Any love for Belles audio gear?

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
Hey guys,

I am waffling hard on my next audio upgrade/downgrade. I love the idea of an integrated but I have my PSE amps which I refuse to sell so it's a bit of a conundrum. I also don't have the funds to buy anything too crazy for an integrated. I think I'd be able to swing $1,600 or so. The thing is since I am too stubborn to sell the amps I am wondering if I need to look at preamp upgrades instead.

There is a Belles VT-01 version 1 available locally that I am considering. I have never heard anything from Belles but press seems to be universally good.

Anyone have any experience with this unit, or Belles in general? I have my concerns that it won't/can't top my DIY 12B4 preamp. For reference I've had Anthem PRE1 and PRE2, Mac C26, Carver C19 tube hybrid, Klyne SK6 and some other less exciting options but my diy preamp hasn't been bested. The mystery for me is, can I do better within my budget? It's possible the answer is no.

After being apothetic about things for awhile now, I feel like it's either time to double down and find out what I'm (not?) missing or quit caring and move on with life focusing hard on simplicity.

Thanks gang,

Evan
 

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
FYI, I bought it. I haven't had much time to really audition it thoroughly but initial impressions are favorable so I chose to keep it longer than just the demo period. When I have time to sit down and scrutinize it, I'll start with a fresh post.
 
I had a Belles Aria integrated that was very good (for solid state). I’m all tubes but if I needed a SS it would definitely be in top 3 for me in same price range.
@kray

Just curious. What would be the other TOP THREE SS contenders in the same price range?
 
Belles Aria
LFD LE IV Signature
Croft Integrated (technically a hybrid)

the LFD is more but used can be had closer the the others.
@kray

Many thanks for this.
Seems like your shootout thoughts between these three amps would make a fine new thread.
I'd be keen to gain your insights, as these three amps have always interested me.
Dead curious.
 
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@kray
@240sx4u
@opnly bafld

Agreed.
I have a few names of my own - including some of those that you and opnly bafld have added - and the list could be virtually endless.
Nevertheless, I'm sure the three SS amps that you have first-hand, ears-on experience with, would present an interesting and valuable shoot-out, in its own right.
 
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