VAC's Soon-to-Emerge Preamp

The case and front panel nomenclature are not in final form, but if VAC's forthcoming two-piece Master Signature preamplifier ($26,500 as linestage, $40,000 with additional phono stage)—ignore what the prototype unit's front panels say—due in early March, sounds anywhere near as good as the VAC equipment I heard at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, it will be worth waiting for. The Master Signature boasts the same parts and approach as the far more expensive Statement preamplifier and, in the words of VAC's Kevin Hayes, "adopts and preserves the most important elements that create the Statement's magic, but in their most essential form."