Marc Mickelson always was one of the heroes of audio propaganda – he always was able to load a maximum cargo of “strategic information” to the readers without being insulting to anyone and without too obvious demonstration of his real intentions. I really have to be easy on those gays because the have such a difficult job. They get their audio gismos monthly and then they are sitting in front of the dead audio contestants, pulling out of thier asses those meaningless words and trying to ornament a next piece of audio worthlessness into a new pearl of a semantic foolishness. I think for the phrases like this: “The dynamic range of the TL-7.5 is immense, due in part to the preamp's overall resolution, and its bass definition and dexterity are impressive” Mr. Mickelson should receive some kind of audio-reviewing Oscar. No wonder that Clark Johnson suggested a few years ago that the today’s audio got converted from listening to writing. Quite foolish writing i have to add, not to say into a fraudulent writing….
I come across to Marc Mickelson’s review of “VTL TL-7.5 Reference” Preamplifier (The “Reference” it is how they call it) at:
I immediately thought that Marc should be a not good person to review preamps. I read in past some if his review of different preamps where Mark demonstrated quite unawareness on the subject and some unforgettable superficiality. And now “the Marc” touches the next $15K-worth audiophile dream…. Anyhow, I read the review. The review was written at the best tradition of unobtrusive audio-propaganda. Lets bring some quotes:
“The function of propaganda does not lie in the scientific training of the individual, but in calling the masses' attention to certain facts, processes, necessities, etc., whose significance is thus for the first time placed within their field of vision. The whole art consists in doing this so skillfully that everyone will be convinced that the fact is real, the process necessary, the necessity correct, etc. But since propaganda is not and cannot be the necessity in itself, since its function, like the poster, consists in attracting the attention of the crowd, and not in educating those who are already educated or who are striving after education and knowledge, its effect for the most part must be aimed at the emotions and only to a very limited degree at the so-called intellect. All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be. But if, as in propaganda for sticking out a war, the aim is to influence a whole people, we must avoid excessive intellectual demands on our public, and too much caution cannot be exerted in this direction. The more modest its intellectual ballast, the more exclusively it takes into consideration the emotions of the masses, the more effective it will be. And this is the best proof of the soundness or unsoundness of a propaganda campaign, and not success in pleasing a few scholars or young aesthetes. The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses. The fact that our bright boys do not understand this merely shows how mentally lazy and conceited they are.”
Nope, it was not the quotes from Mr. Mickelson – the audio reviewer extraordinate - but from Alois Schicklgruber's son, know later under a different name and who ran Aryans at the time when they were making radios with field-coils instead of permanent magnets. …
I do not hate VTL TL-7.5. I love it. I love it as one of the best audio-industry creations. The VTL TL-7.5 incorporates and absorbs within itself all audio-foolishness at its maximum amplitude. Marc was absolute correct describing the magnificent construction and superb level of smartness that was spent to design and to bult the VTL TL-7.5. So, where is the foolishness coming from? From the Sound. How come that such a superbly smart unit can sound such a horrifying? Perhaps Marc has a disassociation between his vision to observe the semantically saleable facts and his ability to hear the fact form the performance of the unit? Mark unquestionably can recognize how Sun reflects from the shiny VTL TL-7.5’s parts but he apparently has some difficulties to hear what those parts do all together. Or perhaps Marc has no problems with hearting but he juts took Mr. Schicklgruber’s writing too close to his sensitive hart? Go figure….
I deal with facts and with results bit with the BS to sell the facts to anyone, even to myself. The facts are that VTL TL-7.5 is despicably horribly sounding preamp with a “sentimental” price tag of $13,500. The VTL TL-7.5 is so horrible that I can recall 3 occasions when people invited me to listen this systems and I refused to listen until the VTL TL-7.5 was plugged-in. One guy informed me that I was an idiot and I returned home without even listening his setup. Another two guys extended to me some credit and did bypass the VTL TL-7.5. Both of them, after they plugged out this damn preamp, found themselves in a complete ecstasy because according to them, thier system without VTL TL-7.5 begun to sound “spectacular”. As far as I concern thier system sounded quite awful but I am sure that with VTL TL-7.5 it was even more horrible.
So, what is wrong with VTL TL-7.5. The answer is – it’s Sound. Take any source, capable to drive a cable with a comparable to VTL TL-7.5 output impedance of sub 150R, and to drive your power amps directly, perhaps adjusting a voltage devider at the amps inputs if you should. How introduce the VTL TL-7.5 in a signal path (set in unity gain) and listen a result. My common sentiment always was that if some important for you characteristic of sound did not become better then the preamp is needless. However, how should you react if the introduced preamp screw up ALL imaginable attributes of sound reproduction and it does it at Herculean magnitude? It is exactly what VTL TL-7.5 does to sound – courtesy to each of 13.500 US dollars.
Furthermore, did you try to change volume on VTL TL-7.5? Changing volume on VTL TL-7.5 makes me run out of room. When I change volume on this preamp music does not become louder. Instead of loudness you get an increasing avalanche of electronic contamination of sound - some alien arteffect. That “aliennees” in sound rises with increment (and decline) of volume like a tsunami when the waves hit a shallow shore. When you at lower volume with VTL TL-7.5 then you have a dynamic range size of IQ logarithm of an average audio reviewer. Really, I am not kidding, it is not just bad but it is horrible!!!
I do not know what kind evaluating methods Marc Mickelson used. Probably he multiplied the dynamic range to the annual revenue that the Soundstage.com get form VTL’s advertising. However, this “Main Kampf”-inspired evaluation does no do any good neither to me nor for whoever will buy this piece of electrician-made audio-junk.
I do not even mention about the VTL disability to operate at lever of Lamm’s L2 and to make any attempt to do anything to the X-Factor that I described in “Preamplifiers: keys to mystery“ article.
In the end: the Marc Mickelson so-called review have no more “beneficial intelligence” then VTL’s TL-7.5. The VTL decided that this last preamp was too long time ago and that the VTL’s costumer are hatched enough to pay for an “upgrade”. The VTL put together a bunch of electrical parts according to thier “Electricity for Dummies” cookbook and called to Mickelsons-like cheerleaders to pump the market with marketing efforts and propaganda. Interesting that a performers of the preamps is completely irrelevant in this game, neither for the VTL not for Mickelson-like Makcs.
Hm, do you think that Marc Mickelson did too bad job? Hold your judgmental horses! Wait until some Steve Rochlin-like clowns begin to do this reviews claming that they were able to eliminate the depressed dryness of VTL TL-7.5 by soaking the TL-7.5’s remote control in a sperm of an adolescents octopus that he personally collected while he was driving his Havana-made Ferrari across the Great Coral Reef. However, I do not think that Rochlin-VTL review will be coming because Steve Rochlin is on Conrad Johnson payroll. So, his next review about the C&J preamp will have something like this: “In order to accomplished a maximum separation between the channels the right channel was designed by William Conrad and the left by Lewis Johnson. Moreover they did not socialize while they designed the preamp in order to minimize any possible crosstalk between the channels”….
Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche