Signature TP-6.5 Phonostage
The TP-6.5 Signature Phono Stage is designed to complement and match the TL-6.5 and TL7.5 Linestage Preamplifiers in sonic performance, user interface and cosmetics. This all-new product was designed from the ground up to redefine the current state of the art in standalone MC step ups and to stand as a reference phono stage worthy of the top VTL linestage preamplifiers, the TL7.5 Series III and TL-6.5 Series II.
The TP-6.5 will appeal to current VTL linestage owners who have been waiting patiently for a matching phono stage. The phono stage employs hybrid JFET/tube circuitry for quiet operation, multiple low-noise cascaded regulators and shielded power supplies for dynamics, accurate 4-corner passive RIAA equalization and 68dB of gain from the balanced outputs, all in a single chassis unit. All of the required user settings are offered via the front panel as well as by remote control.
The new design yields a wide and deep soundstage, realistic image proportions, and startling dynamic range and speed, with massive headroom capability and low noise. The TP-6.5 easily resolves the most delicate and nuanced aspects of music, such as in the way the sustain and decay of instruments are captured; yet at the same time it retains the classic VTL characteristic of solid and controlled bass.
Full Front Panel Functionality
- Input selection
- MC Gain adjust: 5 steps of 6dB: 44dB, 50dB, 56dB, 62dB, 68dB
- MC Step Up Option Gain: 65dB balanced output, 59dB single-ended output
- Load setting: MC: 100Ω, 250Ω, 470Ω, 1kΩ, 2.5kΩ, 4.7kΩ, 47kΩ and User Defined, and MM – 10kΩ, 22kΩ, 47kΩ and User Defined.
- Load setting for MC Step Up: 47Ω, 100Ω, 470Ω, 1.0kΩ
- Mono switch
- Phase flip, absolute, and channel to channel
- RIAA select, for Enhanced RIAA and Rumble cut
- Input select
- Phase reverse
- Rumble cut
- Cartridge Load
- 2 single ended inputs, with discrete load settings for each input
- Single-ended and Balanced outputs, with 68dB total gain balanced
- Active Hybrid low noise J-FET driving high current 12AU7 MC gain stage for highest resolution of small signal levels
- All high fidelity tubes: 12AU7, 12AX7, 12AT7, all operating in linear range
- Accurate 4-corner passive RIAA filter, with split pole for greater accuracy
- Zero loop feedback
- Gain trims for accurate channel to channel balance
- Signature and Reference-level coupling capacitors
- Shock mounted gain stages for resistance to vibration interference
- Extensive RF filtering on AC path
- Switchable RF filtering on both inputs
- Low radiation UI core power transformers, with dual mono supplies, and separate logic supply
- Dual mono multiple cascaded precision-regulated and shielded power supplies for low noise, with film bypass for high frequency performance
- High quality transformer MC step up option for low noise and excellent match to low-output MC cartridges
- Quiet sleep mode on processor when not in use
- Quiet 7-segment LED display on the front panel (for gain and load display)
- Rigid braced steel and aluminum chassis for EMI, RF, and hum shielding with minimal interference from vibration
- All noisy components steel shielded for low RF and hum radiation
- Additional steel shielding on amplifier section for lowest noise
|Vacuum Tube Complement||2 x 12AU7 MC (MC Stage), 2 x 12AX7, 2 x 12AT7MM, 2 x 12AT7|
|Inputs||2 pairs single-ended/RCA|
|Outputs||1 pair balanced out XLR out, 1 pair single-ended RCA out|
|Remote control functions||Power, MC/MM Source Select, Gain up/down, Mute, Rumble, Load, Mono, Phase|
|Maximum Gain||MC: 62dB single ended, 68dB balanced, MM: 35dB single ended, 40dB balanced|
|Input Impedance (Cartridge Load)||Selectable MC: 100Ω, 250Ω, 470Ω, 1kΩ, 2.5kΩ, 4.7kΩ, 47kΩ, User Defined
Selectable MM: 10kΩ, 22kΩ, 47kΩ, User Defined
|Frequency response +0-1 dB||1Hz – 100kHz|
|Maximum Output Voltage <1% THD||10 VRMS @ 1kHz (10kΩ load)|
|Channel Separation||>70dB @ 1kHz (>65dB @ 20kHz)|
|Power Consumption||80 Watts|
|Dimensions W x D x H||17.5 x 17 x 4.75 inches (44.45 x 44.45 x 12.06 cm)|
|Weight||50lbs (22.72kg) Fully packed in one box|
"… The first thing you notice is the greater control and articulation in the low range of the VTL, which is to be expected knowing that this is a key signature of the “family sound” of the company.
… The soundstage is monumental, but the VTL has a clear margin in the depths of the soundstage and the focus of soloists. This is the same feeling that I had when I did the comparison between the line preamps of the two brands [ARC is the other brand in the comparison]: the VTL gives the feeling of a “blackest black” in a note.
As for the MC input, known as I have a distinct preference for passive stage, I have to recognize, however, that with cartridges designed for active stages, for example with the Clearaudio Goldfinger, you get a better result: in the case of Goldfinger the feeling of having removed the handbrake and in the Lyra Titan, to date the only low impedance cartridge which I think can sound good with an active state, the difference between the two configurations is reduced to a matter of taste, a hair more punch and speed for MC Step Up transformer, and a hair of airiness and tonal neutrality to the active input.
…So, sooner or later it had to happen: after years of honorable service the [ARC] Reference Phono glorious career was beaten, though not humiliated and obviously I have not heard all the phono stages of creation, … I have no doubt in saying that the VTL TP-6.5 is clearly my new phono stage reference."
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