Integrated Amplifiers

EMP Tek VT-40.2 Hybrid Integrated Stereo Tube Amplifier

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In Use

When the VT-40.2 is powered up, it takes about 30 seconds before sound is output. This delay allows the tubes to fire up and stabilize. Each tube is highlighted with its own blue LED which blinks until the startup cycle finishes. I'll be honest. The blue glow is very cool. Nobody who has seen this amp in action has failed to comment on how it looks. In a darkened room with some relaxing music at the end of a long day…well, the VT-40.2 really worked for me.

My son came home from college the other day and absolutely coveted this amp. And why not? It would be ideal for a dorm room or as a desk top computer sound system. I initially used this to power my Revel F12 towers and it produced a rich, detailed sound. Treble was sweet and smooth. Bass had good depth and weight. I know "warm" is a common descriptor, but my feeling on this is that the VT-40.2 was rolling off the treble ever so slightly and made some of my older CDs sound less harsh. Cymbals sounded fine, but that very high end sizzle was a touch smoother and less airy. Sibilance was also reduced, but to good effect. Overall, this amp was able to produce sound quality that was less fatiguing on the ears over extend listening sessions. The VT-40.2 started to run out of steam when I ramped the volume way up, but in a small to moderate sized room it gave a great performance. I next moved the amp downstairs and used it to power my old Cambridge Soundworks Ensemble satellite speaker system. The VT-40.2 integrated well with them, providing satisfying bass and a rich mid-range. Vocals sounded remarkably well articulated and natural with this amp.

I hooked up my iPhone and enjoyed music from James Taylor and the Kingston Trio to Bach and Prokofiev. Basically, if you are not throwing a wild house party, this amp will provide you with good clean sound at volumes that are more than adequate for personal listening. Vocals and acoustic instruments sound particularly well with the VT-40.2. This would be a great amp for driving computer speakers. In fairness, I must warn you that after extended listening this amp ran warm…sometimes hot. Keep it in a well ventilated area and don't set things made of plastic too close to the amp. If you put it on your desk space, it will give you an excuse to keep your clutter down. If you have small children, be aware that the blue glowing tubes may attract curious fingers.