Established 1968   01603 627010



May 25, 2016

A day in the life of Steve Forrest. System upgrade for existing clients.

The Objective:

To show that by adding a dedicated Pre-Amplifier, we could further enhance the performance of the system. We would also be having a CD player shoot-out between the customer’s TAG McLaren Audio DVD32TL/AV192DP combination, dCS Rossini and Vitus Audio SCD-025 CD players.

Our choice of pre-amplifier for this job is VTL’s awesome TL6.5II Signature. Regarded as a near perfect match for the MB450’s, TL6.5II Signature is not your average pre amplifier.


The System:

Source ­- TAG McLaren Audio DVD32TL/AV192DP combination,

Amplification  - VTL MB450 Valve Mono Blocks, VTL TL6.5II Signature Pre-Amplifier.

Loudspeakers – Focal Sopra Model No.2

Cables – Entreq Challenger 3v Power, Challenger XLR interconnects, Challenger Loudspeaker Cables, Apollo Digital RCA

Signal and System Grounding – Entreq Olympus Tellus, Poseidon Tellus, Silver Tellus and Silver Minimus. Apollo Ertha Cables throughout.

Rack - Entreq Athena level 3 (level 3, 2 and 1 used for the demonstration)

Mechanical Decoupling – Stillpoints Ultra 5 and Ultra SS under all components.

The Results:

The first bar of the first piece of music was all it took for us to realise what a treat we were in for. The TL6.5II’s addition to the system brought a sense of scale and organisation to the performance. We were able to listen into the depths of the recording, unlocking the music, either to an individual instrument, or to the whole orchestra (or band). We lost any sensation that we were listening to a domestic hifi. Music, music, music!


CD Player Shoot-out

Using the TAG AV192 as the pre amplifier, we could get a pretty good idea that the DCS and Vitus moved the performance forward a notch or two. They showed the TAG to have a compression in the overall performance. They also showed how good the TAG system was when put into context – price and age.

The addition of the TL6.5II pre amplifier made a world of difference. All at once, the dCS and the Vitus were able to unveil their full potential. The dCS Rossini offered sublime detail and subtlety allowing huge insight into each and every performance.  The Vitus SCD-025 revealed weight and authority which powered the music along, causing involuntary foot tapping.


Choosing between these two fantastic CD players is a tough choice. Choosing to add the VTL TL6.5II Signature to the system, simple!

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