VTL and Wilson and Nordost | Munich 2023

vtl and wilson

When I declared the VTL and Stenheim and Nordost room at AXPONA 2023 as one of my top rooms at the show, I felt like I’ve been ignoring Vacuum Tube Logic for way too long and for absolutely no good reason. Maybe it’s because I don’t gravitate to the established brands in high-end audio. Maybe I’ve been to busy discovering new brands that no one knows–that’s the old importer/distributor in me. But that room in Chicago was sensational, and I couldn’t wait to duck into the VTL and Wilson room at Munich 2023 to see if lightning could strike twice.

Words and Photos by Marc Phillips

The VTL and Stenheim room impressed me with its ultra-low and very well defined bass, some of the best low frequencies I’ve heard in the sometimes unpredictable world of setting up an expensive system in a hotel room where you only have a day or two of getting everything right. That’s one of the reasons to visit someone like Luke Manley of VTL, a guy who’s been in the industry for a very long time and knows what the heck he’s doing. How did the VTL and Wilson room treat me? Like a king.

vacuum tube logic

The VTL and Wilson room didn’t impress me with deep deep bass, although it was there. Instead, Luke treated me to some Schubert that was the perfect antidote to a very busy, hustle-and-bustle sort of day. The Wilsons in question were the Alexias, with dCS and a Grand Prix Monaco/Kuzma/Lyra analog rig handling the source material. That left the latest iteration of the Siegfried monoblocks and Luke’s top of the line electronics in charge, and I was entranced by the sheer loveliness of Franz Schubert and his considerable prowess when it comes to creating unforgettable melodies.

vtl and wilson

Nordost was also part of this room, as it was in Chicago, with the latest generation of grounding devices intended to crush the noise floor under its dominating heel. (For the record, Nordost had its own room with Dan D’Agostino electronics, which you’ll hear more about shortly.) But this VTL and Wilson room was such a welcome place to be on that hectic day–I walked in slightly frazzled and exhausted and walked out refreshed and eager to hit the corridors of the MOC once again.

Is it VTL and Wilson? Or is it VTL and Stenheim? Or is it VTL and Nordost? Maybe it’s just VTL and Luke Manley, accomplishing the uncommon at a high-end audio show by making me feel completely at home.


vtl and wilson


vtl and wilson


kuzma and lyra

vtl and wilson

If you would like to hear even more coverage from Munich 2023, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.

Also don’t forget to check out our latest collaboration – a solid bronze record weight available only for a limited run. This 800g of solid bronze features the PTA roundel on the top which also acts as a 45 adapter. You can purchase direct from the PTA Approved Store here on the site.

1 Comment

  1. Nice report,but it’s the little things that count! As in,that striking 4-bulb strip lighting the area so well. Who makes and where can I get one? Thanks! 😀

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