I just sold mine. I used Telefunkens and Mullards in the line stage and RAM Low Noise in the MM stage. I rotated various single tubes in the MC stage. It is an excellent preamp.
Do you know if yours is the v.1 or v.2? It won't say on the unit, you have to call VTL w/the SN to find out. And does yours have the phono stage?
Sorry, I don't know about diff. tubes, but you can call VTL & usually talk to Luke's wife I think, very smart & helpful.
After 5 years, I replaced mine with a Cary SLP-98 (at twice the cost). But I sure enjoyed the 2.5 TL while I had it.....
My version has the plastic remote. I will acquire some 12AT7 Mullards soon and give those a shot.
The VTL 2.5 (line stage only) just replaced a TAD 150 Signature which is also a nice preamp for the price range. The TAD had slightly wider sound stage but the VTL is more detailed, refined. The VTL also has more inputs. I have numerous components - Sansui TU-517 tuner, Sony reel to reel, Arcam DV-137 used for SACD, HDCD, Luxman G-11 EQ (used only for compensating for poorly mixed material via the tape monitor function), JBL subwoofer. Jolida tube cd player as previously noted. I use a modded Cambridge 640P phono preamp so an internal phono pre is not required. The TAD has a phono section but is not that good to be honest. Overall, I'm happy with the move. My brother has a Joule LA-100 MkIII and really likes it. That may be my next step up the food chain so to speak. As another Agoner noted we are never satisfied and the quest for better audio continues.
Bottom line is that I prefer 'tube' sound, but not overly tubey. The SF amp is not really tube like but mates very well with the VTL 2.5. Certainly sounds tube like yet with good bottom end and snappy dynamics. I'll be keeping this preamp for a while. Tube types and quantities for the VTL make tube rolling a not so costly affair.
I do miss the rolling tube thing. It sounds like the 2.5 has fit into you system perfectly. I did talk to VTL about up grading mine with a phono stage but never followed up on it. Heck, I spent a year looking for a used TL 5.5 with a solid black face, never warmed up to the two tone look. Enjoy it you have a great Pre.
I have the 2.5(not sure which version) running with a VTL ST-150 tube amp and a Yamaha M-80 SS(class A up to 20 watts).I love it!!When I first got it I only had the Yamaha.I bought the 2.5 used here on A-gon for 700.00.It was hands down the best money I ever spent.It came with some used Mullards which sounded fantastic but didn't last long.I brought it to a local VTL dealer right after I picked up the ST-150 and had both units completely retubed.The tubes came right from VTL.They both sound great!I run the ST-150 with a pair of Klipsch Chorus 2's(I know,I know..but I am a volume junkie!),and the Yamaha runs some KEF 104/2's and another pair of Klipsch.I am very happy so far with the VTL equipment and am actively seeking a used 5.5.I can't wait to grab one of those!
(Shakey) I do not appreciate your comment '... almost laughable'. There's no need to knock someones choice in gear. The purpose of the Forum is to share information and offer support. If if you feel this way about my Power 2 amp there's certainly a better way to word it. If you see any future post from me do not respond.
The VTL 2.5 is a fine preamp. When I first heard one I was impressed with its big full soundstage. I think that VTL refers to it as sounding luxurious, I would agree. It also appears to be well designed with a hefty build. The only thing that I could nit-pick on was the slight detectable grain in the upper register. But in all fairness I was using highly sensitive horn loaded speakers that are extremely revealing paired with a solid state amp. Overall I would give this preamp high marks and could easily recommend to anyone looking to buy a great sounding tube preamp for a sane price.