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Aura Integrated Amp

 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 6613
Registered: Feb-05
I believe (will know for sure tomorrow) I just made a deal to buy a 50 watt per channel Aura integrated for my office system. Other pieces in that system are the B&W 610i speakers and my modded Rotel RCD971.

Any of you know anything about the Aura...I believe it was a B&W product but can't seem to dredge anything up about it online.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 6616
Registered: Feb-05
A little more info, the amp is the Aura VA 50.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 9988
Registered: Dec-04
I don't find anything, Art.
This seems an odd way for you to buy?
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 204
Registered: Jul-07
Pretty slim pickin's on the web Art. There's a guy over on Audio Review that liked a Musical Fidelity XA-1 better than it. That's all I got in a quick search.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 6617
Registered: Feb-05
"This seems an odd way for you to buy?"

I doubt that it's any odder than buying an expensive turntable for a cratridge...lol!

Kurt at Echo Audio has a very good reputation in the Portland audio community so I'll trust him that it's a good piece. Just seeing if anyone here had heard one.

http://www.echohifi.com/
 

Silver Member
Username: Jazzman71

Phoenix, AZ USA

Post Number: 136
Registered: Dec-07
It's a heater. That's about all I could find. Don't let any mail stack up on it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 6618
Registered: Feb-05
Yeah I found that it runs very warm...that with the descriptions of it's sound make me belive that it spends a good amount of time in class A mode...hmmm.
 

New member
Username: Jvigne

Post Number: 3
Registered: Apr-08
I once heard a used one at this small independent audio store. I remember being impressed with the warmth of the sound. But I can't remember what speakers were running.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2822
Registered: Sep-04
I remember when Aura was launched many years ago - early eighties? There was a strong link with B&W at the time, but it didn't last very long ISTR. I remember an Aura...hmmm...A80? Sounded real sweet, a bit warm and enjoyable. Had a lot of following as a cult amp for a while, but there were loads of amps doing this at the time such as MF's A1, Onix, Naim's Nait, Nytech and one or two others I can't remember. The £300 amp market was healthy and buoyant - then it died pretty quickly and Aura was one brand to go with it.

I recently saw an Aura advert in one of the mags. the Aura name was in the same typeface as the original brand as far as I could tell. Perhaps someone has bought the rights. basically they're selling a top loading 3-in-1 unit (CD/Tuner/Amp). Who knows? Perhaps it's a rebirth...

Regards,
Frank.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 9995
Registered: Dec-04
Which speakers are you running it with Art?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 6619
Registered: Feb-05
Nuck my brotha...read the first post.....B&W 610i's.
 

Silver Member
Username: Jazzman71

Phoenix, AZ USA

Post Number: 137
Registered: Dec-07
Art, I was able to find some customer reviews for the VA-100 model.

http://www.audioreview.com/cat/amplification/amplifiers/aura/PRD_115619_1583crx. aspx
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 6630
Registered: Feb-05
Went to Portland today...completed the deal with Kurt at Echo for the amp....unfortunately the amp isn't as advertised, Kurt and I will be doin' some talkin' tomorrow. He rated it a 9/10 and it's no more than a 7/10 on the A'gon scale. Also supposed to be serviced before you get it....I've poured a whole can of Deoxit in...hopefully that will do it...jury is still out. The upside is that Kurt offered to have it picked up at work and brought to him for service and then returned to my home...very good...my only question is, why wasn't it serviced to start with and why the out of reality rating. He did pretty good in the trade...

I am going to ask for a refund to match it's actual condition and then if granted take that money and have this fabulous sounding amp serviced by my tech.

Unless Kurt makes an a s s of himself, and I have absolutely no reason to think that he will I will do business with him again, very nice fella. I would however be aware that his ratings may not always match the A'gon ratings, which really are the industry standard.

The end result is that this amp sounds very, very good...a perfect match for the speakers and CD player. And the rumour of it being a room heater are completely inaccurate. No matter what volume I reach it barely gets to room temperature...wow. A very powerful 49 watts per channel! The source swithch makes some noic=se and causes cutouts and that's what I went over with the deoxit...I think that I got it however I would like my tech to give it the once over, it really is a fabulous little amp...very pleased...ofcourse I wish it were perfect but hey it's close.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 509
Registered: Jul-07
Congrats! Have fun with that!

Us fanatics need at least 2 or 3 hifi systems!

One of my sisters visited for the first time since I got the Rega/Quad system and the Rotel set and the vinyl room and turntable. People who have one cheap hifi are always amazed....
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 6638
Registered: Feb-05
Pics as promised...

Upload

Upload
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 6640
Registered: Feb-05
Kurt at Echo does business the old fashioned way...honest and with the customer being right...when I asked about having my tech and friend (for 25 years) Jim Ott look at the amp he thought it was a great idea and said just have him call me for a credit card...fabulous...great guy to deal with. BTW Jim and Kurt know each other which makes my life easier as well.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 2602
Registered: May-05
Glad to hear everything is working out, Art. Reading what you said about Kurt, it seems like an honest mistake/misunderstanding.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 2838
Registered: Sep-04
Man, that photo takes me back... I remember seeing the chrome version of the Aura VA-80 in Tottenham Ct Rd in London. OK I was drooling. I never imagined being able to afford anything like that let alone the stuff I do have!

Still pretty though...

Regards,
Frank.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 1890
Registered: Nov-05
Very nice little set up Art.

And your fluffy friends seem to approve as well.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 1330
Registered: Jun-07
Beautiful looking amp Art, and I am sure it sounds as good as it looks.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 10016
Registered: Dec-04
From the pics, those are some seriously large standmount B&W's.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 6654
Registered: Feb-05
They are pretty big Nuck...

Thanks for the comments guys...I was working all day and just saw them !
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 2606
Registered: May-05
From my angle, it looks like the penguin and beaver are enjoying them too.

Or is it a woodchuck?
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 6656
Registered: Feb-05
The Penguin is my mascot for the Penguin Guide to classical music and the Beaver is for OSU, Oregon State University...2 time defending NCAA Baseball champs and the the only program I know of with a 2-0 record against Notre Dame in bowl games, also my Alma Mater. We used to have a great basketball program in the days of Lester Conner, Steve Johnson, AC Green and Gary Payton...(footnote, only white NBA slam dunk champion....OSU's very own Brent Barry...hall of famer Rick Barry's kid)...long drought since hired Barack Obama's brother-in-law from Brown U today...
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 2613
Registered: May-05
I figured that was the case with the Beaver. I was thrown off because I couldn't see teeth or a tail from that angle.

Being an NCAA basketball fan, Oregon State has a very good basketball tradition. I don't think they've ever come across my Niagara University Purple Eagles though. Most noted basketball alum - Calvin Murphy.
 

Silver Member
Username: Jazzman71

Phoenix, AZ USA

Post Number: 159
Registered: Dec-07
Sounds like it's working out without working up a sweat Art. Sweet.

Stu, I remember Murphy well. Something like 5'10" and could jump out of the arena.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 6713
Registered: Feb-05
Oh oh.....The Aura went bye bye, please welcome my new integrated for the office system...The Linn Intek. Story and pics to come later...this amp is a beast...weighs double that of the Aura and has a huge transformer.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 2657
Registered: May-05
Looking forward to that Art.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 10077
Registered: Dec-04
How did that happen for you Art?
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 6715
Registered: Feb-05
It's long story...

The Aura sounded great but I took it in for it's health check up with my tech had some bad news relative to it's build quality and potential longevity. Also he did not want to do much work on it himself as he didn't want to have to work on it again....poorly designed. So the plcae where where I traded for it had the Linn Intek for the same price. The Intek is a pretty controversial amp across the pond. Folks either loved it or hated it...with most hating it. I do see why...it has a pretty grey sound to it. Interesting it sounds much better with the internet radio than with the cd player...much the opposite of the Aura. I think it doesn't like either the Rotel or the interconnects. Phono section sounds excellent. I'll get it dialed in...
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nightrhyme

Post Number: 12
Registered: Jan-08
Just came across this thread. Hmm Aura.
It has been my main amp since 93. never found anything who could match it

I had the powersupply made external which greatly improved sound.

But it's dying fast. Input selector is now stuck so only one input now works

I would love to get my hands on a beautiful speciment like the one in your pic
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 7764
Registered: Feb-05
Sorry about your amp. In lace of my Aura now is a Creek 4330 soo to be driving Epos speakers..much fun. Good luck looking for an amp. Don't know where you are located but you may want to get ahold of Echo Audio where I bought mine and he'll keep an eye out for ya.

http://www.echohifi.com/
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 3208
Registered: Sep-04
Auras are quite hard to find. they only lasted for a couple or three years as I recall. Sweet amps.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 608
Registered: Jul-07
Art, excellent website at echo! I see a pair of Quad12L near the same price as the Epos. Are they comparable?
I like my Quad11L so well, I think maybe I would upgrade to the 12.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 7827
Registered: Feb-05
The Quads are far easier to listen to...richer and fuller. I saw those Quads when I was at Echo last week and they were in very good condition. I also listened to the Tannoy Sensys DC1's with a huge Shanling intergrated...sounded excellent.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 609
Registered: Jul-07
Well, on 2d thought, next speaker purchase should be a bigger jump up. Maybe to Rega5 or so. Next spring when traveling in the NW, I hope to look at speakers. I never looked at hifi on OR but it seems you have some great places.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 7842
Registered: Feb-05
Hope ya stop by when you're in the area Kevin...you have a standing invite.
 

New member
Username: Onib

Potsmouth, Hants UK

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-10
Hi Art
ref: the B&W Aura amp
I may be able to help with questions regarding the amp as I designed it.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11914
Registered: Feb-05
I replaced that amp long ago but I appreciate your asking. It was a sweet sounding amp.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 14427
Registered: Dec-04
exsqueeze me, Les...you designed it?

Hat's off to a high quality electric/hifi nerd!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11922
Registered: Feb-05
Wish he'd have been around when I had the amp. The Creek is a better amp but the Aura had a very sweet midrange and just flat sounded excellent with the B&W's that I had it driving. Good job, Les!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Insearchofbass

York, Pennsylvania

Post Number: 13272
Registered: Jun-04
Hey Art congrats on your new purchase. You couldnt stay away from creek again in the end I see. Nothing wrong with that.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 12022
Registered: Feb-05
The Creek is in the office (has been for 1 1/2 yrs) and will be replaced this week with powered speakers by Audioengine. My main amp is a Sonneteer.
 

New member
Username: Adrianrumble

Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-10
I have the Aura. I bought it in 96. I love it but I think it is on the way out. It does over heat a little and now something's burst inside cos it's leaking some tarry substance! It's distorting on one channel but I think that's probably down to dust cos if I give it a quick vacuum it perks up!
I've taken it in for repair but the technician is not optimistic about spare parts!
This could turn out to have a sad ending so can any one out there suggest a suitable replacement in a similar price bracket.
Thanks.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13632
Registered: Feb-05
The Aura was a sweet sounding little amp. If you could keep your eyes open for a used Creek 4330, that might work out for you. Sweet sounding little amp with many of the Aura's characteristics, almost as old as well, unfortunately. However I think it may be more reliable. If you can't find one of those the Creek Evolution amps are going reasonably on Audiogon used. Good luck.
 

New member
Username: Adrianrumble

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-10
Thanks for your advice. However it was all down to dust and dirt which were causing it to overheat.
It's been thoroughly cleaned and is sounding as good as ever!
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1947
Registered: Oct-07
Leakage of a 'tarry substance' is a bad sign. Something really did get overhot. transformer? cap?
You should take it in to a pro for a look.
Common parts like caps and resistors will be available forever...or just about.
Proprietary or custom parts? Some custom wound transformers, for example, will be difficult to replace. Sometimes, work arounds are possible but can be difficult or expensive.....or both!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 15631
Registered: Dec-04
A 'tarry substance' is the ooze of doom.
 

New member
Username: Adrianrumble

Post Number: 3
Registered: Dec-10
Art leo nuck
thanks for all your comments. All is well! It was filthy inside and needed a really good clean. The ooze turned out to have come from the rubber stoppers (?) just under the top grilles which seem to have been placed there to protect components below. At some point, due to the dust and dirt therein, the amp must have overheated causing said "stoppers" to overheat. It is sounding as good as new.
 

New member
Username: Nusto

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-15
Anyone having an idea of what the output voltage of the Aura va 50's transformer is?I need it to have mine's transformer replaced.
Is Les still around?
 

New member
Username: Nusto

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jan-15
I've just received a reply from Mr Andy Hunt WhO is the designer of the original amp:

"Sorry for not getting back to you.
If I remember it was 120 VA or ar I understand that and 35 0 35
This was maximum off load voltage as capacitors were 50 volt
So 35 0 35 is off load voltage
Thanks
Andy"

This info might be of use for Aura owners.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18015
Registered: May-04
.


Dave is gone, man.
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