VAC Renaissance Preamplifier
Operation & Maintenance Information
Valve Amplification Company
Manual issued 02/21/2001
THE POWER SUPPLY UNITS CONTAIN NO USER SERVICEABLE PARTS. DO NOT REMOVE THE COVERS. LETHAL VOLTAGES ARE PRESENT WITHIN THE CHASSIS.
NEVER OPERATE THE PREAMPLIFIER WITH THE AUDIO CHASSIS COVERS REMOVED. BEFORE OPENING TO CHANGE TUBES, DISCONNECT THE PREAMPLIFIER FROM POWER AND ALL OTHER COMPONENTS, AND ALLOW IT TO SIT TURNED OFF FOR 30 MINUTES.
DO NOT OPERATE THE UNITS IF THEY ARE WET.
THE PREAMPLIFIER AND POWER SUPPLY UNITS ARE HEAVY. BE SURE TO USE PROPER LIFTING TECHNIQUES TO AVOID BACK STRAIN AND INJURY. BE CERTAIN TO INSTALL IT IN A SECURE LOCATION FROM WHICH IT CAN NOT FALL OR TIP OVER.
Inputs (back panel)
Outputs & Grounding Switch (back panel)
Front Panel Controls
A Word About Tubes in General
Replacement of Tubes
Warranty & Registration Form
The Renaissance Preamplifier is among the world’s finest audio preamplifiers, second only to the VAC Renaissance Signature Preamplifier. Sharing similar circuit designs, they are absolutely unique components. Unusual topology, premium parts, and flexibility make them a pleasure to hear and operate.
The line stage is, in effect, a small Class A1 power amplifier, capable of driving loads as low as a few hundred ohms. This is a stark contrast to normal preamplifiers, which claim a low output impedance but completely collapse when asked to deliver current. The Renaissance circuit is loafing with a normal load in the 10,000 to 200,000 ohm range, delivering an effortless, musical performance.
There is no feedback and no coupling capacitors in the line section. All active elements are triode tubes, the purest, most linear amplifying devices yet invented. Output matching is accomplished by way of superb output transformers. As a side benefit, different output grounding configurations are possible, optimizing performance into either balanced or single-ended loads, and allowing ground loops to be broken.
The optional triode tube phono stage has moderately high gain with a very low noise floor. Low output MC cartridges are accommodated by means of high quality matching transformers, which contribute voltage gain without noise, resulting in detail that emerges from a remarkably dark and neutral background.
Remote control is implemented via motorized mechanical devices. This is expensive, but provides two major advantages. First, the Renaissance Preamplifier controls are completely intuitive to use. Second, we avoid the sound degradation attendant with VCAs, relays, transistor switches, and switched resistor arrays.
The massive chassis is machined from quarter inch thick aluminum plate and fitted with damping material for a strong, resonance-resistant structure. The sculpted aluminum fascia has a hand rubbed gloss lacquer finish.
The audio circuitry and power supply are completely hand wired.
You will notice the sound quality of the Renaissance Preamplifier improve during the first few hundred hours of operation, particularly with regard to subjective frequency extension.
The Renaissance Preamplifier is designed not to the latest fad but to substance, for the highest possible sound quality. Time spent familiarizing yourself with this manual will be well rewarded.