What you pay for is what you get. The Dared VP-16 will not give you the commanding authority of the VP-845, which is almost 4 times its price and double its weight.
But the VP-16 is definitely a small wonder in its own right. With every calibration on the audiophile's yardstick, from timbre and ambience to transients, from soundstage and dimensionality to detailed action of the instruments, the Dared VP-16 is accomplished in full measure. I racked my brain trying to think of a solid-state integrated amp within the same price bracket that could come close in terms of performance. None that I know of. To a lot of people, small power seems to be a weakness.
The 12wpc figure posted on Dared's website for the VP-16 seems somewhat of an understatement. This amp is in fact capable of a maximum 18 watts. It merely can't hold down the fort then at <1% THD.
In the case of massively staged recordings like Bolcom's, I had to turn the volume knob up to the 2 o'clock position to obtain full volume and presence. Texturally, it's just as refined. If there's any stress or strain, that's purely psychological, not audible. According to the importer, it has been a dilemma for the factory whether to turn this model into an auto-bias or manual-bias amp. They eventually decided on manual in consideration of max output power (auto-bias would reduce it).
Understandably, few users of this entry-level model will roll tubes and the Shuguang stock tubes are not bad at all. However, being an obsessive perfectionist, I would be much happier to see biasing pot/s accessible from the exterior and a B+ fuse in future production runs. The item "Dared VP-16 Tube Amplifier with original box" is in sale since Sunday, January 27, 2019. This item is in the category "Consumer Electronics\Vintage Electronics\Vintage Audio & Video\Vintage Amplifiers & Tube Amps". The seller is "jesse-danger" and is located in Tuxedo Park, New York.
This item can be shipped to United States.