Good decision on the 502 for your speakers. Sorry about your doubts about your analog rig, but I can't say that I am surprised. Have fun trying out the 502 on the Vandersteens. Scrooge says Happy New Year!So I caved and bought an amp, deal was too good to pass up, so I wound up with a March Audio P502. March Audio has much better build quality than VTV and I made a reasonable offer on Audiogon that got accepted. First impressions are that there's a noticeable difference from my old monoblocks. More detail and clarity, from top to bottom. Increased resolution, and I've never heard my speaker's bass so punchy before. Really digging the extra power in my system. I'm a happy customer.
But I spent most of the day driving my Magnepan MMG's, listening to my DAP. With the increased resolution, I preferred the higher detail of my DAP over my analogue rigs. Better bass too. DSD sounded spectacular, but so did redbook, and mp3, and everything else I played on my DAP, a Surfans F20. Not particularly thrilled about that, not really sure what to think as I love my analogue setup. Being easily bettered by such a cheap DAP was quite surprising today. My MMG's have never sounded so good, they were definitely underpowered before. I can't believe I'm getting good resolution out of these speakers as they have been easily congested in the past. Speed of percussion instruments definitely increased, as did bass definition. Now properly driven, my little Maggies are not embarrassed by the Vandersteens at all. Really fun to listen to. Had a good day.