Vacuum tube stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC and Bluetooth®
Our take on the Quad VA-One by Crutchfield's Deia Z.
The warm glow of the Quad VA-One's vacuum tubes is pretty irresistible.
Bring out the magic in your music
Quad has been making vacuum tube amplifiers — or valve amplifiers, as they're called in Britain — since the late 1940s, back when tube amplification was the latest audio technology. The VA-One integrated amplifier combines classic tube amp sound with modern digital features in a conveniently versatile and compact package.
Don't be fooled by its modest size and power rating — the VA-One puts out enough power to fill most rooms with the dynamic, musical sound that tube amps are known for. A full-sized headphone jack accommodates most kinds of headphones for when you want to enjoy that same sweet sound quality without disturbing others.
Easy on the eyes and ears
You don't have to be an audio geek to be won over by the VA-One's retro charm. The comforting glow of its seven vacuum tubes is analogous to the kind of sound it puts out. Vacuum tube amplifiers are known for delivering consistently smooth sound, where modern audio equipment can be a bit less forgiving of certain types of musical passages. I've heard it described as an aesthetic choice — like using a filter on a photo to add texture and bring out the inherent emotion of the image.
Superb sound quality from just about any source
With its tube-based preamp and power amp circuits, digital and analog inputs, and built-in high-resolution digital-to-analog converter, the VA-One makes any audio source sound great. Built-in Bluetooth adds wireless convenience, letting you stream music from a compatible mobile device.
- 12 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms at 0.5% THD
- 15 watts x 2 channels into 6 ohms at 0.5% THD
- vacuum tube preamp and power amp stages
- three preamp tubes (1 x ECC83, 2 x ECC82)
- four power amp tubes (4 x EL84EH)
- high-resolution 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter
- built-in Bluetooth for wireless music streaming from a compatible device
- aptX® encoding provides high-quality music streaming from compatible Bluetooth devices
- digital audio inputs: 1 USB (Type B), 1 optical (S/PDIF), and 1 coaxial (S/PDIF)
- USB driver required for Windows® users; available here
- stereo RCA audio input
- full-size 1/4" headphone jack
- binding post speaker terminals
- detachable AC power cord
- remote control
- signal to noise ratio: 90dB
- 7-1/8"W x 7-1/16"H x 13"D
- weight: 23.8 lbs.
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Integrated amplifier
- 6' AC power cord (IEC 3-prong plug)
- 62" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and Type B USB on other end)
- Phillips-head screwdriver (to access tubes)
- Remote control
- CR2025 battery
- 3.5" Bluetooth antenna
- Owner's Manual
Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.
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Features and Specs
|Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)||12|
|Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)||15|
|Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)||12|
|Minimum Impedance||6 ohms|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||90|
|Digital Music Features|
|Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)||Yes|
|High-resolution Audio Playback||No|
|Total Analog Inputs||RCA|
|Optical Digital Inputs||1|
|Coaxial Digital Inputs||1|
|USB Input||Type B|
|Dimensions and Warranty|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
Overview: The Quad VA-One is an integrated amplifier with a built-in DAC. The VA-One is equipped with seven vacuum tubes (or "valves", as the British call them) to give you the most lifelike sound possible. It has both analog and digital inputs, built-in Bluetooth, a 1/4" headphone output, and high quality binding post speaker terminals. The VA-One is housed in a sturdy steel chassis with a Lancaster Grey finish. It includes a wireless remote control, and a 5' USB cable.
Vacuum Tubes: The VA-One is equipped with a total of seven vacuum tubes to deliver a natural, immersive sound. The preamp section features an ECC83 triode for the preamp section, and two ECC82 triodes in the driver and phase splitter sections. Two EL84 pentodes are for each channel in the output stage in a push-pull configuration, which delivers 15 watts per channel (into 6 ohms), enough to drive efficient modern speakers to ample volume levels. Tube amplifiers require a "warm up" period of at least 15 minutes prior to use for best sound quality, and to prevent damage to your equipment. Also, an extended "burn-in" period of at least four hours, and preferably, twelve hours, is highly recommended before you first use it. More information on warm-up and burn-in can be found in the included Owner's Manual.
Digital-to-Analog Converter: The VA-One features a USB DAC to allow you to listen to your favorite digital music sources from a computer or laptop via USB. It is USB 1.1 and 2.0 compliant, and is compatible with both Windows and Mac. A 5' USB cable with gold-plated USB-A and USB-B connectors is included. The DAC supports sampling frequencies up to 24-bit/192kHz. You can also connect your other digital components to the VA-One via optical or coaxial digital cables.
Bluetooth: Built-in Bluetooth gives you the freedom of wireless connectivity for your smartphone, tablet, or computer. The VA-One also supports the aptX codec for high quality wireless audio. A 3.5" Bluetooth antenna is included, and connects to the rear panel, for best reception.
Remote Control: The unit includes a small, simple wireless remote control. The IR remote can control power, speaker mute, source selection, and volume. It is powered by a CR2025 battery (included). Remote dimensions: 1-3/4" width, 1/2" height, 3-3/4" length.
Connections: The Quad VA-One offers the following connections:
- Headphone Output: one 1/4" jack (front panel)
- AUX Input: pair of gold-plated RCA jacks
- Digital Inputs:
- USB: Type B USB
- Coaxial: single RCA jack
- Optical: Toslink optical input
- Speaker Terminals: one pair of gold-plated binding posts that will accommodate bare wire, pin connectors, spade connectors, and single banana plugs. (The terminals are spaced too far apart for dual banana plugs.)
- Antenna: RP-SMA female connector for included Bluetooth antenna
Controls: The VA-One has a large motorized rotary volume knob on the front panel. Source selection consists of three push buttons for the Bluetooth, AUX, and Digital inputs. The Digital Input button allows you to cycle through for selecting the USB, coax, or optical sources. The main power switch is located on the back panel.
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz (+/-1.0dB)
- Rated Power Output: 2 x 15W RMS (6Ω); 2 x 12W RMS (8Ω / 4Ω)
- Input Impedance: 50kΩ
- Digital Resolution: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176kHz, 192kHz
- Distortion: 0.5% @ 1 kHz
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 90dB (ref. 15W)
- Dimensions: 7.004" width, 7.125" height, 13.125" (14.875" including power cord)
- Weight: 23.8 pounds
Our Product Research Team
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