I've had my VTPH-2 for over two years now. It will be my last phonostage. While there is much to commend--ease of use, flexibility, rugged build quality, backed by one of the best guys in audio, ETC the best thing about it is that it simply sounds like music to my ears.
The Herron is a very musical phono-stage yet very detailed and quiet . Also it is flexible with the loading resistors and is a very clean and well laid out design. I compared it to an Audio Research reference model of a couple of years ago and the Herron was very comparable but at 1/3 of the price.
The best sound quality of a Herron VTPH-2 is that it has no sound. It just passes the music to the pre-amp. IMO, there is no better phono stage available at any price.
Thank you to all of you for your replies!
Out of curiosity, which tube compliment are you all using? The (4 x 12ax7's, 1 x 12at7 for 69dB) or the (2 x 12ax7's, 3 x 12at7's for 64dB)?
Secondly, do you know if you can switch the tube compliments from higher to lower gain and vice versa yourself or must it be sent in to Keith to have adjustments made to the RIAA network?
Thank you again!
I have the 69 dB gain model and No it can not be switched without sending the unit into Keith.
Because of the sonic qualities of the VTPH-2 I am seriously considering going with his VTSP-3Ar02 and M1A's.
The best way to find out more about the VTPH-2 is to give Keith a call. Not only will you find out more that you will ever want to know about the unit but you will learn a few things as well. And you will find out why Keith has so many loyal customers--it is not about selling gear but about sharing the joy of hi fidelity. And Chuck--the VTSP-3AR02 is every bit as good as the VTPH-2--perhaps better. A truly reference class product that disappears and lets the music live and breath in your home.
Thanks again gentlemen for your replies. I was able to email a little bit with Keith today about his phono stage.
I'm currently using the Benz Ruby ZH which has a .7mV output and therefore would need to order mine with the 64dB of gain which uses 2 x 12ax7's, 3 x 12at7's.
Which cartridges are you all using with this phono stage?
I use a Benz Micro Wood SL which is .4mv output.
I am using a ATOC9MLII. I don't recall the output but I am using the tube set in my Herron for low gain--mostly because I have very high efficiency speakers.
ATOC9MLII should be a spectacular performer on the Herron phono stage. IIRC, it is the cartridge that Keith Herron uses to voice his equipment.
And yes, the VTSP-3 r02 and the latest version of the amps are wonderful. I was lucky enough to get that preamp just as the latest rev was being released and have a pair of latest mods of the amps.
I recently purchased the VTPH2 from Keith. I am using a cartridge with .28mv output. The 64db of gain from my VTPH2 is plenty in my system.
Noregrets, the two things to keep in mind are cartridge output and speaker sensitivity--let both of these drive your decision on the gain for your phonostage.
Doggealum do you still have the modwright amp? I am looking at either Keith's equipment or Pass and possibly conrad johnson if I decide to go with a tubed amp; although my wife hates tubes.
Using the Modwright KWA150SE with my Herron stuff upstream. The Modwright is easily the best sounding amp I have owned--very refined and musical to my ears. This is the amp that Lou recommends with my Daedalus speakers and I am glad he turned me on to it. I will say, however, that the Herron monos do tempt given the sound quality of the VTSP-3ARO2 and VTPH-2. I am hoping to get a listen someday and ideally compare them with my Modwright. For now though I am happy with my setup and expect the Modwright will stay in the lineup for the forseeable future.
When I ordered my VTPH-2 from Keith early last year, he in fact sent me 4 x 12ax7's and 3 x 13at7's. So it's up to me to try out which works best in my system.
He did ask me the input impedance of my amp. He will recommend based on the value.
Is anyone using the VTPH2 to drive a headphone amp? If so what one? I am looking to add a headphone amp and LCD-3 to my system.
Czbbcl I'm pretty sure you can switch the tubes yourself for different gain. I have done it and noticed no ill effects.
I'm using a Lyra Delos and the combo is rich and detailed.
You would need to stipulate the input impedance of your headphone amplifier.
I dont have a headphone amplifier yet. I have heard good things about Audio gd Master 9, Schiit Ragnarok, Headamp GSX mk2, etc... for the LCD3s. I was curious if anyone had any specific experience with a headphone amp combo that will go well with the VTPH2. Id like to keep the great characteristics of the VTPH2 apparent.
Would you do tube/SS or combo?