Integrated Amplifiers

EMP Tek VT-40.2 Hybrid Integrated Stereo Tube Amplifier

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup

Back by the transformer are the 5-way speaker terminals. Because of their location, I recommend either banana terminals or plain wire as spades might not fit onto the posts due to space limitations. The terminals are on top probably to provide more room for the amp to be placed on a desk top. It certainly makes them easy to access.

Aesthetically, in my opinion, the terminals look nice on top. The amp as a whole is small, lightweight and solidly built with a good fit and finish. I was able to transport it from one room to another and have it up and running in minutes. Try doing that with a 70 lbs. seven channel amp! On the back of the VT-40.2 there are one pair of RCA analog level inputs, two 3.5mm plug inputs for an MP3 player or iPod and one 3.5mm output should you decide to add a powered sub to the mix.

Now the tubes that come on the VT-40.2 are 6N3s and have a rated lifespan of about 5 years or so depending on the amount of usage your amp gets. I understand that these are not very high-end, but they perform well in this application. I was able to buy four more from China for $18 (plus free shipping…told you I was frugal). Why buy four more? Well, I plan on keeping this amp and now I am all set for the next 15 years. Sweet!

The usual caveat applies to these tubes: Don't handle them with bare hands as the oily fingerprints can cause the tubes to "pop" when heated. Pull a spent tube straight up and out, no twisting or you could snap off the pins. And remember where you put your stash of replacement tubes as several years may pass before you have to look for them. Also with this amp, you do not get the option to "roll your own" and mix and match like the more expensive tube devices out there. At this level and the fact that this is really designed for a tube noob, this is a small price to pay (literally).