Renaissance Mk III

Second only to the flagship Signature Preamplifier, the Renaissance Mk III has all of the performance and features needed in a top-class music system, including balanced inputs and output, home theater input, hand-wired Class A triode circuitry, remote control, external power supply, and optional MM/MC phono stage with variable loading. The dynamics, detail, and speed of this preamplifier bring music back to life most convincingly.

Product Brochure
Renaissance Mk III
  • Electrical Design
    The VAC Renaissance Mk III Preamplifier is a development of the preamplifier section from the highly regarded VAC Phi Beta Integrated amplifier and provides balanced and single-ended input and output capability. It is completely hand wired, and all switching is accomplished via high purity silver contact mechanical switches. The six active circuit elements are twin triode vacuum tubes, biased for Class A1 operation.

    VAC’s Cinema Bypass Mode
    The line stage also offers a fully buffered tape loop and, which allows your high-end stereo system to integrate seamlessly with home theater. The cinema bypass input is a fixed gain input that allows your source component to control volume, and passes this signal through to the stereo power amplifiers without further processing.

    The lacquered aluminum volume/mute remote control is standard. In the mute state, the VAC logo changes from blue to red. Uniquely, our remote system is implemented with electromechanical switches and controls. This approach is considerably more costly than the usual digital interfaces, but has several major advantages. First, no VCAs, relays, or transistor switches (switched ladder networks) are used in controlling volume. This is mandatory for sonic purity. Second, VAC’s careful implementation avoids the use of microprocessors, which generate significant noise signals that, while sometimes not audible directly, can do damage to the sound.

    Power Supply
    The heavy power supply is external, with a 6 foot detachable umbilical cable. The optional MM/MC phono stage uses six triode elements with passive RIAA equalization. Variable gain (42/62 dB) and variable resistive loading are provided.

    The standard fascia finish is black lacquer with gold metallic flake over a VAC-machined 10 mm aluminum plate. The faceted and domed countersunk aluminum knobs are also machined at VAC and finished in 10 micron gold. Silver with chrome is optional at added cost.

  • Gain

    22 dB


    • 3 sets RCA line input
    • 2 sets balanced/RCA selectable inputs
    • 1 set RCA tape monitor input
    • 1 set RCA cinema bypass input
    • Optional MM phono and MC (or additional line input if phono is not fitted)


    2 sets balanced
    2 sets single-ended


    2x 12AU7

    4x 12AX7

    Absolue Phase

    Correct from all inputs to all outputs

    Frequency Response

    Flat over audio band -3 db bandwidth 4 Hz - 200 kHz


    Approx. .04%

    Maximum Output

    30 volts RMS single-ended; >30 volts RMS-balanced

    Output Impedance

    Via RCA jacks: 300 ohms; inverting from all sources to RCA main outputs only
    Via XLR connector: 600 ohms with positive phase on pin 2, negative phase on pin 3 (“pin 2 hot” EIA / RCA standard)

    Maximum Input

    Infinite signal (attenuation precedes the gain circuitry)

    Recommended Output Load

    > 10000 ohms


    External power supply, detachable umbilical cable, detachable IEC power cord

    Tape Output

    Unity gain from selector, non-inverting for archival integrity

    Cinema Bypass



    May be ordered for 100v, 120v, 220v, or 230/240v operation

    Remote Control



    Illuminated logo may be switched off


    Hand-rubbed gold-flake gloss black lacquer with chrome knobs standard.

    Hand-rubbed metallic gloss silver lacquer with chrome knobs special order with additional cost.


    Two years parts and labor, excluding tubes (USA, see manual for full details)

    Dimensions (H x W x D)

    Audio chassis (including knobs and connectors): 5.5 x 17.9 x 15.3 in. (14 x 45.5 x 38.9 cm.)

    Power supply (not including cables and cable clamp): 4.75 x 6.75 x 14 in. (12.1 x 17.1 x 35.6 cm.)

    Shipping Weight

    Audio chassis: 40 lbs. (18.2 kg.)


    Phono Stage (optional)


    3x 12AX7


    462 dB MC, 42 dB MM (measured at tape output)

    Frequency Response

    RIAA +/- .25 dB

    Channel Seperation

    > 70dB @ 1 kHz

    Maximum Input

    Infinite signal (attenuation precedes the gain circuitry)

    MC Load Impedance

    selectable, 470, 300, 250, 200, 150, and 100 ohms

    MM Load Impedance

    selectable, 47k, 30k, 25k, 15k, and 10k ohms


    117MV @ 1kHz = 8 volts RMS output; 460MV @ 10kHz

    Residual Noise

    Less than 3MV at output (s/n ratio greater than approx. 69db

    Both MM and MC cartridges may be simultaneously installed, selected by rear panel switch.

    *Specifications subject to change without notice.

  • “Select Audio Component” award - UltraAudio, September, 2010

    “... the VAC Renaissance Mk.3 boasts the most impressive combination of serious sound, first-class build, great looks, compatibility with a range of amps, and overall flexibility in its numerous features of any model I’ve yet had in my system. It won’t be leaving any time soon.”
    - Garret Hongo, UltraAudio, September, 2010