VTL ST-85 - Anyone heard/owned this amp?

mrlemon -- Wed, 10/08/2008 - 19:27

I've heard the VTL ST-150 which was a really nice amp, but a little out of my price range.

The ST-150 uses 6550's and the ST-85 uses EL34 which means it will probably sound similar but different.

Anyone owned a VTL ST-85 (or ST-80)??

How is tube life on these amps? Any reliability problems? Did you compare it to anything else?

It would be hooked up to a Sonic Frontiers SFL-1 and a pair of B&W CDM-1s.

Thanks...

TOM...

Robert Harley -- Thu, 10/09/2008 - 11:41

We reviewed the VTL IT-85 in TAS. Here's the link:

http://www.avguide.com/products/product-3829/

barondla -- Sun, 11/02/2008 - 20:52

Have never heard the st80/85. Bought a St150 used about 4 months ago. Years ago owned the Dynaco MKIV monoblocks. Every darn month it was either a blown tube/s or resistos. Put up with it for a year. My tube preamps were little trouble. Only the Dyna amps acted out. It has taken me over 15 years to get the courage up to try big tube amps again. The VTL ST150 has been absolutely trouble free. VTL are supposed to be easy on tubes. I love it. Do need to unhook it and check/set the bias. Need to read the manual for that one.
My experience with 6550 vs EL34 is 34 are usually a little warmer with maybe a little more magic in the midrange. 6550 tend towards a little more dynamic - not quite as tubey soundy. Hope this helps. ST85 would be easy to resell if you don't care for it.
thanks
barondla

Chris (not verified) -- Sat, 12/20/2008 - 13:21

I have a IT-85, it is the ST-85 with 2.5 preamp bolted ontop... It is a great amp and throws a very nice soundstage. I am currently running it with a pair of Devore Gibbon 8s. The combo is devine. After many years of swapping equipment I think I have found a good place to stop.
VTL makes great products and the customer setvice seems pretty good too. You cant go wrong with VTL.

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