VTL

VTL was founded upon a solid tradition in fine engineering design, and on a deep love for music. Their designs originally came out of the recording studio, based upon traditional tube concepts from music’s Golden Age in the 1940’s and 50’s.

In recent years the music and audio communities have changed and grown. New electronic technologies and better parts give the  tube components the capacity for higher and cleaner power, and a delightful ease of use never possible with the renowned old designs. Tubes, in fact, are more viable today than ever before.

Thanks to these advances in technology, the designs are entirely modern, compatible with a wide range of speakers and source components. VTL combines the best of tubes — a lifelike musical emotion — with the vigor and power of modern circuitry.

With this in mind VTL have chosen to concentrate upon increasing performance by simplifying and refining their proven, timeless designs.

 

New VTL prices as of August 2017.

 

Performance Series

 

Pre-amplifiers

TL-2.5i PRE-AMPLIFIER
The TL-2.5i  all-tube preamplifier is designed for performance – giving you music that is direct from the source, in the most realistic, colorless and truthful way we know how. This preamp is packed with features to give you the maximum control over all the audio and video sources in your system. With 6 line inputs, an optional internally retro-fittable phono stage, two pairs of outputs, a tape loop, and external processor loop (for home theater), you can rest assured that this preamp will plug and play into your existing system in no time at all. Silver or black cosmetics, and remote volume control and mute come standard.

In this new and improved version of our long-standing TL-2.5 Performance Preamplifier, both the line stage and the phono stage have been updated sonically with audiophile-grade parts, resulting in improved resolution, greater harmonic richness in the mid and highs, with the speed and dynamics that have become the hallmark of the VTL family sound.

  • Pure tube circuit with high current low impedance output
  • 6 line inputs (5 with phono), 2 pairs single ended RCA outputs, 1 tape loop, 1 record output, 1 external processor loop for home theater
  • Optional internally retro-fittable phono stage for MM and MC
  • Simplest direct circuit path for purest musical sound and high reliability
  • Vacuum Tube Complement – 2 x 12AU72, 2 x 12AT7
  • 48 x 36 x 9.5cm, 11kg
 RRP $6,195 Contact us for Best Price

 

Integrated Amplifier

IT-85 INTEGRATED AMP

The VTL IT-85 Integrated Amplifier is designed for those who seek the simplicity of a single chassis system, but with the performance of separates. Designed with a fully active preamplifier stage, the IT-85 delivers a hearty 60 watts per channel with the sonic characteristic that is similar to our well regarded ST-85 Stereo amplifier and the TL2.5 preamplifier combination – fast, musical 3-D sound, and solid bass support that VTL is known for.

The IT-85 is designed to accommodate future upgrade — when you are ready to add a subwoofer, separate pre- or power amplifier, surround processor or headphones to your system, the IT-85’s many different output stage configurations can be easily and painlessly re-configured, often with just the flip of a switch. Hand built in our factory in California with the proven VTL quality, the IT-85 will give you lasting value and listening pleasure for years to come.

… displays a rigor, beauty and precision that most solid state amplifiers would turn pale in comparison … the richness and realism in the sound are rarely found in solid state amplifiers …three dimensional image, perfect timbre, large sound stage … the voice and instruments have a well-defined dimension … excellent definition and dynamic that is full of panache …– IT-85 Review, November, 2009, Diapason magazine, France

  • Vacuum Tube Complement – 4 x EL34, 4 x 12AT7, 2 x 12AU7
  • Output power – 60 Watts
  • CLASS AB1
  • Pure tube active line stage, with buffered pre-out and regulated B+
  • One pair of processor loop / direct amplifier inputs
  • Built-in upgrade path for precisely gain-matched horizontal biamping with VTL ST-85
  • High quality VTL ST-85 power supply components and output and power transformers
  • Easily accessible individual output tube bias measurement and adjustment points on top deck
  • All hand-built in the VTL California factory
  • 5 pairs of single-ended RCA, Proc/Amp Input
  • 40 x 28 x 17.75 cm, 29.5kg

 

 RRP $10,295 Contact us for Best Price

 

Power Amplifiers

ST-85 STEREO AMPLIFIER
This compact Stereo amplifier, using 4 EL34 tubes, delivers a solid 60 watts per channel and offers a full measure of the “VTL sound,” but at a real world price. Using the classic workhorse tube that was the foundation of the VTL sound, the EL34 models are studies in compact chassis with short signal paths. These rugged amplifiers are capable of delivering an exceptionally large sweet sound space from any satellite, mini-monitor or small floor-standing system. Listen to what one critic called “the weight of the brass, especially the trombones, is sensational”, and “… made me aware of just how good these units are at portraying those subtleties in music reproduction that matter to audiophile music lovers.” We accomplished this seemingly contradictory goal through careful engineering… An audiophile “best buy.”

…with a power of 60 watts per channel, which in the golden years of the valves was the maximum, and with a sound as that of the VTL, which is a reference, I recommend the ST-85 as a ‘bestbuy’ for those who want to make the jump to valves and ensure that the investment in time as well as in quality would pay off. – Massimo Cives, Audio Review Italy, No. 308, February 2010

  • Musical sounding EL34 tubes in the output stage
  • Tetrode/Triode Switchable
    • 60 Watts per channel in tetrode
    • 30 Watts per channel in triode
  • Class AB1
  • Front panel comes with a window of thick tinted glass where you can see the glow of tubes
  • 40 x 30 x 18 cm, 20.5kg
RRP $6,195 Contact us for Best Price

 

MB-125 MONOBLOCK
Years of refinement have produced an amplifier of unparalleled clarity and musicality at its price. These space efficient monoblocks, sold in single monoblocks or in pairs, are an excellent choice for the two-channel as well as home theater systems. Using EL34 tubes that are known for their sweet top end and rich midrange, these monoblocks are best suited for planar and electrostatic speakers as well as highly efficient floor standing dynamic speakers.

…Few amplifiers have had the impact or had our reference system singing to the triumphant levels that the visually unassuming MB-125s have. Call it synergy, within the microcosm of my reference system, or call it all-round potential excellence in the audio world at large. One thing’s for sure – shopping at this price point and not trying the MB-125s is totally at your peril because, in the world of the high-end, the VTL MB-125 little monos are one hell of a bargain. – Edgar Kramer, AudioEsoterica (Australia,) June 2013

  • High energy storage power supply >200 joules.
  • VTL proprietary output transformer
  • Tetrode/Triode Switchable
    • 100 watts per channel in tetrode
    • 50 watts per channel in triode
  • Class AB1
  • Vacuum Tube Complement 4 EL34 tubes per channel with individual bias setting for each tube
  • Extruded aluminum front panel with luxurious, modern look – black and silver options available
  • Front panel comes with a window of thick smoked glass where you can see the glow of tubes
  • 40 x 30 x 18 cm, 22kg40 x 31.75 x 17.75cm, 20.5kg
 RRP $11,795 per pair Contact us for Best Price

 

ST-150 STEREO AMP

Over 150 watts per channel (300 watts of stereo power), this stereo amplifier offers superb musical clarity and plenty of power in one compact chassis. Utilizing the finest quality parts, and entirely hand built by experienced craftsmen, the ST-150 is VTL’s offering of a high value, high power stereo tube amplifier. The noted VTL quick, clean, musical sound and exceptional bass punch is delivered here by the 6550 tubes. Exceptionally well suited to triode operation, yet they are also very dynamic and fast in tetrode mode, these VTL amplifiers are well-suited to smaller electrostatic panels and dynamic speakers not requiring high current. For commanding performances on the midrange and clarity on the top, VTL wins hands down. In triode mode, the amp is best suited to speakers with an efficiency of 92dB/1W/1m or higher.

…What matters is the sheer silky naturalness of the sound, matched by the authority one demands of units costing far more. Robust yet refined, well built – this is pure class. – Ken Kessler, Hi Fi News, UK, July 2012

  • High energy storage power supply >200 joules
  • VTL proprietary output transformer
  • Very low-noise floor with specially designed grounding scheme
  • Tetrode/Triode Switchable
  • 150 watts per channel in tetrode
  • 70 watts per channel in triode
  • 4 6550 tubes per channel with individual bias setting for each tube
  • Class AB1
  • Audiophile grade film and foil caps used in the signal path
  • 48 x 30 x 23 cm, 43kg
 RRP $12,295 Contact us for Best Price

 

 

SIGNATURE SERIES
 

Pre-amplifiers
 

TL-5.5 S2 SIGNATURE LINE PREAMPLIFIER
Wilson Audio Sasha with TL-5.5

Since its introduction in 1997, the TL-5.5 has earned a reputation for outstanding performance at an economical price. Now, VTL has significantly upgraded this preamp, using many of the technological innovations derived from the flagship TL-7.5 preamplifier. The result is a modern full-featured preamplifier that outperforms in every way, making it one of the top values of any tube preamplifier in its category.

The fundamental qualities that made the original TL-5.5 special—its all-tube design, the optional retrofittable phono stage, and its superb sonic characteristics—are unchanged. What’s new is the application of advanced audio technology sourced from VTL’s TL-7.5 Reference and TL-6.5 Signature preamplifiers. This technology uses a simple circuit topology with low negative feedback and a high current/low impedance output stage in a low-noise microprocessor-based design. Top quality parts, fully balanced operation, and precision-regulated and shielded power supplies yield a full yet neutral sound with high resolution, transparency, speed and powerful dynamics.

Much of the engineering prowess inherent in these world-class preamps has been transferred to the new TL5.5. New fully regulated power supplies are similar to those of its bigger siblings and the unit is now fully balanced, for inputs as well as outputs. Similarly, VTL’s latest thinking from our new and acclaimed TP-6.5 Signature phono stage is now applied to the optional MC phono stage, which can be easily retrofitted internally. It offers 68dB of gain and a balanced output, with a JFET/12AU7 high current MC stage (or high-grade stepup transformer), split-pole passive RIAA stage with a dual 12AX7 MM stage for maximum headroom voltage swing. Triple-precision power supply regulation and full gain and load setting with RIAA enhanced and rumble cut functions translate to a clean and quiet yet dynamic sound that brings vinyl to life!

VTL has delivered on its goal of bringing advanced engineering and modern functionality to the new TL-5.5 Series II preamplifier. With the same highly intuitive user interface of the renowned TL-7.5 and 6.5, and a full-function remote, the new TL-5.5 is a pleasure to use. A rigid, well-shielded chassis yields quiet operation while bi-directional RS-232 serial interface allows for seamless integration into any audio system. A luxurious cosmetic makeover includes a sleek and visually striking precision-milled faceplate similar to those used on its much more expensive brethren. For a well-priced, high-performance all-tube preamplifier, the TL-5.5 is a truly fine addition to any system.

… Like a lip-smacking bottle of wine that leaves you anticipating the next glass, this VTL tandem will have you excitedly pulling out record after record.
… VTL worked hard to pack a lot of price-to-performance value into the TL-5.5 Series II. In my experience it has succeeded marvelously.– Wayne Garcia, The Absolute Sound, “”, March 2015

  • Vacuum Tube Complement – 2 x 12AU7, 4 x 12AT7 (line stage)
  • 2 pair balanced/XLR or RCA single-ended, 6 pairs single-ended/RCA
  • Luxurious cosmetics to match with Reference and Signature models
  • Fully balanced differential linestage with increased functionality
  • Optional internally retrofittable phono stage, with user adjustable cartridge loading and gain options
  • Precision-regulated B+ and B- supplies
  • Tube life extender circuit with B+ delay and soft filament ramp on power on
  • 44.45 x 44.45 x 12.06 cm, 13.6kg
 RRP $16,495 Contact us for Best Price

 

TL-6.5 S2 SIGNATURE LINE PREAMPLIFIER

More than seven years after introducing the TL6.5 Signature Preamplifier to wide acclaim, VTL presents a significantly revised version, the TL6.5 Series II. The new model incorporates numerous circuit improvements while retaining the best elements of the TL6.5 platform. The proven strengths of the original system design include a single chassis architecture, a fully balanced differential design, a hybrid circuit that combines tubes in the gain stage for voltage linearity, with a FET buffer for greater current capacity, a high resolution volume control with high overload capability, and precision-regulated power supplies. The highly-regarded user interface of the TL6.5 platform is renowned for its intuitive functionality and ease of use, with full-function remote control, and a fully bi-directional RS-232 control interface for increased compatibility with modern home theater systems.

The TL-6.5 Series II incorporates most of the advanced technology found in VTL’s flagship preamplifier, the TL-7.5 Series III, for a dramatically higher level of performance compared to the original design. The new version features an extensively revised power supply based on current-sourced shunt regulator technology that minimizes impact on the audio signal. Far more precise power regulation yields dramatically improved rejection of noise and AC fluctuation.

The completely redesigned high current gain stage utilizes newly available FET technology developed for green technologies such as solar panels and electric cars that require a normally-on state. Unlike MOSFETs that need to be biased on, normally-on devices operate more like vacuum tubes in the audio output stage, with simpler circuits that continuously conduct current, resulting in a more tube-like sound. The high-current gain stage is shock-mounted like the TL-7.5, and has been further optimized for linearity, with zero global negative feedback.

Also included in the upgrade are re-voiced audiophile grade capacitors and additional bypassing.

Enhancements to the Series II result in an overall more tube-like sonic character, with more defined images in the listening space, a higher level of inner detail, and a dramatically improved mid-bass and midrange. The TL6.5 Series II is an exceptional match with any of VTL’s other Signature products.

… I admit, I underestimated in advance VTL TL6.5 … I mean, I know very well the flagship model, the TL7.5 (Audio Academy,  AR 227), in my opinion the best preamp that money can buy, as well as the tube preamplifier that still holds the record for performance measured by our laboratory – Marco Benedetti, Audio Review, No.277, Italy, March 2007

  • Fully balanced differential circuit with balanced in and out, and mirror-image layout
  • Simple 2-stage circuit topology with differential gain stage and output buffers for musical purity and integrity
  • Ultra low impedance output stage to drive any length of cable and any power amplifier/paralleled amplifier/subwoofer load
  • 20 microfarad output capacitors for powerful bass control
  • Tube complement: 2 x 12AU7/ECC82 tubes
  • Gain switching between normal gain and low gain with 6dB gain reduction
  • Single fully balanced differential 95-step 70dB discrete resistor relay attenuator for all attenuation functions
  • New FET device output stage for more tube-like sound and simpler bias circuit
  • Improved current source for improved musicality and better single-ended operation
  • Zero Global NFB for vastly improved faster dynamic and tonal resolution, and unconditionally stable circuit, without any phase shift.
  • All audiophile grade capacitors in signal path with bypass system for improved HF resolution
  • Vastly improved lower impact and greater precision-regulated current-sourced shunt power supply
  • Teflon power supply bypass caps for improved top end
  • Microphonically damped tube gain stage for greater vibration noise elimination
  • 44.5 x 44.5 x 15.3 cm, 25kg
   
 RRP $30,895 Contact us for Best Price

 

Power Amplifiers

S-200 SIGNATURE STEREO
VTL’s legendary Signature series has long been valued by music lovers who seek outstanding sound at a fair price. The new S-200 takes that proposition to a new level by including VTL’s latest technology in a space saving single chassis design. All the features and functionality of the renowned MB-450 and MB-185 Series III Signature monoblocks are built in, but in a package costing significantly less. With top quality parts, a fully balanced design, and innovative engineering, the S200 offers a listening experience unparalleled at this price.

This 200 watts/channel stereo amplifier is packed with technology VTL has spent years developing. A fully balanced differential input stage drives a differential phase splitter and a lower impedance push-pull output stage with a custom made, fully balanced, interleaved and coupled output transformer. Like its stable mates, the amplifier incorporates VTL’s SmartTube technology with automatic bias adjustment and fault sensing, making this amplifier especially welcome to music lovers who value ease of use. With the S-200, there’s no need to guess when or if a tube may need to be replaced.

To keep the output tube operating point constant and stabilize the critical power supplies, even under AC and main power supply fluctuations, the S-200 deploys adjustable precision-regulated bias and screen supplies, yielding tonal stability and sonic integrity especially during complex, dynamic signal conditions.

“Setting the [DF] switch to Low produced one of those jaw-dropping moments, where a sound that I’d already thought was excellent became even better.”

“Amply fulfilling VTL’s mission to make tubes user-friendly, this well thought-out design brings all the benefits of glowing ‘bottles’ with hardly any of the headaches. As for the sound itself, it would be true to say that the VTL gave fresh insights to everything played, but that wouldn’t convey what this amplifier does. Simply, the S-200 offers endlessly absorbing, effortless musical enjoyment. Warmly recommended.” – Steve Harris, “VTL S-200 Signature”, Hi-Fi News, July 2014

  • Fully balanced differential circuit – even single-ended signal produces balanced signal at output
  • Fully balanced differential input and driver stages for increased signal swing, bandwidth and stability
  • Tube-like JFET type current source maintains sonic integrity in single-ended mode
  • Proprietary designed interleaving and coupling in the balanced VTL Signature output transformer, for wider bandwidth and zero ringing
  • Software microprocessor controlled
    • Tetrode/Triode Switchable
    • Auto Bias, Fault Sensing
    • Current in-rush limiting
    • Standby Mute function; with reduced tube current for increased tube life
  • 200 watts per channel in tetrode; 100 watts per channel in triode
  • Vacuum Tube Complement – Uses eight 6550 or KT-88 tubes
  • Film bypass of power supply caps for greater HF resolution
  • 47 x 45.7 x 23 cm, 47.6kg

 

Wilson Audio Sophia driven by VTL S2000 Stereo Amp

 RRP $25,695 Contact us for Best Price

 

MB-185 SIGNATURE S3
Following the footstep of the MB-450 Series III, the MB-185 Series III Signature monoblock has gone through the same technological improvements as its bigger brother. The upgrade to the Series III platform is extensive with a complete rework of the signal path and new features added while retaining all the user friendliness of the previous model such as automatic tube biasing and comprehensive fault sensing.

Upgrades include a fully balanced differential input stage driving a differential phase splitter and a lower impedance push-pull output stage. Also new is a shorter, faster and fully balanced negative feedback loop, with zero global negative feedback. The negative feedback loop completely eliminates ringing and requires no capacitor compensation to maintain critical phase integrity and information. The result is an amplifier that remains stable even under the most demanding loads.

Another significant change to the MB-185 is the switch to EL-34 tubes. Long admired for their rich, natural and open sound, the EL-34s bring a distinctive new sonic signature to the amplifier that emphasizes the integration and inner details of music. The output transformer has been completely redesigned and carefully matched to complement the midrange purity and quick, taut bass of EL34s.

There is also a new user adjustable Damping Factor Feedback control that allows the user to adjust the amplifier’s output impedance by varying the amount of negative feedback. Impedance can now be precisely set to suit the listener’s taste, and to improve control of the loudspeaker loads to deliver best performance.

…After you listen to the MB-185 Series 3 Signature amplifier, you will not be thinking about a comparison between a solid state amplifier versus a tube amplifier. The reason is that the sound of this amplifier very simply shows you what live music is all about. There is no artifice, no individual sonic character that stands out. Whatever music you are listening to, the MB-185 will give you a faithful representation… – Jack Liu, Audio Art, Taiwan, Nov. 2012

  • Fully balanced differential circuit – even single-ended signal produces balanced signal at output
  • Re-designed fully balanced differential input and driver stages for increased signal swing, bandwidth and stability
  • Tube like JFET-type current source for lower sonic impact in single-ended mode
  • 225 watts per channel in tetrode; 140 watts per channel in triode
  • Vacuum Tube Complement – Uses eight EL34 or 6CA7 tubes per monoblock
  • Factory upgradeable from Series II
  • 47 x 45.7 x 23 cm, 38.5kg each

Wilson Audio Sophia Series III Speaker with MB-185

 RRP $35,995 per pair Contact us for Best Price

 

MB-450 SIGNATURE S3

Music lovers have long admired the VTL MB-450 Signature monoblock amplifier for outstanding performance at a fair value. The new Series III version of the long-standing MB-450 platform features a complete re-working of the entire signal path. Upgrades include a fully balanced differential input stage driving a differential phase splitter and a lower impedance push-pull output stage with a dramatically improved, fully balanced and enhanced interleaved and coupled output transformer. VTL’s innovative engineering brings the legendary sonic performance of the venerable 450 Signature platform to even greater heights.

The new MB-450 Signature monoblocks gain further sonic benefits with a shorter, faster and fully balanced negative feedback loop, with zero global negative feedback. The negative feedback loop completely eliminates ringing and requires no capacitor compensation to maintain critical phase integrity and information. The result is an amplifier that remains stable even under the most demanding loads.

Adjustable precision-regulated bias and screen supplies hold the output tube operating point constant even under AC and main power supply fluctuations, and stabilizes the critical power supplies yielding tonal stability and sonic integrity especially during complex, dynamic signal conditions.

…“Key to the ‘450’s performance is the foundation provided by its unconditionally stable, fully balanced and heavily regulated circuit topology, the platform on which everything else rests. That stability is what provides its innate sense of order and musical organization, the clarity it brings to musical structure, rhythms and phrasing. With the ‘450s, recordings have a naturalistic perspective and presence that depends on having a place for everything and everything being in that place — not in the clamped, pinched, over-damped and etched style of so many ultra-definition solid-state designs, but in the way that instruments and voices have a natural position and separation.”

“…and the magic of the music survives intact. It’s all about the relationships: the relationship between the notes, the relationship between the players. That’s what the ‘450 IIIs preserve — and preserve so effectively that you can add more and more notes, more and more musicians or voices without the whole edifice crumbling and crashing down.”

“In contrast, the ‘450 has a power margin and sense of musical authority that allows it to handle far more awkward loads with an easy grace, a potent low-frequency weight and extension to make the most of really widebandwidth speakers.”… Read the full review here… – Roy Gregory, The Audio Beat, November 29, 2014

  • Fully balanced differential circuit – even single-ended signal produces balanced signal at output
  • Re-designed fully balanced differential input and driver stages for increased signal swing, bandwidth and stability
  • Tube like JFET-type current source for lower sonic impact in single-ended mode
  • 425 watts per channel in tetrode; 225 watts per channel in triode
  • Vacuum Tube Complement – Uses eight 6550 or KT-88 tubes per monoblock
  • All premium Mundorf silver oil caps in signal path
  • Film bypass of power supply caps for greater HF resolution
  • Factory upgradeable from Series II
  • 47 x 45.7 x 23 cm, 42kg per monoblock

 

 

 RRP $41,195 per pair Contact us for Best Price