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VTL Stereo 125
7 Reviews
rating  3.43 of 5
MSRP  2990.00


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Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by eogden a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 5, 2008

Bottom Line:   
I am refererancing the VTL ST 125 stereo amplifier with 805 tubes. This amp allows one to use toggles on the front face to choose triode or pentode operation.
The manuel says the amp outputs 60 watts Tri and 125 watts Pentode.
I use the amp primarily for music via CD and Phono, I have settled primarily on the lower Triode setting for playback. I do have a home theater set also routed thru the amp and switch it to pentode for movies to approximate the output of my 5 channel amp which operates the center, 2 side surround and 2 rear surround speakers. The amp has operated without any operational problems and the sound is textured, warm, and harmonically involving in a way the Conrad Johnson 2500 and Forte Model 3 prior amps could not touch. The amp also brings back warm memories while playing vinyl in a more human, textured presentation. I use a Sota table, jelco 25 arm and Goldring 1042 (wow) set up thru a ps audio version III pre pre to a Audio Refinement Dsp II in bypass mode (avoiding all digital circuitry) and vinyl has again become my favorite source. The CD playback is via an Audio Refinement Complete CD and Theta Data Basic Transport to the Dsp II Dac, suprisingly different expression for each. The transducers are the Von Schweikert VR 3 towers with upgraded wiring and Mid Ranges.
Well I must say the VTL was the last item added to the chain and this was a watershed improvement even over highly rated SS amps with double the power. Particularlly the life like presentation and warmth of the sound with higher and deeper sound stage has my running around adjusting loudspeaker positions with glee. I am finicky and fussy about the tunes and I am totally immersed and pleased with the VTL ST 125.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by AudioFileZ a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 20, 2002

Bottom Line:   
My review will be for a pair of Deluxe 100 Monoblocs by VTL. I think that, in cost and build, this amp is the a close relative of the stereo 125.

These amps just sound like someone who loves music built them. The mids are enough to dive into with great dimension and a kind of lucid clarity that even high end solid state strives to match. The highs are smoother and still "all there" than the usual solid state. Less irritating if you will, highs that invite you to study them and not just acknowledge that they are in fact present. Mids and highs, where the bulk of the information in music lies, are presented in a very intoxicating way with this amp. That would be enough for me...

There's more though, I am getting good bass too! I really did not expect it to be so full and real. Perhaps it is the combination of the EL34 tubes and the way David Manley has his transformers manufactured. Whatever it is this amp is a stone classic. No wonder Chad Kassem's audiophile reissue and blues artist recording studio (Blue Heaven) uses this amp. I'll bet his is tweaked to the nth degree, mine isn't and it's so rightous that the only thing I could ever wish for is a larger version of it. Yes Virginia, I know there are three or four bigger versions, but I did not say I wanted to pay for a larger one, I just said I wanted one. Make it two since they're monoblocs and right now is a good time if wanting and dreaming is the deciding factor.

Bravo David Manley! Tubes are now getting a much higher profile and your mid eighties starts were visionary, you were ahead of the curve. I wish you would come back because at least you tried to make the entry prices as low as possible. If my amps are evidence of the quality of the goods, you had a good handle on the needed quality/price ratio.

My advice is to buy a set of these if you can find them in good condition. By the time you've re-tubed you may not think you have an end-all bargain, but the current tube amps are so pricey it is a great way to get a fair price which is what I did myself and I am very very happy. I'll say it again, this amp is a stone classic.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   individual

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Paul a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: July 14, 2000

Bottom Line:   
4 years on same set of tubes, no failures, only beautifully presented music. These amps are a bargain. Mine was bought second hand and so I put in a decent set of tubes as I had no idea how much use (or abuse)the old ones had been given.
Daily use, all types of music, great sound so long as speakers are not too hard to drive.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1996

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by pat a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: September 2, 1999

Bottom Line:   
Ignore the 2 moronic reviews below:This is NOT a review for 300w monoblocks, and VTL is not a British company-Made in California,USA. VTL is excellent product for the money

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile

Overall Rating:1
Submitted by GDavis a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: October 3, 1998

Bottom Line:   
Was struck by the VTL review I read above. It is exactly my experience. I had a pair of VTL MB-300 Deluxe monoblocks and was very disappointed in their quality and, especially in the attitude and lack of support from VTL. Perhaps VTL is too busy being famous from their recent "best of show" award to care about the end users. Typical British attitude. No wonder we kicked them out of the U.S. over 200 years ago. Whatever it is, I will never own anything else by VTL and believe that the sound and quality I get from my McIntosh MC300 is "as good as it gets". So good that I will be adding a new preamp and speakers over the next few months. Would give the VTL's no stars, if that rating were available.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile

Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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