Today VTL is a second generation family business
still run by one of the original co-founders, who is as comfortable
in the concert hall as he is at the test bench.
Originally VTL was founded upon designs that are
based on recording studio prototype playback amplifiers. The forerunners
to the first VTL products were originally designed in 1980 in South
Africa by recording and film engineer David Manley, where the recording
studio environment gave the VTL designs their heritage for sonic
quality and reliability under long and arduous working conditions.
Professional production for amplifiers designed for home audio use
was started in Britain in 1983 to service distribution in Europe,
where the designs first caught the attention of the worldwide press.
In June of 1986 David came to show at the CES in
Chicago and brought with him a sample of his vacuum tube amplifiers
that were being produced in Great Britain for the European market.
The VTL equipment was a huge hit at the show, and it was during
that visit that father and son decided that they would bring the
VTL product into the US market, and the beginning of VTL started
in Luke's apartment basement in Providence, Rhode Island.
Production was moved to the US, and VTL as an American
company was started in Providence, Rhode Island to manufacture and
distribute the VTL designs throughout the US and the rest of the
When it became obvious to both Luke and David that
the company needed a full-function manufacturing facility, they
decided to relocate production to Southern California, to take advantage
of the readily available supply of electronics and manufacturing
vendors and the labor force that were servicing the defense electronics
industry in the Los Angeles basin. In 1987 the factory was moved
to its present location in Chino, CA -- where all VTL products are
made for worldwide consumption, and the same location that VTL occupies
In 1989 the Manley line of products was started
under the VTL banner, as a line of professional products for studio
use, initially as a secondary business division of the company.
Another of the VTL startup divisions was a record
label, initially started to show the quality of recording possible
using the Manley products for recording and the VTL products for
Eventually by early 1993 the Manley line and the
record label became full-fledged business in their own right, by
which time it was decided that father and son would part ways and
run companies and better focus in their own chosen directions: David
to start Manley Labs and Luke to continue on with VTL.
Computerized inventory management and modern testing
equipment were since added to the VTL quality assurance process,
and under Luke's direction the VTL company was completely overhauled
to better utilize the marque of quality and value for money that
is synonymous with the VTL brand name. The new production team was
chosen from trained craftsmen with the acquired knowledge and experience
to build such products, and new management familiar with modern
manufacturing processes was brought in to completely overhaul the
product lineup and manufacturing and quality control processes.
These modern manufacturing practices will assure
you that every piece of VTL product is manufactured with consistently
high quality and will reliably work in your system for many years.
We spend time with our customers, working to make
music and home theater the satisfying personal experiences they
are intended to be. With our experience and commitment to high quality
in all that we do we specialize in offering you a full range of
limited production, hand-built high quality pure tube amplifiers
and preamplifiers for your home.
Inside view of a VTL MB-185 power amplifier