audio research

Tube stereo power amplifier.

From the ARC website

The VS115 revisits the classic look of the VS110 with its open architecture and natural anodized top plate – now more ventilated for better heat dissipation. Drawing upon the successful REF110 input stage design, the VS115 uses a FET input with two 6H30 triodes in each channel for gain and as a cathode follower-driver for the 6550C-equipped output stage. This allows both balanced and single-ended connections in a true differential topology yielding a much wider power bandwidth (110kHz in contrast to 40kHz for the VS110). There is a new power transformer, and power output from the four matched pair of 6550C output tubes is 120WPC, providing excellent drive and control. Bias test points for each output tube are located on the rear panel, along with a 12V trigger which allows remote turn-on. A heavy 20-amp IEC detachable cord conducts the A.C. supply.

While the VS115 physically resembles the discontinued VS110, sonically it is in another league. The VS115 immediately makes clear its wider power bandwidth with more speed, top-end air, improved resolution and more articulate, impactful bass. Textures and timbres are finely rendered and silky-smooth, with the grainless resolution of which only our Reference series amps have previously been capable. In short, the new VS115 is highly engaging, musically rewarding and an unparalleled performer at its price. For the music lover who wants the best attributes of tubes in both style and performance, the VS115 is a new amplifier that will be impossible to resist.

January 2008


Output tubes replaced with KT120 (November 2010)


MSRP (US new retail)
$6,495. Increased to $6,995 on November 22, 2010.


Power output 120 watts per channel continuous from 20Hz to 20kHz. 1kHz total harmonic distortion typically 0.5% at 120 watts, below .05% at 1 watt.
Power bandwidth  
Frequency response (-3dB points at 1 watt) 0.8Hz to 100kHz
Input sensitivity 1.6V RMS Single-ended or Balanced for rated output. (26dB gain into 8 ohms).
Input impedance 150K ohms Single-ended, 300K Balanced
Output taps 8 ohms, 4 ohms
Output regulation Approximately 1.2dB 8 ohm load to open circuit.
Overall negative feedback  
Damping factor Approximately 8
Slew rate  
Rise time  
Hum & noise Less that 0.2mV RMS 104dB below rated output (IHF weighted, input shorted).
Power supply energy storage Approximately 332 joules.
Power requirements 105-125VAC 60Hz (210-250VAC 50Hz) 690 watts at rated output, 900 watts maximum, 400 watts at "idle".
Tube complement (4) 6H30, (4 matched pairs) 6550C

Output polarity: Non-inverting. SE or BAL PIN 2+ (IEC268)

Dimensions 17.5" (44.5 cm) W x 7.9" (20.1 cm) H x 19"(48.3 cm) D. Rear connectors extend .88" beyond chassis.
Weight 62 lbs. (28.2 kg) Net; 70 lbs. (31.8 kg) Shipping.