Audio by Van Alstine DVA SET 600 Mono Block Amplifier

Audio by Van Alstine DVA SET 600 Mono Block Amplifier

One day very recently my wife and children were outside in a park socializing with another family. I joined at one point, and the husband told me that my wife had mentioned that I was reviewing some new amplifiers, and that she thought they sounded amazing; she hoped I would keep them. When we came home, I watched as she listened on the couch with our daughters to various pieces of music, and I saw her tapping her foot. I never saw that before, let alone hear her praise a component of my audio system!

What were these amps you might ask? They were a pair of Audio by Van Alstine DVA SET 600 Mono Block Solid State Amplifiers at $2499.00 each ($4998/pr.). In a nutshell, each of these mono blocks is a mono balanced version of Van Alstine’s recently released and very well received Vision SET 400 Stereo amplifier ($1999 − $2199.00, single-ended input (RCA), reviewed by Audiophilia’s Martin Appel who awarded it an Audiophilia Star—and rightly so). This newer DVA SET 600 mono block is Class A/B, rated at 600 watts into 8 ohms and over 700W into 4 ohms; it weighs 36 pounds and is 17” wide, 13” deep, and 7” high. Its power is actually way more than what I just stated (via storing power in capacitors), as according to the Van Alstine specs it offers using burst measurements ‘775W into 8 ohms and 1500W into 4 ohms’.

The AVM Ovation CS 8.2 All in One

The AVM Ovation CS 8.2 All in One

Some forty or more years ago, the average person who set out to buy a stereo system, typically ended up with a stereo receiver. Things were much simpler then; all you needed was a receiver, a turntable and a pair of speakers. As for ‘audio furniture’, milk crates were the order of the day. A pair of included patch cord interconnects and if you were somewhat sophisticated, a run of heavy gauge lamp cord and you were in business. You didn’t have to give any thought to power cords, because components had captive power cords. 

Of course, there were serious hobbyists who bought separates and had furniture grade cabinets made to house their components and speakers. These folks constituted a very small minority of stereo buyers. Once the transistor era took hold, watts per channel was the order of the day; the bigger the box with more knobs and lights, the better.