Jason Visits VTL: A Video Report

One day before the Los Angeles Audio Show, Jason Victor Serinus, his fresh haircut, and I visited VTL Amplifiers, Inc. in Chino, California. We were given a tour of the factory by Bea Lam and Luke Manley, who were featured in this 2007 interview by Jason. While Jason has a certain sense of familiarity with Bea, Luke, and their amplifiers, I only became truly aware of VTL at the 2016 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, when Bea and I fatefully met in the women's restroom of the hotel lobby—a rare place to meet people at a hi-fi show! (I highly recommend it.)

It was interesting to see how small and hands on VTL's operation is (12–15 people) and learn about their quality control process—a concept frequently mentioned, yet rarely explained to the level of detail that Luke and Bea do in this video. With the factory's layout, we opted for an animated map of the space rather than a one shot walk through. Also, this will be interesting to any Pinoy audiophiles out there: Former President of the Philippines Noynoy Aquino III is a VTL fan.

Herb Reichert's picture

Another intriguing slice of audio life, by Stereophile’s cinemagraphic auteur – Jana Dagdagan!

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

1. I will hang from the inverter every day in an effort to stretch out my spine
2. I will lose weight
3. I will never, ever say the word "cool" again!!!!

Me, self-critical? Not in the least...

tonykaz's picture

it's a Base Clearing Grand Slam Home Run!

I wish it, to be, the Philosophy of Stereophile Magazine's Editorial Group.


The very next article/review is about a UltraLow output Phono pickup that the Editor/reviewer says requires a $30,000 Phono preamp.

So, we go right back to twitchy, audiophile nervosa, bite bar, focused gear obsessive "noose around the neck" that the Buying World jokes about.

I sold those ultra low output Ortofon phono carts, they are not worthy despite their reviewer's praise but I'm not someone that wants to believe which is what it takes to sell vinyl nowadays: Believers and people that Want to Believe i.e. a cooperative miss truth.

We're in the 21st.Century and we ain't going back.

Tony in Michigan

ps. never saying cool again improves You!, do it for you.
and maybe never say honestly or to be honest, both of those are nonsense admissions to being a constant liar.

Glotz's picture

Loved that video... cool indeed. Great questions that show their dedication to their products! I would love to own a VTL preamp someday.

Bea is one tough cookie on the QC! 10% rejection at this level is utter dedication to their craft. I imagine no matter how amazing one's techs are, it still requires constant oversight to prevent 'disappointed' customers. That piece of mind would be truly reassuring to owners.

25 push-ups a day is the best 'lazy-man' workout ever! It helps with sooo many aspects of body support... and makes you look... cool too.

Giancarlo71's picture

Great video, thank you !

shaynet98's picture

Thank you for another enjoyable and informative video! I have really been enjoying your work and look forward to see what's next. What type of video camera have you been using for these?

Jana Dagdagan's picture

Hey, thank you so much :-) Panasonic DMC-G85

donlin's picture

Another interesting video. Bea Lam seems like a very humble, thoughtful person which is refreshing. A lot of industry people seem to love the sound of their own voice.