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REVIEW: Channel Islands Audio VPC-1 Passive Components

209.181.120.161


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Model: VPC-1
Category: Passive Components
Suggested Retail Price: $249
Description: Passive Volume Control
Manufacturer URL: Channel Islands Audio
Manufacturer URL: Channel Islands Audio

Review by PassiveO ( A ) on February 24, 2005 at 21:15:56
IP Address: 209.181.120.161
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for the VPC-1


I've been using the VPC-1 for about three weeks in conjunction with VMB-1 monoblocks. Total burn-in time of more than fifty hours.

The transparency and musical presentation of this combo is truly first class. The value, if you are into simplicity and "the music", is other-worldly.

I enjoy high S/N ratios that translate into the "black" silences many speak of. To this end, I've moved to passive preamps and/or potentiometers (no attenuators yet). I have recent experience with the Adcom GFP-750, but the VPC-1 is significantly better, in my opinion.

I've paired the GFP-750 with Monarchy Audio SE-100 Delux monoblocks and a Bryston 3BST. With the SE-100s the sound was "sweet" with nice midrange. With the 3BST the sound was great, nice and "black" with excellent LF extension.

However, the VPC-1/VMB-1 combo provides LF extension similar to that of the 3BST with far better midrange and HF extension. I've also used the VPC-1 with the 3BST and the SE-100s. These combinations were an improvement over the passive stage of the GFP-750 (more detail), but not even close to the VPC-1/VMB-1.

Anyone with efficient speakers and a thirst for transparency, accuracy and musical presentation cannot go wrong with the VPC-1. Some reviewers call the VPC-1 "laid-back"; I just don't hear that.

Just match it with an amp that has high input sensitivity and gain of 26db or more. Buy two if you need more inputs :-)


Product Weakness: Two inputs may not be enough for some. True "hair-shirt" component; no remote.
Product Strengths: Transparency, silence and musical presentation. Simple and inexpensive low-impedance interconnects work great.


Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: CIAudio VMB-1
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): CIAudio VPC-1
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Bit-Perfect Digital PC, DAC
Speakers: Klipsch Cornwall II, 101db
Cables/Interconnects: DIY CAT-5E
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Classical, Jazz, Rock
Room Size (LxWxH): 15 x 15 x 10
Time Period/Length of Audition: Three Weeks
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner




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Topic - REVIEW: Channel Islands Audio VPC-1 Passive Components - PassiveO 21:15:56 02/24/05 ( 0)