Are Atma-Sphere MP-1 and VSE RTP-3D similar?

Can anyone explain difference in topology between these two preamps? Look similar except for the dual volume control and tube comliment. I'm thinking of purchasing one of them.
Look similar except for the dual volume control and tube comliment. I'm thinking of purchasing one of them.
Dracule1 (Reviews | Threads | Answers)

They look nothing alike internally or externally, IMO. Also, they each use completely different tubes, as you mentioned.

I know from personal experience that Atma-Sphere provides exceptional customer support, and the company is in the USA, if that makes a difference to you.

Vacuum State is also highly regarded from what I have read.
Thanks Tvad,

I have never seen the internals of the MP-1, so I was going by the fully differential balanced topology both preamps have. Do you know a site that shows the internal of the MP-1?

Yes, the Atma-Sphere has the advantage of being a US company with excellent support. I heard VSE support can be spotty, but the RTP-3D is a beautiful preamp.
I don't think I can direct you to a photo of the MP-1 internals. I own an MP-1, so I have the advantage of being able to compare.

Tvad, looks like you've owned or currently own several tube preamps including the ModWright and Supratek. Can you give a comparison between the MP-1 and the others?
Modwright and MP-1 were the most similar of the three. Both are transparent. However, the Modwright sounded too much like solid state for me. Rather one dimensional, IMO. I believe Modwright preamps have come a long way since then.

The Supratek just didn't match well with my amplifier, so I can't really give it a fair appraisal.
Dracule1; why don't you give Ralph(Atmasphere)a call and talk with him on your concerns; he will answer you honestly and will not jam his gear down you throat to get a sale; this has been my direct experience.
I second Rleff's suggestion. Among other reasons, Ralph and his crew are one good reason to own Atma-sphere equipment.
Ralph & Allen are both superb. One difference is that Allen's phono section is hybrid, as compared to all tubes in MP-1. VSE quotes high 70db gain w/o a step-up transformer. Not sure what the gain structure is in the current MP-1 phono. Also, the MP-1 has a circlotron-based LS.
Thanks for all your responses. I try not to inquire directly to the manufacturers as they inevitably have a "colored" view of their own products. But Ralph or Allen are prefectly welcome to reply to my thread.

Do any of you know how quiet the line section of the MP-1 is? I have heard the VSE preamp is dead quiet.
Do any of you know how quiet the line section of the MP-1 is?

Though I don't think I've taken the volume control past 12 o'clock, the line section of the MP-1 Mk.III is very quiet.

To speak to Dgarretson's query, the Mk III's phono stage delivers approximately 60dB gain.

If you send me an e-mail, I can respond with a few photos of the inside of an MP-1.

The line section of my MP-1 MK III is very quiet. It is not dead quiet.
Dracule1, I think you are wise to have the view that a manufacturer will have a 'colored view' of their equipment. I use the word 'biased' myself. For the record, many of the manufacturers that get into this industry are quite dedicated. I think you will find in a lot of cases that they will also say they have 'the best'. If they have integrity, they will also believe that they have the best.

IOW it does not matter if they **really have** the best, it does matter that **they think** they have the best, that way you know they are trying as hard as they can to do the best they can. For that reason, it is in fact useful to talk to manufacturers, as you can often find out information that is not in their brochures or on their websites. Sometimes the subtle details and lengths that a designer will go get a bit verbose and too wordy for advertising, but nonetheless can have significant impact on the performance of the equipment.

Of course, because of their 'biased' veiwpoint, you still have to take what they say with a a grain of salt :)
Thanks Ralph, appreciate your input. I will contact you by email.