The new S-200 takes that proposition to a new level by including VTL’s latest technology in a space saving single chassis design. All the features and functionality of the renowned MB-450 and MB-185 Series III Signature monoblocks are built in, but in a package costing significantly less. With top quality parts, a fully balanced design, and innovative engineering, the S200 offers a listening experience unparalleled at this price.
This 200 watts/channel stereo amplifier is packed with technology VTL has spent years developing. A fully balanced differential input stage drives a differential phase splitter and a lower impedance push-pull output stage with a custom made, fully balanced, interleaved and coupled output transformer. Like its stable mates, the amplifier incorporates VTL’s SmartTube technology with automatic bias adjustment and fault sensing, making this amplifier especially welcome to music lovers who value ease of use. With the S-200, there’s no need to guess when or if a tube may need to be replaced.
To keep the output tube operating point constant and stabilize the critical power supplies, even under AC and main power supply fluctuations, the S-200 deploys adjustable precision-regulated bias and screen supplies, yielding tonal stability and sonic integrity especially during complex, dynamic signal conditions.
The S-200 also features a user adjustable Damping Factor feedback control that allows the user to adjust the amplifier’s output impedance by varying the amount of negative feedback. Impedance can now be precisely set to suit the listener’s taste, and to improve control of the loudspeaker loads to deliver best performance.
The 3 possible settings are:
LOW – Lowest damping factor, good loudspeaker control, most natural sound.
MED – Better loudspeaker control, with some impact on sound quality
HI – Best loudspeaker control, with a little more impact on sound quality, but on speakers that need the control the sonic improvement is clear
The S-200 bears a similar sonic signature to its bigger brother, the MB-450 Series III Signature monoblocks. The mid bass authority and control is excellent while the midrange and top end reflect natural timbres and instrument colors effortlessly. The amplifier’s agility and speed, its very low noise floor, and its ability to drive a wide range of speakers are distinct features that few other tube amplifiers in this price category can offer. Pair it with VTL’s TL5.5 Series II preamplifier for one of the most compelling and seductive sounds available anywhere close to the price.
Vacuum Tube Complement
8 x 6550 or KT-88, 2 x 12AT7, 2 x 12BH7
Output power 20Hz – 20kHz <2.5% THD
Tetrode: 200W, Triode: 100W into 5Ω load
Variable between 700mV and 1.6V, depending upon DF setting