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Amplification for Everyone
"Do you have a low-cost amplifier that Stereophile hasn't reviewed that you'd like people to know about?" I asked VTL's glamorous Bea Lam. With a grace and surety usually reserved for Vannah White, the incomparable Ms. Lam glided over to the diminutive VTL ST-85 Performance Amplifier ($2750).
Initially issued in 1996see Lonnie Brownell's February 1999 reviewand last upgraded with new circuitry and cosmetics in 2006, the ST-85 has two EL34s per channel. Boasting 30Wpc in triode and up to 60Wpc in tetrode, Bea says it is especially sweet-sounding with monitor speakers. Retaining the VTL family sound, the ST-85 is a great way for the first-time buyer to explore the line. Although it was only available on static display, I have to second Wes Phillips' assessment elsewhere in this blog that the VTL MB-450 Series II Signature monoblocks and S-400 Reference amplifier were making wonderful music with the Avalon Indras. Definitely a room to check out.