VTL TT25 Amplifiers

TT25

45W mono tube amp price is for the pair

User Reviews (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9  
pangl   AudioPhile [Jun 26, 2005]
Strength:

Very sweet sound.

Weakness:

Power cord not changable. Overheats quickly. 25wpc rating over-stated. Tube cage too small to fit certain EL84s.

This is for the original TT25, not the re-issue. The 1st thing came to mind is they are really tiny. The tube cage is so small that some of my Telefunken EL84 won't fit correctly. But even more so, I *have* to remove the cage because the units overheat very quickly. You don't want to put them anywhere near your speakers or the veneer may look funny. Sound-wise they are super steal at $650 (or $1000 for that matter, for an EL84 tube based amp). Be forearned that 25wpc is rather over-rated. When driving the Coincident Partial Eclipse (93db) the amps sound like 15wpc as it distorts very quickly as I cranked the VTL 2.5 preamp to 12'oclock position. If you do have an fairly small room (well, if your budget dictates you to pick at this price range, you *do* have an small room!) and efficient speakers (I'd say 93db minimum), this should be on your very short list. Of course, I dumped this pair because I heard many stories about the TT25 overheated and died. Otherwise, it woudl have been an 5 star all the way. P.S. I owned numerous EL84 amps before, and once auditioned for hours on that Manley Stink-Gay thing (joke) that cost so much, this TT25 sounds the sweetest.

Similar Products Used: Sonic Froniters Power 2, Power 3; Mark Levinson ML23; VTL ST-30; McIntosh MC240, etc. And yes, Music Reference RM-10 (also EL84 based).
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
acox   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 23, 2003]
Strength:

Airy and spacious sound-stage. Transparent mid-range. Dynamic without being over-bearing. Non-fatiguing.

Weakness:

Can overheat in hot weather or if badly ventilated. Not the fastest or stiffest bass in town.

I purchased a pair of the older red-sided VTL TT25's in 1990 and have been happily listening since. I had some trouble with a humming power transformer about 5 years ago and got new power trannies for both amps which noticeably improved the bass. Although cute the tiny box combined with the Manley "verge of Chernobyl" operating spec can cause overheating problems. Smaller caps on the circuit board with high temp tolerant types to good effect and would replace the elecrolytic power cap if I could find something from Elna to fit the hole in the casing. (All this of course would void any warranty). I use JJ EL84 output tubes and prefer their dynamics to the Sovtek types (only others tried). The line stage is a Raytheon Triple Mica Blackplate 12AT7WA and the phase splitter a Sylvania Gold Pin 5965. I have tried Amperex Bugle Boy, Brimar CV455 and JJ and Sovtek current production and find the above combo appreciably better than the others. The amps are driving DCM QED1A's (old, eh ?). They do have bass but an active semi-conducter sub-woofer would relieve them for what they do best - mids and upper - if you must have the pedal notes get a sub.

Similar Products Used: 50W VTL stereo amp as a loaner while a repair was being made. Wanted to get the little guys back.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
luke manley   AudioPhile [Jan 17, 2003]
Strength:

airy, sweet and alluring... a soundstage champ

Weakness:

no real deep bass (below 40Hz)

This is a review for Limied Ed. version. This little tiny triode is too damn wonderful for 'toys'. replacing the big brother VTL 300B monoblock is not disapointed. they doing a great job driving JMlabs Micro Utopias and Merlin TSM Millenium. you better hurry to get this tiny monoblocks because it only made limited 500 pair. much more better than the old version, you'll be surprise.......

Similar Products Used: McCormack DNA 1, VAC Renaissance 30/30 mk2, VTL 90 mono (300B), Cary Audio CAD 300B System include: Wilson Benesch full circle Blue Circle BC 11 phono stage MF Nu Vista CD player CJ LS17 pre M
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tyler De Armond   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 20, 2002]
Strength:

As above, they do just about everything right.

Weakness:

None.

I have never been motivated to take the time and write a review, but these TT-25's deserve the praise they have received here! I would agree with pretty much what has been said so far above and add that the most amazing difference I noted was the tremedous ability of these amps to sort out the proper dynamics for various instraments being played. Previously I have been using a McCormack DNA amp and I thouht I really had the deal closed on amps, but in comparison with these Tiny Triodes, even the McCormack almost flattens out the dynamics. The imaging is still superb with the DNA (though no better than the TT-25's) but there is simply more life in the TT-25's. Not even a close call here. They have made a tube convert out of me. I am running these amps with a McCormack SST-1 transport, and the Creek OBH-14 24/bit D/A with passive preamp stage built in. This is run directly into the TT-25's for a very simple and direct path. I am using Audio Physic speakers.

Similar Products Used: Rotel 990, McCormack, Creek, B&K, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Stephen Lay   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 21, 2002]
Strength:

Everything an amp should do they do. They sound much much larger than they are.

Weakness:

Nope.

I recently purchased some JmLab Mini Utopia loudspeakers and I went searching for an amplifier that would make them sound smooth. I love the speakers but they can be bright with some electronics. Well I tried Bryston amps and preamps, the Proceed HPA 2 with the Bryston preamp, a cheap Cambridge Audio integrated, Antique Sound lab (tube) integrated, and the VTL IT-85. Out of these the VTL really smoothed things out. The big 250W Proceed was really heavy on the bottom and this greatly detracted from the midbass/midrange. The the Bryston was also bright. Now, the Antique Sound lab was the worst. It just screached on top. Shrill. It was also really loose on the bottom. It looked to be of very good overall construction and may perform better with better output tubes. Anyway, the last thing I brought home was the tiny triodes. They were much better than all the solid state amps and sounded comparable to the VTL IT-85. The 85 seemed to have more power (it does) but it just sounded flat compared to the tt-25s. I tried both the VTl 2.5 and 5.5 preamps. Initially, I decided that the 5.5 was more open and real. But after blind tests, neither me nor my wife could tell them apart. The bottom line is that the qualtiy of sound I get from the tt-25 is top notch. Also, they NEVER sound underpowered with my ~90 db efficient speakers. A side note. They sound a little smoother in triode and they provide plenty of punch with my speakers so that''s the mode I like best. I am thinking about tube rolling ( mullard EL84) the output tubes. If anyone has tried this I would love to here from you

Similar Products Used: See review.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Douglas Barker   Audiophile [Jan 14, 2001]
Strength:

Small, beautifully styled, solid construction and very musical.

Weakness:

None found.

After searching for over 1 year for amplification I purchased the VTL Tiny Triodes. They are not thunderous, yet handle the complexities of every style of music I've thrown at them effortlessly. From Taj Mahal to Pat Metheny, they allow instruments to be singled out and followed throughout the piece.
In triode, smoother and quicker than tetrode mode, they reproduce vocals better than anything else I've listened to, period. Before integrating them into my system with Rogers LS3/5As (15ohm), I ran them in a friend's system running Martin Logan CLSs and they were not embarassed by his 90wpc triode VTL monoblocks.

Spikes and very decent speaker cable such as Analysis Plus will help reveal incredible detail, soundstaging and that blackness we all pursue. Do not be fooled by their 25wpc triode mode rating as they will easily run all but the most demanding loads.

Ancillary pieces: Micromega transport
Assemblage DAC
custom built tube preamp
Kimber Illuminations D-60 digital cable
Kimber Silver Streak interconnect
Audioquest 12' interconnects
Analysis Plus Oval 9 speaker cable

Similar Products Used: EAR, Antique Sound, Sonic Frontiers
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rob   Audiophile [Dec 03, 2001]
Strength:

Ballsy bass, excellent timbres and "you-are-there" palpability.

Weakness:

None for 25 watts...What did you think??

These are superb amps, but they've been accused of being too diminutive and cute for audiophiles to take seriously! They perform superbly on loudspeakers with benign impedance characteristics and >88 db sensitvity--which is just about anything designed today for single-ended triodes. I used them almost exclusively with the Quad ESL 57 and Spendor SP1/2--so good where they with the ESL 57s, that I'm convinced they're the best amps ever made for that speaker. The TT/ESL 57 was the finest 'back end' i've ever heard in my 20-yrs of being in this hobby...easily 5-stars when partnered with either of those two speakers.

Similar Products Used: Rowland, Krell, ARC, CJ, Audio Note, Atmosphere, Music Reference, NY Audio Labs, Quad (tubes)...yada, yada, yada.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Richard   Audiophile [Dec 28, 2001]
Strength:

a "reach out and touch it" midrange that few amps at any price can match.

Weakness:

Not the ultimate in bass tightness and control, but can put out a surprising "whomp"!

When I bought these, I was very skeptical about how well these 25 watt monoblocks would drive my Merlin VMS Gen III's. I quickly discovered that these little beauties can drive almost anything (well, maybe not "Maggies". Not to very loud levels, anyway). These amps get the midrange and upper frequencies so "right"; with all the depth, layered textures, air, and ambient cues a hidden in a recording. They are better at reproducing live voices, woodwinds, and brass, than any of the amps listed above (with the exception of the Cary SEI), all of which I have owned at one time or another. With their diminutive size and little red side panels they look almost "toy" like. Can these really be taken seriously? The answer is empahatically, "yes"!!! These amps can make an astute listener a tube convert after one listen. I have put in other amps on occasion just to see if the little VTL's can be outdistanced with more current technology, but Diana Krall never sounds as natural, and as palpably present and emotionally connecting. Saxophones sound life-size, not 3/4 life-size. Dexter Gordon's tenor sax is rendered with such huskiness, warmth and solidity, you could close your eyes and be tricked into reaching for the drink on your "nightclub table". Simply put, these little amps draw you into the emotion. They are a marriage made in heaven with my Merlin VSM's. Furthermore, they are flawless in operation, and you can completely retube both amps (12 tubes) for about $100. Try doing that with a 300B SE amp.

Similar Products Used: Cary SEI, AudioPrism Debut, Krell KT-100, McCormack DNA, Rowland Model 5 monoblocks,
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brad Banner   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 20, 2001]
Strength:

Three-dimensional, sweet, clear sound that brings music to life.

Weakness:

Mushy Bass.

These tiny tykes scored a big hit with me. Coupled with my old Carey workhorse pre-amp and my Rega CD player, they make even my big, cloddy Definitive Technology BP-2000's sound pretty good.

Oh, these little guys may not put out very tight bass due to their modest damping abilities, but the music sounds clear, sweet, and three dimensional.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-9 of 9  

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