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Balanced Audio Technology VK-3i
13 Reviews
rating  4.69 of 5
MSRP  2500.00
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Reviews 1 - 5 (13 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by WILLIAM C WALDECKER 3RD a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 28, 2006

Bottom Line:   
this preamplifier replaces a Anthem pre 1L in my current system. it is not euphonic in the sense that that it is very clean sounding with just a hint of tube warmth. build quality is first rate with sonics to match.it came with the factory Sovtecs installed. i tried tube rolling with this pre and found that the Amperex 7308s that made my pre 1L sing so sweetly did not appeal to me in this particular circuit.i liked the sound of the sovtecs but on a recomendation from a friend rolled in a quad of Ei Elite gold 6DJ8s. these tubes remind me of early Amperex A frame 6DJ8s and sound great in this preamplifier.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $1350.00

Purchased At:   Upscale Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by William C Waldecker III a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 8, 2006

Bottom Line:   
The BAT VK 3i is the second tube preamplifier that i have owned and used in my two channel system. the first one Being an Anthem Pre 1L linestage. i liked the Pre 1L very much and with Amperex 7308 goldpins installed it sang very sweetly indeed.i own a pair of Odyssey factory modded mono extreme SE's for amplification duties using Groneberg TS premium cables and ic's throughout the entire system. loudspeakers are the wonderful Odyssey/Symphonic Line Lorelei's using Scanspeak 8545 midbass drivers and 9700 tweeters and the source is a Symphonic Line Vibrato CD player.my system sounds alot better than it has a right to considering the performance vs cost ratio.i was very pleased with the Pre 1L in the system but the VK 3i takes it to a whole new level sonically.the synergy with the VK 3i in this two channel rig is breathtaking. if you prefer an overly euphonic presentation this pre may not be your cup of tea.if you crave a black background and a smooth overall presentation with just a touch of tube warmth the VK 3 i may be right up your alley.the bass,midrange and treble seem to be in fine balance with each other,as it does everything equally well. what suprised me the most is that in my particular system i prefered it with the factory supplied Sovtec's installed over my expensive Amperex 7308 goldpins. Victor Khomenko is a Genius when it comes to designing audio circuits and i would like to congradulate him on a job well done!the VK 3i is a very Handsome well built piece of Gear and best of all it is made in the USA thanks....WCW III

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $1350.00

Purchased At:   Upscale Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jandl100 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 13, 2005

Bottom Line:   
As delivered, it is (as others have criticised it) quite bright, with flat sound-staging and quite noticeable upper-mid and treble grain. BUT, swap out the stock Sovtek tubes for something a little better and a whole new world awaits you! The grain disappears, musical warmth washes forth and the 3D soundstage opens up. It really is worth dumping those Sovteks. I use JAN Philips 6922s and Brimar 6V6GTs. These work very well, but I'll be doing some more tube rolling to see if more can be obtained.

With tubes substituted (which is how I have scored this item) there is subtlety and detail and transparency in abundance. No, it's not awash in tube-ular euphonics - it remains clean and pure - but it is very, very musical!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Brighton Hifi Exchan



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by RLB61 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 2, 2003

Bottom Line:   
As a preliminary matter, let me say that I love this pre-amp. Its sound is natural and engaging without being syrupy. 3D imaging is amazing and soundstage is wide and deep. First thing you must do is swap out the stock Sovtek 6922 tubes. This is essential if you want to really hear what the VK-3i can do. Now, I did some tube rolling with Amperex, Siemens, etc., and wasn't particularly satisfied soundwise or costwise. I settled on the NOS Sovtek 6H23-EBs and Visseaux 6v6GTs from Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio (reasonably priced). WHAT an improvement over the stock tubes. I much preferred the sound of the VK-3i to that of the VK-5i(discontinued) and VK-30. The 5i had a tad more resolution but it was so incremental that it didn't justify the price differential. Also, the 5i has no single ended imputs. As for the VK-30, I found it to be a bit lean and just not as much fun to listen to as the VK-3i. This is one sweet pre-amp.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Owen a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 28, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I have a wide veriety of music and a lot of classic (Distorted) rockn' roll. I wanted all my jazz and soft vocal music to have that warm tube sound so I decided on the VK3i for that but on the rock side I new I would need high current and fast bass so I went with the SS VK200 for punch and reserve. I can truly say I go both ways when it comes to SS and tube now. This is by far the best combo amp pre amp I have ever owned and I feel Victor designed these two pieces of equipment to go hand in hand to create in my mind and also to my ears "Musical Nirvana". As Sherif said in an earlier review you will not know the true perameters of this combo unless you use balanced XLR's to tie them together. I have them between my pre and phono pre also. If you want to hear exactly what was put on your vinyl or CD's you must hear this combination in action. If you have ever heard the expression "makes them walk and talk" this is exactly what this combo does to my B&W 803's. I would put this combo up against anything costing 2 to 3 times their price and make you want to get some $$$$$ back. Or like Mikey says "Try it, you'll like it!"

I gave it an overall of 4 because the 50SE is the daddy!

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   MaxAudio




Reviews 1 - 5 (13 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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