bias controls fully counter-clockwise. Check the bias of both
channels as the amplifier warms up - don't wait ten minutes.
Bias levels should be checked monthly to ensure optimum sound quality. It is not unusual for the
bias to change with time, particularly when tubes are new. The greatest amount of drift occurs
during the first 200 hours of a tube's life. The drift may change direction periodically, such that the
bias control must be increased and later decreased, or vice versa. Check bias if the sound seems
lacking in detail or dynamics.
Matching To Your Loudspeakers
Like many modern tube amplifiers, the Auricle includes multiple match taps for the speaker
outputs. Do NOT assume that the setting which corresponds to your speakers’ published impedance
specification will yield the best sound. Due to the various standards by which impedance can be
measured, not to mention the fact that a speaker’s impedance varies with frequency, it is impossible
to assert with certainty which output tap will yield the best sound. For this reason, VAC strongly
suggests auditioning your speakers through all settings. In general, we find that a speaker’s
minimum impedance is more important than its nominal (average) impedance when determining
which setting is correct. A lack of bass response often indicates that a lower impedance setting
should be tried.
Page 6
CHASSIS CARE
Although your amplifier is extremely durable, its finish can be scratched, chipped or damaged if
improperly treated. Cleaning with a soft, damp cloth while the amplifier is switched off and
unplugged should restore the finish to its original lustre. Never clean with harsh or caustic cleansing
agents.
When shipping your amplifier, be certain to wrap the amplifier in the cloth, tissue or plastic wrap
in which it was originally packaged. VAC is not responsible for cosmetic damage resulting from
improper care or packing.
Page 7
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT TUBES
It is true that each brand of tube sounds different in a particular high resolution circuit. This is
because no two manufacturers make a tube type in quite the same way, and the central tendencies
of the performance parameters will differ slightly with each maker.
This sonic variability may at first seem a liability, but further thought will reveal that it is an
advantage. The owner of a tube amplifier can select those tubes which sound like the real thing in
his/her specific system. VAC can recommend the best tubes for your amplifier.
Normally vacuum tubes should last for 4,000 to 12,000 hours of use, or two to ten years for most
users. There are always occasional exceptions, long or short. If you have to replace a tube before,
say, 3,000 hours, just replace the single tube. If you have to replace a tube at 8,000 hours, replace
them all and keep those still functioning well as spares
VAC will be happy to test tubes for concerned customers.
Installing New Tubes:
Original Equipment Replacement tubes are available from VAC. These tubes ensure your amplifier
will meet or exceed all factory performance specifications.
Before replacing tubes, all power must be off. Mute unit, place power switch in the “off” position
and unplug power cord. Remove cover and old tubes ONLY after the unit has cooled down (In
normal use, tubes become hot enough to cause serious burns. Allow several minutes for tubes to
cool before attempting to remove or replace.) Install the new tubes fully firmly in their sockets,
taking care to observe the direction of the locating ridge in the plastic center pin of the large KT88
output tubes’ metal & phenolic base. With 9-pin miniature 12AU7 tubes, make sure that pin pattern
corresponds to holes in tube socket.
When changing KT88 tubes, turn the bias control corresponding to the new tube fully
counterclockwise. After turning the unit on and allowing it to reach normal operating temperature,
follow the normal biasing procedure.
In the event that trouble is encountered, switch power to the “off” position, check that all tubes are
correctly seated in their sockets and check all signal, speaker and power connections. If possible,
try another tube. If the problem persists, please consult your VAC dealer or contact the factory
directly.
Page 8
WARRANTY
Your equipment is warranted for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of purchase. In addition,
if the registration form is received by VAC along with a copy of your sales receipt from an
authorized VAC dealer within this thirty days, a service contract will be extended to cover your
equipment for three (3) years (tubes excepted). This warranty applies only to units sold in the
United States of America through authorized VAC dealers and operated within the United States
by the original owner. It covers factory service, and, within the continental United States, standard
return shipping. For warranty information outside of the U.S. contact the importer of VAC
equipment for your country. Units sold outside of the U.S. should still be registered with VAC. It
is responsibility of the dealer and customer to determine suitability of this unit for a given
application.
Your questions and comments are always welcome. Contact:
Valve Amplification Company, Inc.
1911 East Avenue North
Sarasota, FL 34234 USA
Telephone 941 952 9695
Facsimile
941 952 9691
E-mail
info@vac-amps.com
VAC AURICLE MUSICBLOC REGISTRATION FORM
mail to VAC soon as possible.
Name
______________________________________________________________
Address
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Telephone
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E-Mail __________________________
Dealer name ______________________________________________________________
" address
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Purchase date ______________________
Salesperson
Serial Number __________________________
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How did you first learn of VAC products?
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What other brands and models did you consider?
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What made you decide on the VAC?
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Please provide any comments on VAC products or your dealer
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What are your hobbies?
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What are your favorite types of music?
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