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VTL 125 Mono Amps and ML's

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DTB300

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A friend of mine owns a pair of Ascent's and is driving them with solid state at this time and is considering picking up a pair of VTL MB-125's (neighbor friend who has upgraded) to drive them with. He has sent email to VTL but no reply yet. He lurks here, but has not registered - so here I post for him (you are a lazy man Craig). :)

Any feedback, info, experiences, etc with VTL and ML's? The VTL site states they are stable down to 2 Ohms, but with Ascents it states they can get down to 1.2 at 20k - which is not a lot of energy there...but the Ascents get there per ML specs...

Next time Craig, you have to post this yourself :D

Dan
 
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roberto

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just give them a try...

DTB300 said:
A friend of mine owns a pair of Ascent's and is driving them with solid state at this time and is considering picking up a pair of VTL MB-125's (neighbor friend who has upgraded) to drive them with. He has sent email to VTL but no reply yet. He lurks here, but has noy registered - so here I post for him (you are a lazy man Craig). :)

Any feedback, info, experiences, etc with VTL and ML's? The site states they are stable down to 2 Ohms, but with Ascents it states they can get down to 1.2 at 20k - which is not a lot of energy there...but it gets there...

Next time Craig, you have to post this yourself :D

Dan
Hola Dan. I think that he will love the sound from his MLs. Yes, they are very stable at 2 ohms...there is a little bit of grainy (but you have to be very picky to listen to this) at the highs, but I could live with them with no problem..very musical also and a super scenario. I'm not too happy with the lows, but they will produce a lot of bass. A good SS will do a better job here, but the midrange is one of the best on the market...and music the 90% is midrange...yes, I am a tube man. I love tube sound! They produce a lot of presence, and the instruments are very easy for the ears. Fast, clean, and sweet sound from these amps...tell your friend ot try them, and I'm sure he will buy them...
Regards,
Roberto.
 

DTB300

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roberto said:
Hola Dan. I think that he will love the sound from his MLs. Yes, they are very stable at 2 ohms...there is a little bit of grainy (but you have to be very picky to listen to this) at the highs, but I could live with them with no problem..very musical also and a super scenario. I'm not too happy with the lows, but they will produce a lot of bass.
I told him to try them out......but he was afraid of the low 1.2 rating of the Ascents and he did not want a chance of possibly damaging the VTL's since he would not have paid for them :) I would agree on the sound of Mid's for tubes.

And can't you bi-amp the Ascents - so he could use the SS on the low end and the Tubes on the panels and then not worry about the low end?

Thanks for the info. Craig you reading this? Call me...

Dan
 

Spike

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And can't you bi-amp the Ascents - so he could use the SS on the low end and the Tubes on the panels and then not worry about the low end?
You should not have any problems with bi-amping the Ascents. I'm currently very happy with my bi-amped ReQuests (tubes on the panels & ss on the low-end, system #27). Do a search on bi-amping here and there have been lots of discussions on this subject already.

Spike
 

DTB300

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Spike said:
You should not have any problems with bi-amping the Ascents.
No problem on him and I knowing about Bi-Amping as we are both very familiar with the application. His other set of speakers are Tri-Amp Legacy speakers w/custom made crossovers.

Wanted to make sure the Ascents had two binding posts for panel and woofer like most of the ML Hybrids. I could have emailed him about his Ascents and asked :) or even got on ML site and looked at the manual....Just lazy and thought someone could enlighten me....

Dan
 

roberto

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they can bi-wired...

Hola Dan. I think that I was too demanding regarding the VTL amps. Yes, you could use a SS for lows and the tube for highs, and this is the most common set up. Since first Sequel model and Monolith, you have the option for bi-wired. the only models that you can not bi-wired are CLS, Stylos, Scenario and Script, and the center channels Cinema and Theater. The new ATF Tech. also can not be bi-wired. The Ascent for this, have four tabs, two for highs and two for lows. There is a small plate between both positive connectors and another at the negative connectors. If you want to bi-wired, you have to take these plates off...
Going back to what really matters, tell your friend to try full range first the VTLs, as an example, I'm not using SS to drive my Prodigies, I'm using just my SF to drive them and boy, I do have good bass, and these tubes are driving full range. Perhaps he is like me, and would like the VTL at the bass too. Just tell him to trust in his ears! not in specs...
Hope this can help...
Cheers,
Roberto.
 

housteau

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My VTL Delux 100 monos work very well on my older demanding CLS biamped set-up.

Dave
 

HK-Steve

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This has probably been covered lots of times before, :p But here goes.

I am looking to Bi-Amp, How is the best way to do it?

Y cable from one output from my processor to the inputs of the 2 amps?
A plug with 1 in and 2 out type connection?

Appreciate comments on how you do it.

Cheers
Steve
 

DTB300

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HK-Steve said:
Y cable from one output from my processor to the inputs of the 2 amps?
I used to "Y" out from my Pre-Amp to 4 Mono Amps. Checked with Pre company first to make sure it was ok.

Dan
 

HK-Steve

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Thanks Dan,
1 other question for everyone,

Would you use the Better Amp on the Stator or the Bass Driver?

I have a Rotel RB-991 which I was going to use on the Stator (200 watt/ch),
then my SAE P10 on the Bass Driver (100 watt/ch).

Would this be the best way to set this up?


Appreciate the comments
Cheers
Steve
 

roberto

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sensitivity is very important...

HK-Steve said:
Thanks Dan,
1 other question for everyone,

Would you use the Better Amp on the Stator or the Bass Driver?

I have a Rotel RB-991 which I was going to use on the Stator (200 watt/ch),
then my SAE P10 on the Bass Driver (100 watt/ch).

Would this be the best way to set this up?


Appreciate the comments
Cheers
Steve
Hola Steve. You can use bi-amp with no problem, but I do recommend to you an electronic crossover when different brands of amplifiers are involve in the set up. Why? You have to be able to adjust the level of any of the amplifiers, so you can match their sensitivity...in other words, some amplifiers are harder to drive than others...let's say that you have the volume control at 10 o'clock, one of them could sound louder than the other because its sensivity...if the amplifier have level control, you could match this "set up level" but, if they don't, you could have more bass or more mids and highs than a single amp. driven you MLs...don't forget to trust you ears!...they will tell you right away if you are right with your new set up. Use horizontal connection...this is recommended also when different brands of amps are used...hope this can help!
Happy listening,
Regards from Costa Rica,
Roberto.
 

HK-Steve

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Thanks Dan and Roberto,

I did a quick test last night and the Balance is not quite right (as suspected Roberto)


OK so then the next question is what electronic crossover should I be looking for?
Any Recomendations????


Appreciate the comments
Cheers
Steve
 

DTB300

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HK-Steve said:
OK so then the next question is what electronic crossover should I be looking for? Any Recomendations????
I have always heard that Marchand were some really good pieces of equipment in terms of active electronic crossovers - they have solid state and tube. Here is their website.

http://www.marchandelec.com/

Dan
 

housteau

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If your speakers are set-up for biamp capability, then you would be using its internal crossover network, and adding an external active may not be necessary, or wise. If you do wish to run an external active one, then be sure that the speakers internal x-over has been taken out of the path where needed.

Another option for correcting the unbalanced volume from using two different amps, it to just correct that balance passively. You can attenuate the louder amp by placing a passive volume control on the input. Since this would be basically a fixed setting, then a full passive control preap would not even be necessary. The appropriate resistors added to the interconnects would do the trick. That is all many high quality passive preamps do anyway, dial in the appropriate resistors.

Dave
 

HK-Steve

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My speakers are the Quest. Sorry I should have noted this earlier.

I use these as my Main speakers for my HT,
I have Aerius i's for the Rear surround,
and the Cinema as the Center channel.

Along with my Marquee 9500LC, I am HT Heaven. :D

Thanks for the link Dan.


Cheers
Steve
 

DTB300

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This weekend I was able to pickup a VTL ST-85 Amp to demo at home from a local Store. I will try to post my detailed results later on today. Basically I was disappointed in the sound the the VTL in comparison to my Luxman M-117 for my CLSIIz's. Comparing brand new prices of both, the VTL was not $1000 better sounding.

Again, have to run, but will try to post more later on...

Dan
 

DTB300

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VTL Audition results....LONG....

Here are more details on the VTL audition...

Day 1...

Today I got the chance to audition a VTL ST-85 Amp. I have brought it home and have been switching back and forth between it and my Luxman M-117 amp.

First, let me say I have listened to the VTL in both Tetrode and Triode mode. The Luxman is SS, so no changes there. I have listened with the CLSIIz high end switch set to Flat and Soft.

In Tetrode, the VTL is 90 Watts. In Triode mode it is 45 Watts. Triode mode is better than Tetrode mode for me and my tastes.

With the Luxman, I like the CLS with the High Frequency Switch set to SOFT.

I listened to many many discs - Remember I am digital only. James Taylor - October Road, Dire Straits - On Every Street, Loreena McKennit - Live. Each of these has different parts of music - Acoustic Guitar, Violin, Female Vocal, Male Vocal, Piano, Bass Guitar, etc. etc. And each of these instruments are highlighted in one song or another from these albums - so I had a good selection of music and different types of instruments and vocals to listen to. I am also VERY familiar with these albums.

Verdict?

The VTL in Triode mode is much better sounding than Tetrode mode - much much better with more detail and instrument separation.

The Luxman is more forward sounding than the VTL - which I expected - but not as grainy sounding as I thought it would be.

The Luxman has better low end than the VTL - which I expected.

The VTL had better vocals than the Luxman - which I expected. But were the vocals more upfront due to the rolled off high end sound of them?

I also auditioned a Bryston Amp at the store in comparison to the VTL, and it sounded very much like a Solid State Amp - I was very unhappy with the sound of the Bryston.

I was listening to Mangepan 1.6 Speakers at the Stereo Store as that is the only Planars they had.

I paid $300 for the Luxman used (it was $1200 new back in the day). The VTL would cost me $2200 new or around $1300 used - If I can find one used. Was it $1000 - $2000 better sounding that the Luxman? No, not at all... the difference is not that much in my opinion with testing that I have done so far. In fact the differences between the two amps were subtle at best and not as far apart and I thought it would be.

I have been talking to the guy with the VTL MB-125 amps. Will a VTL MB-120 sound better than the ST-85? 45 Watts Tetrode vs 65 watts Tetrode - 20 watts difference. 85 Tetrode vs 125 Tetrode 40 Watts difference.. This is not that different and as we know it takes double the power for a 3dB difference in sound. I am just not sold on the sound of the VTL for the price they want compared to the sound I am getting from my Luxman.

Day 2 of the testing...

Triode mode is definitely the way to go with the VTL.
CLS Soft setting and the Luxman is definitely the way to go.

Morning listening is better for me and my sinus issues, as sounds are clearer and balance is much better for me. As the day wears on the sinuses get more clogged up (when medicine is not working) and it can be tougher to do comparisons.

After a couple of hours of listening to some other discs - All SACD this time: A Love Affair - Celebrating the Music of Ivan Linns, Saint-Sens Symphony #3 - RCA Living Stereo, Carpenters - Singles

I have tried lower volume levels, higher volume levels, and many different
pieces of music.

I have come to the same conclusion as last night. This VTL is just not that much better ($1000 - $2000 better) in sound than the Luxman. Like before, the Luxman is a little more forward sounding, the Luxman has better low mids and low end, the vocals slightly better on the VTL.

For forward sounding: When listening to a song, the drummer on the VTL seems like they are WAY BACK from the performer. With the Luxman they seem to be right behind the performer.

On the "A Love Affair" disc, the first song by Sting, has Michael Brecker playing an Tenor Sax - on the VTL it is smooth and laid back sounding. On the Luxman you can hear the reed vibrating more - I guess you might say it has a very slight more edge to its sound.

On the full orchestral pieces, the power behind the Luxman shows when compared to the 45 Watts Triode of the VTL. The sound starts to jumble up a little - but that was expected.

On the Low Mids and Low Bass, the Luxman is just better all around.

Conclusion of Day 2:

For now, I will stick with my Luxman and the CLSIIz speakers set on the Soft Position. Note: Soft position is 3dB down from the Flat position at 18kHz.

Other options available at this time:

Now there is another deal going on for the following Tube Amps. But there is NO WAY to audition them first....

http://www.doddaudio.biz/products/120wattmo.asp

$2000 for the Dodd's...

I know others here have the TAD1000 Amps ($2,000 for a pair???) and like them. TAD offers a return policy but it carries a $200 fee plus shipping....

So many decisions...so little time...

Later....Dan
 
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