VTL's New TL2.5i Preamplifier

VTL Amplifiers, Inc. introduced the $3000 TL-2.5i Performance Preamplifier at CES 2016. It features 6 line inputs, an optional $2000, internally retrofitable phono stage, two pairs of outputs, and a tape loop.

Released as a new and improved version of a previous model, both line stage and phono stages have been upgraded with audiophile parts. Its internal phono stage supports both MM and MC cartridges, and features a low-noise hybrid JFET design and a user-selectable MC step-up transformer option for lowest noise. Alternatively, the user can use an active gain stage for MC cartridges. The preamp features user selectable load and gain settings.

VTL's Luke Manley demonstrated the preamplifier, comparing the more cost-effective system (TL2.5i plus ST-150 stereo amplifier, total $11,000) versus the VTL Flagship System (TL6.5 Series II preamplifier, TP6.5 Signature Phono Stage and an S-400 Series II Reference Stereo Amplifier, total $57,000) driving Wilson Sabrina loudspeakers. He used a wonderful vinyl recording, Martha Argerich playing Mozart's Piano Concerto No.20, K503, with Claudio Abbado conducting. The flagship system was qualitatively different, but not five times better! The Sabrina speakers made very clear distinction between the two sets of electronics. Overall, the VTL room had some of the best sound I heard at CES2016.