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VTL ST 85 Power amplifier

VTL ST 85 apertura con logo



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VTL ST 85 Power amplifier



VTL ST 85 , storico finale stereo della factory americana la cui dinamica potenza ha permesso a tanti audiofili appassionati del suono valvolare di pilotare agevolmente anche diffusori difficili come alcuni ostici modelli di  Jim Thiel. I suoi quattro tubi EL34 che lavorano solo in configurazione tetrodo, governati dai robusti trasformatori d’uscita, regalano il classico suono delle valvole, ma senza scadere in morbidezze e mollezze dinamiche.


VTL ST 85 1



Precursore delle moderne amplificazioni VTL, questo ST 85 è stato un finale “significativo” nel panorama del marchio, nonostante fosse una elettronica non costosa, poiché ha segnato il passaggio tra la vecchia e la nuova serie, pur nella scia della tradizione sonica del marchio.

L’attuale modello ST 85 in produzione differisce poco, nella sostanza, dal precedente modello, se non nella capacità di lavorare anche a triodo, adottando sempre quattro tubi EL 34 e fornendo una potenza di 60 watt per canale (circa la metà a triodo).






Se si riesce a trovare un esemplare in perfetto stato si avrà la certezza di un suono ricco della magia valvolare targata VTL 

Quotazione: dai 1.500 ai 1.700 euro (per un esemplare in buono stato secondo le condizioni).

Bruno Fazzini



VTL ST 85 3



VTL ST-85 power amplifier

By Lonnie Brownell • Posted: Feb 26, 1999 “More power!!!”

If you’re thinking you’ve just heard the war cry of Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, from TV’s long-running sitcom Home Improvement, you’d be…wrong. No, that was Luke “The Tube Man” Manley, from high-end audio’s long-running manufacturer VTL, and he’s trying to convince me that, when it comes to amplifier power, more is definitely more.

One ST-85 is fine when you’re driving these Joseph Audio RM-7si’s, and probably with the Thiel CS.5s, but I think those NHT 2.5i’s would work better with two.”



VTL ST 85 7



“Maybe so, Luke, but how’s about I go with just one amplifier for a while? After all, that’s what most people would buy, at least at first. Then I can drop in another one and see what that does.”

Luke agreed, and left me to my listening. I was surprised that he had that reaction; after all, the ST-85 is rated at 85Wpc. Oh—that’s into four ohms. VTL doesn’t quote a rating into 8 ohms, since the VT-85 is optimized for a load of around 5 ohms, but Luke says that the 8 ohm rating would be around 70Wpc. That still strikes me as plenty of power, but Luke seemed pretty adamant. Maybe two ST-85s would help—if help was needed. After all, you can’t judge a component by its specs. You’ve got to listen……..


 VTL ST 85 5



Need an amplifier? Stereo, specifically? Do you have champagne tastes but a beer budget? (Okay, so “beer” here means “ultra-premium microbrew.”) And, to complete our qualification questionnaire, would you like a well-defined upgrade path so you can improve your system in a straightforward, no-brainer manner as finances allow?

If so, step right up. The VTL ST-85 is solidly built and a breeze to use—biasing is easy, there’s only one output tap, and it has a cover to keep nosy pets and kids from getting burned. It offers outstanding performance driving real-world speakers, performance so good that I’ll bet my last EL34 you’ll be as amazed as I was at the improvement when you upgrade by adding a second ST-85. After that, if you want to keep going up the VTL amplifier ladder, there are plenty of rungs to climb…but that’s another story (footnote 2).


VTL ST 85 2



This story is about the ST-85, and it’s one with a happy ending. The ST-85 is, in many ways, the finest amplifier I’ve had in my system. (The Bryston B-60R integrated is its main rival.) The VTL imparts a 3-D sense of the original event while retaining truth of timbre, a combination that very few components can match, at this or any price. Very highly recommended.


Didascalie figure



Vtl st 85 fig1

Fig.1 VTL ST-85, risposta in frequenza a 1 watt/8 ohms-2 watt/4 ohms-a 2.83 V.


Vtl st 85 fig2

Fig.2 VTL ST-85, segnale a 10kHz  su 8 ohms


Vtl st 85 fig3

Fig.3 VTL ST-85, distorsione d’intermodulazione vs frequenza a 4W su 2 ohms, 2W su 4 ohms, 1W su 8 ohms, a 2.83V.


Vtl st 85 fig4

Fig.4 VTL ST-85, forma d’onda a 1kHz a 2W su 4 ohms (top).


Vtl st 85 fig5

Fig.5 VTL ST-85, distorsione (%) vs Potenza d’uscita continua: 8 ohms, 4 ohms, 2 ohms.



VTL ST 85 apertura con logo




Caratteristiche tecniche

Amplificatore finale stereo a valvole

Valvole adottate: 4 EL 34, 4 12AT7.

Massima potenza d’uscita: 85 W pc su 4 ohms.

Distorsione d’intermodulazione: <3% da 20Hz a 20kHz.

Rapporto segnale/rumore: 95dB a 120Hz.

Sensibilità d’ingresso: 1.1V.

Impedenza d’ingresso: 100k ohms.

Impedenza d’uscita: 0.9 ohms.

Consumo: 175W; a piena potenza 550W.
Dimensioni38,1 L x 15,2 H x 30,5 P

Peso: 17,24 Kg netto.






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