VTL Mk II Deluxe Line preamp - Silver

 Part No.  TL5.5II/S
 Description  VTL Mk II Deluxe Line preamp - Silver
 Brand  VTL
 RRP  See Pricelist
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 Product Notes 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.

One Reviewer said:
"Did I say that the VTL had the tube magic? The VTL TL-5.5 Series II Signature had a sound with a rich, melodious and delicate quality that tube equipment does so easily and so matter-of-factly, which many solid staters try to imitate but end up a poor cousin.
The highs was glorious, it was ethereal and so sweet that your heart melted and you just wanted to wallow in it.
The mids are creamy and it embraced vocals like nobody’s business, voice has a humanness that made it very relaxing and beautiful to listen to.
The bass was rounded and had warmth, and it was here that opinion might be divided - if you value bass articulation and tunefulness, the VTL would be the winner; if you wanted more bass slam and impact, then some solid state pre-amps would prove to be a better bet.
The thing is that the VTL’s bass had excellent body and not the anaemic kind, so the sound remained balanced throughout the audio band all the time.

One of my long term reference CD's incorporated a lot of ambient information in the recordings. This CD played right into the VTL’s hands. The voices were honeyed and breathy, like a beautiful girl whispering sweet nothings into your ears.
The soundscape was swirling with air, illuminating the space in the recording studio. Roger Wang’s guitar surrounded the voices, the guitar plucks were clear and harmonically rich.
Turn the light down, close your eyes, and the whole intimate performance would be transported into your room.

I turned to another excellent acoustic recording, Nils Lofgren’s Acoustic Live CD. The track ‘Keith Don’t Go’ is at the top of my list. It consists of just Nils’ fast and furious guitar playing and his vocal, together with a responsive and appreciative live audience.
If I were to nit pick, I’d say that the VTL perhaps just sacrificed a little bit of snap and bite on Nils Lofgren’s guitar plucks compared to the solid state units I heard in my system before. However, the VTL turned in a performance that pulled ahead of the others in terms of atmosphere and airiness, capturing in a coherent manner the feel of the performance and the venue. It brought the space and its actors into my room.
When the audience interacted with Nils, I could almost feel that I was looking into event itself, that was how palpable the portrayal was.

The TL-5.5 II Sig flies the tube brigade flag proudly. The sound I heard from it was always smooth, rich and non-aggressive. The VTL is transparent enough to reveal the recording quality of CDs, however, its mission was to make the most out of anything it was fed with. Focusing and delivering on the musical message is its purpose in life. The VTL TL5.5 Series II Signature will let you enjoy your music collection tremendously, yes, musicality is at the heart of this pre-amp.

This is a sound that has music as its soul."

Feature List:

Almost half the price of the TL-6.5 Signature Preamplifier
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
Balanced design, low-radiation power transformer
Quiet logic: Microprocessor sleep mode, quiet non-matrixing LED display with latching shift registers
Line Stage: All-tube, with lower gain high current 12AU7 circuit and 12AT7 buffer, minimal negative feedback

Two balanced /single-ended inputs, five single-ended inputs, one tape in, one balanced out, one single-ended out, one buffered record out
Soft-touch relay input select
117-step chip-based differential volume control, with 3-digit display
Higher resolution via single higher-resolution attenuator, and software control for balance and offset
Switchable gain between normal and low gain
Mono control on front panel
Fully bi-directional RS-232 control: programmable input offset, any input programmable as pass-through, and input disable, tape monitor and Mono control on front panel
Two programmable trigger outputs
Full function aluminum metal remote
TP-6.5 chassis size with all precision machined aluminum cosmetic

Phono stage: JFET/parallel 12AU7 design from TP-6.5: 66dB gain balanced (23dB MC, 45dB MM)

Split-pole Passive RIAA with paralleled 12AX7 and 12AT7 gain stage
MM / MC select via jumper
MM Gain setting: fixed at 40 dB
MC Gain settings via jumper: 3 steps of 6dB: 66dB, 60dB, 54dB
Loading: MM 47k, MC: 100 ohm, 220 ohm, 470 ohm, 1K ohm, 47K ohm (parallel for more values) via jumpers
Enhanced RIAA (selectable via jumper)
Rumble filter setting via front panel
Selectable bal/ S/E output via jumper
Dual-use buttons on front panel for phono-only functions
MC and MM gain trims