Vacuum Tube Logic
Founded in 1987, VTL is a world leader in high-powered, high performance tube audio equipment for music reproduction in the home. Using modern technology, VTL delivers dynamic, musical sounding amplifiers & preamplifiers that are exceptionally user-friendly.
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 world.
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 now.
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 monitor playback.
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.
Under Luke’s direction, VTL assumed a back-to-basics philosophy by paring its product offerings to focus on the high end, standardizing manufacturing techniques, and strengthening the manufacturing quality process. New products were easier to use with remote operation and updated circuitry and improved sonic performance.
Luke’s focus on technical innovation resulted in the introduction of the 1250-watt Wotan Reference MB-1250 in 1995. Heralded as one of the world’s most powerful vacuum tube audio amplifiers in continuous production, the Wotan was followed by the MB-750 amplifier. Since 2002 VTL introduced a series of revolutionary new products that redefine what users can expect from their tubed electronics. These new two-channel products combine the best of vacuum tube technology with innovative solid state and control system designs, resulting in such critically acclaimed products as the TL7.5 Reference preamplifier, the Siegfried Reference monoblock amplifiers and the S-400 Reference Stereo amplifier. Technical breakthroughs in the Siegfried and S-400 Reference amplifiers, such as huge, precision-regulated power supplies and auto-biasing of all tubes offer further enhancements to VTL’s legendary sound. With luxurious new cosmetics, these new Reference products reflect VTL’s continued commitment to innovation, ease-of-use and musical sound quality.
Read about our Company and our philosophy in the following articles:
“Luke Manley and Bea Lam of VTL: Vital Sound,” by Jason Serinus, June, 2007, Stereophile
Read the article here … http://www.stereophile.com/features/607vtlfeat/
“Interview: Luke Manley, VTL,” Hi-Files Magazine, Serbia, January 2010.
“VTL Factory Visit,” by Jack Liu, Audio Art, Taiwan, October 2011