Adding a Herron VTSP 3A/360 Preamplifier to the system.


The new (new to me) Herron Audio VTSP 3A/360 Preamp will arrive Friday the fifth. Very much looking forward to it's arrival.

Beautifully built, and should sound that way as well.

Regards,
Dan
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Awesome! It looks like an extremely nice unit. I love the very clean looking faceplates of the Herron gear. What finish you get? The titanium looks sweet (I had a VTPH-2A in that finish, now sold to a good friend). As I'm sure you know, preamp contributes a ton to the sonic fabric of a system. 
Muleving, this one is the silver finish. It is one of the first VTSP units made, and has six tubes rather than four. I don't know what possesed me to buy it, just perusing the tube amps and preamps, but when I saw the Herron, I had to have it.

I'm hoping for a positive transformation, if it's anythiing like when I went from the Transcendent Sounds to the Modwright, it's going to be huge.
I assume you bought the one that was here on Audiogon last week or so? 

I recently bought a pair of Herron monoblocks and am impressed with them, so I then bought one of his SS preamps, a used HL-1 built ~ 2005. I like the build and function of the HL-1, and it sounds good but I can't help to think one of his newer tubed units would sound that much better. Let us know how you like the  VTSP 3A/360. 
sebrof, I will give my impressions as to how I feel regarding the VTSP 3A/360 after it arrives, and has been in service for a little while.

And yes, it is that same unit that I pulled the trigger on, even though I didn't know I was looking for a preamp. I did though, feel like it was a pretty rare animal, and felt like it would brace up an area that could use some improvement

Thanks and regards,
Dan
Keith is a gem. Enjoy the new pre.
Jim
I'd looked at both the 360 and the Herron monoblocks in the recent past, but went in different (and much more expensive) directions. My ears have recently been opened up to Tannoys on Solid State amps (Phison - who I'd never heard of before this year), so I could get curious to try another SS amp like Herron someday :) 
I've had the 360 and the VTPH2a phono preamp for about 6 months now, and they are wonderful. Give it a few weeks to break in after you get it and the sound will continue to improve. I used to run an MSB DAC into my MSB S-200 amp and that sounded great, but when I sent the DAC output to the pre-amp first, yow! Much better! Interesting design, Keith has - make tube gear that doesn't look or even particularly sound like tube gear. 
I bought a pair of Herron M1 monoblocks a while back and was impressed enough and had heard so many good things about the VTPH-2A phono stage (now discontinued) that I bought one.  The VTPH-2A was a significant step up from my Manley and Pass Labs phono stages and I decided to go all-in with the VTSP-360 ESP/REF.  Prior to the VTSP-360 I had a Modwright LS100, which I thought was going to be a forever piece, but the VTSP-360 bettered it.

Keith is a fine gentleman and passionate about audio.  He's told me more than once that he makes these things for himself and when they are "good enough" then he makes them available to the public.

My M1s are on their way back to him now for an "update" which he has offered to perform for a very reasonable price.
Getlemen, the unit I bought is a used unit that was being offerred by Oswaldo Martinez of Let There be Sound. It was his personal unit. It's getting closer by the day. Another couple of days, and it will be here.

Best regards,
Dan
The latest and final line stage, according to Keith, is now called Reference. New units have Reference with Stereo Preamplifier underneath in smaller font on the lower right corner of the faceplate not VTSP-360 with Vacuum Tube Stereo Preamplifier underneath.
Been running a Reference with a VTPH-2a for about 3 months now (pushing LTA UL+ monoblocks) really feel like I am where I want to be after 30 years in the hunt. The presentation is so vivid and authentic I could just sit for hours lost in the performance. I am so grateful for Keith and his support over the many years I’ve known him—he has a genuine passion for his craft and cares deeply about his clients. 
Congratulations. I know that feeling.
I've been using my custom built Tannoy HPD 315 speakers for years now, firsst with solid state, with which they sounded very good.

I switched to tube amps quite a  few years ago now, and with my latest amp purchase, the 3C24 amp built for me by Paul Birkeland of Bottlehead, they sound the best they ever have. When coupled to the Herron preamp, I'm expecting wonders through them, as they already are very enjoyable to listen to.
@vinylvalet - when I ordered mine from Keith, he asked me whether I wanted a faceplate that said 'Reference' or one that said '360' (preamp identical, just different text on the faceplate); I went with '360' - it still says 'Reference' when it boots up.... But he may be out of the '360' ones by now.... 

Well, Gentlemen, the VTSP 3A/360 arrived on Saturday. It took me all weekend for my 74 YOA stroke-affected body/mind to get it installed (and the twice as heavy Modwright packaged up and put away), but on Monday night I got to listen to it.

I was pretty much slack-jawed at how the music sounded. It was good before, but now it's soooo much better.

Everything sounds better, but well recorded piano really blew me away. And, I haven't got to vinyl yet, trying to rebuild the arm-raise mechanism for the old Dynavector 501 arm. Today's the day.

Only critiscism is the p-ss-poor remote control system that came in it. It's a learning process so far, but I think I'll be able to live with it

Other than the above-mentioned remote problem, it has delivered as promised.

Thanks for your interest, regards,

Dan

Congrats.  I have Keith's VTPH-2A phono pre, and it greatly improved my vinyl playback system.  I would probably have gone for the VTSP Reference if it had balanced ins/outs.  

Good to hear Dan and thanks for posting.

I bought a VTSP-3A Rev 03 from another Audiogon member, should be here in a couple of days. I hope I get a taste of what you got with the 360, can't wait to hear it.

Dan, nice to hear that you are enjoying the VTSP-360.  I love mine!  You are right about the remote.  I put it back in the box right away.  It's so small that I was afraid I'd lose it in my sofa or accidentally break it.  I told Keith I was planning to use my universal remote (Harmony 550) and he said it might not work because of the way the codes are set up.  I got it to work, but not perfectly.  Every other press of a button does something.  A minor frustration though and doesn't take away from my listening enjoyment. 

Yeah guys, hard one to figure out. Maybe it'll keep me walking for another few years. But the mind and ears get to rejoice anyway, though,right?

Regards,

Dan

 

I installed the new batteries in the remote last night. All issues resolved. Listened to Canadian Brass Gabrielli last night. Magincal.

I'm in love with the VTSP 3A/360

Best kept secret in high end audio.

Glad you got that figured out.  I didn't realize your remote wasn't functioning properly.  Mine worked fine, I just didn't like the small form factor.

I have the same remote for my HL-1 that is used for the newer models. The remote frustrated me because sometimes it would work fine, sometimes not. I got new batteries and when I installed them I figured out the issue was the back cover wasn't holding the batteries tight enough. I slipped a piece of folded paper between the batteries and the cover and all is well.

But yeah, the remote is...unusual :)

Just sent my 360 back to Keith for the "reference" upgrade.  I have had all his preamps and the 360 ESP (soon to be reference) are really special.  It's my end point with the M2 mono blocks.

Gentlemen, I am totally transfixed by how music sounds here at home now. I guess my snap decision was a good one, actually way beyond good. It's brought my system to what I was hoping for all along.

It only took me 50 years, but I'm sure happy now.

I played a Telarc CD of Ronnie Earl "Beyond The Blue Door" last night, and played it twice. 

Music never sounded this good before.

REgards,

Dan

Congratulations Dan!  Your impulse purchase turned out well.

Just go my 360 pre amp back from Keith for the "reference" upgrade from "esp".  Again, after my initial listening it was more open and spacious.  If you have the esp but not the "esp/ref" I would recommend the upgrade since it will probably be the final upgrade for this pre amp.

That's correct. Keith told me it's his last line stage revision.

For those that haven't seen this, here's a great, recent interview from Keith's home:

Keith Herron Interview

Hello, yesterday I called Keith Herron to talk to him regarding my VTSP 3A/360 preamp.

We talked about whether an upgrade would be useful, and Keith said no, the unit I have is one of the very early ones using six 6922's, and is built in a way that it would not benefit from an upgrade.

My thanks goes out to Oswaldo Martinez, who sold it to me. It's all he said it was,  and I appreciate his honesty..

Regards,

Dan