VTL’s Mighty MB185 Monoblocks
This system, the smaller of the two in the VTL room, was certainly to my taste. I preferred the MB185 in tetrode mode, finding that it offered the best balance between dynamic bass punch and smooth midrange and extended treble with the Avalon Indra speakers being used. VTL has always struck me as a serious company making serious products, but I had serious fun in their room at this year’s CES.
Jason Victor Serinus adds: CES presented an opportunity for me to revisit the same VTL MB-450 Series III Signature monoblock amplifiers that I blogged about at last year’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. This time, Bea Lam offered to play mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli singing a simple song to piano accompaniment. Listening to the TAD R1 loudspeakers rather than the Wilson Sophia 3s, with connections courtesy of Transparent, I was transfixed.
Just as at RMAF, I was struck by the amps’ uncanny ability to convey the natural resonant acoustic that surrounds an unamplified voice. Only once before have I experienced amplification that could so convincingly convey the sense of both a single voice resonating in a large acoustic space and the dimensions of the hall.