Since its introduction in 1997, the TL-5.5 has earned a reputation for outstanding performance at an economical price. Now, VTL has significantly upgraded this preamp, using many of the technological innovations derived from the flagship TL-7.5 preamplifier. The result is a modern full-featured preamplifier that outperforms in every way, making it one of the top values of any tube preamplifier in its category.
The fundamental qualities that made the original TL-5.5 special - its all-tube design, the optional retrofittable phono stage, and its superb sonic characteristics are unchanged. What's new is the application of advanced audio technology sourced from VTL's TL-7.5 Reference and TL-6.5 Signature preamplifiers. This technology uses a simple circuit topology with low negative feedback and a high current/low impedance output stage in a low-noise microprocessor-based design. Top quality parts, fully balanced operation, and precision-regulated and shielded power supplies yield a full yet neutral sound with high resolution, transparency, speed and powerful dynamics.
Much of the engineering prowess inherent in these world-class preamps has been transferred to the new TL5.5. New fully regulated power supplies are similar to those of its bigger siblings and the unit is now fully balanced, for inputs as well as outputs. Similarly, VTL's latest thinking from our new and acclaimed TP-6.5 Signature phono stage is now applied to the optional MC phono stage, which can be easily retrofitted internally. It offers 68dB of gain and a balanced output, with a JFET/12AU7 high current MC stage (or high-grade stepup transformer), split-pole passive RIAA stage with a dual 12AX7 MM stage for maximum headroom voltage swing. Triple-precision power supply regulation and full gain and load setting with RIAA enhanced and rumble cut functions translate to a clean and quiet yet dynamic sound that brings vinyl to life!
VTL has delivered on its goal of bringing advanced engineering and modern functionality to the new TL-5.5 Series II preamplifier. With the same highly intuitive user interface of the renowned TL-7.5 and 6.5, and a full-function remote, the new TL-5.5 is a pleasure to use. A rigid, well-shielded chassis yields quiet operation while bi-directional RS-232 serial interface allows for seamless integration into any audio system. A luxurious cosmetic makeover includes a sleek and visually striking precision-milled faceplate similar to those used on its much more expensive brethren. For a well-priced, high-performance all-tube preamplifier, the TL-5.5 is a truly fine addition to any system.