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Linear Tube Audio
 

 
Great Sound in a small package
 
By Paul Elliott
 
So I stopped by LTA a couple weeks ago to visit Mark for a couple of hours. The time spent was full of surprises. I have known Mark for a few years through my association with CAF and seen/heard his presentations a various other shows. He always has very musical set-ups centered on the David Berning designed ZOTL amps.
 
The shop (manufacturing and listening) is as unassuming as the area it is located in. Takoma Park, Maryland is a small community sandwiched between the District of Columbia and Silver Spring, Maryland. You could walk right passed it and not know the high end audio goings on.

 
Mark Schneider retired from and engineering career in 2012, and had in mind that he wanted to build amplifiers. He had been into the hobby since high school, and now was the time to really do something about his interest in engineering and his love of music. Not a good enough musician (never made it past 3rd trumpet in band) to make a living so building amplifiers seemed a good way to spend his retirement
 

 
“Music in your life brings you happiness”

 
Live music is magical. To be able to re-experience the live performance in your home is magical

 
Getting the emotion of the live performance in your home is why people are driven to get into high end audio

 
“We are trying to bring the cost of high end audio down”
 
Mark happened to have a friend named David Berning, and Mark wanted to float the idea to him. David just happened to have designed the ZOTL10, at this time, so it was an idea waiting to happen when Mark walked in the door.
 




 
Mark started building the ZOTL10 and microZOTL by himself, started selling them over the internet. Interest in these little amps started to blossom and Mark started to expand his business. So within a few years the company has grown to five full time employees and three part timers. These are really hand built units.
They have sold over 450 amps in just a couple of years. The ZOTL40 is out now, and there are many new designs about to be released. Mark sees a change in the industry with the increase in interest in high efficiency speakers and low power amps. He has sold many of the under $1500, 1 watt microZOTL to guys with $40k horns!


 
“We are trying to bring down the cost of high end audio. We are doing that with David Berning’s ZOTLs. You can put it against any amp at any price.”
 

 
Left to right personnel : Patrick Cain, Jacob Knibb, Will Schneider-White, Sanda Rajaonson, Mark Schneider, James Keith
Speakers lest to right: Living Voice, Spatial Audio and Omega Speakers

In the store Mark has both digital and analog sources, and a range of speakers from under $1k to around $3k. This is a laid back unassuming place, great to kick back and listen to some very sweet tunes. The sound is very real, very emotionally involving, and not over the top in pricing.
 
Linear Tube Audio will be exhibiting at Capital Audiofest, Nov 3-5. They have Room 130, and the ZOTL amps will also be in the Twinbrook room with Fern&Roby. LTA also has a table in CanMania with the new MZ2 preamp/headphone amp/ 1watt amp. They will be raffling off an MZ2 at the giveaway.
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