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Balanced Audio Technology VK-50SE
12 Reviews
rating  4.75 of 5
MSRP  7000.00
Description: All-balanced tube preamplifier with remote


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Reviews 1 - 5 (12 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Robert a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 28, 2003

Bottom Line:   
solidly and beautifully built. does generate some heat so you need ventilation. In substituting out SimAudio Moon P5, I notice an immediate increase in both bass extension & bass output. I know, I know. Not supposed to happen going from solid state to tubes, but it was obvious. Additionally, and immediately obvious, a more open and extended high end. I know; I know. Not supposed to happen going from solid state to tubes. I can't say the the BAT is warm or caramel, say like C-J; it is not in my system. It seems to be neutral and I have not noted any particular accentuation of any pitch or frequency. Outstanding detail both at low and high volume. Outstanding macrodynamic capability and remains composed even on complex music such as classical (i won't bore you with titles or composers). Put on a JVC XRCD of Miles or Trane, sit back and marvel. Its really very fine line stage. I just sent it in for the upgrade to 51SE status. We'll see. I'll let you know.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Purchased At:   Upscale Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Clark Duffy a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: December 4, 2001

Bottom Line:   
In my system it opened up a whole new dimension in sound that I never knew existed. Till you put this in your system you don't know the information that your missing. Note the specs to 100Khz, there is alot of harmonic information that affects the sound within the listening range of the ear that other equipment doesn't reproduce. BAT Tube Gear does it. Don't expect allot out of it till there is 100 hours of operating time on it cause it will change significantly.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $5500.00

Purchased At:   Stereo Unlimited



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Paul a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: April 23, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I can mirror the review below mine, with the following exceptions in equipment:

I have Aerial 10t speakers, Levinson33H amps and for cd playback I use either a BAT VKD5 or Sony SCD777ES.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Joseph a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: March 23, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Do you want to read a true story about awakening into Audiophile reality? I’ve owned a Wadia 860x CD player and Martin-Logan reQuest speakers for 3 years, all hooked up through a Sony receiver. I thought they sounded great, but was I wrong! Recently, I bought a VK500 amplifier, a VK50SE preamp, Nordost Quattro Fil interconnects and Red Dawn Rev.II speaker cables.

After 200 hours of nasty noise from my XLO break-in disc, the system sounded good, really good. The system sounded better than my own very high expectations (validation of my buying decision – MARVELOUS!). I found the system utterly engaging. I poured through every CD I owned and rediscovered music I had long forgotten. Every CD I played sounded good beyond my expectation. In fact, the performance of the Wadia and Logans, leapt to a mind-boggling level of sound quality, driven by the BAT equipment. Detail that I never new existed on my favorite CDs suddenly appeared! Let me rephrase that, Detail that I never thought could be placed on a CD suddenly appeared! The balanced Audio Technology equipment caused a glorious transformation!

As 300 hours passed, the system progressively sounded better! I realized that the language I began using to describe the sound to my friends mirrored that of Stereophile magazine’s finest reviews. Laser focused detail, lifting veils, musical fluidity, palpable sound, blackness, air, extended highs, clearly defined lows, invisible speakers, live breathing musicians on a wide, deep, clearly defined sound stage- suddenly I understood exactly what those colorful descriptors meant!

As 400 hours passed, the soundstage expanded and fell backward off the speakers, instruments developed a tightly defined focus around which complete blackness formed, and, on a good recording, the soundstage emanated from a point behind the back wall and spread easily beyond the side wall. At the same time, a breathtaking, gently articulated back to front reverberation attached itself to focal voices and instruments that continues to send chills up my spine every time I hear it. I had no idea this level of engineering and sound reproduction was possible!

As I write this, I feel I risk sounding foolish. I feel as though I’m describing the sound characteristics of the high 5-figure systems utilized for many of Stereophile’s component reviews. Yet, the sound of this low 5-figure system conveys a level of musical clarity I’ve never heard in any audiophile showroom in Chicago. The BAT equipment mated to Martin-Logans through Nordost cables is stunning. The ReQuests turned out to be better than any speaker I’ve heard under $15,000. Nordost cables are magical, and I’ve never heard anything more neutral than Quattro Fil in their price range.

I’m not forgetting the Wadia 860X. It is the source – say no more. Every time I hear the sound of my system improve, I feel a deeper respect for the astonishing quality of Wadia products. Without the ability of the Wadia to produce an audiophile source signal, the downstream components would be fighting a lost battle.

So, here’s the point about awakening into audiophile reality. Reliable information is the key to making the right investment and getting the most from your investment. It is clear to me, that without the information I obtained from Audio Review, Stereophile, manufacturer’s websites, and discussions with experts, I would have either made a purchase mistake, or, even worse, never heard the true potential of the equipment I purchased. You just read reliable information.

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $7000.00

Purchased At:   Glenn Poor Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by fesoj a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: December 29, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Thank GOD for the inspiration, a WELL engineered tube hybrid which completes the bridge between source, mine being a DVD Audio player 192Khz - 24 bit, and my ultra high definition 96dB/1W/1M 16hz to 40khz TDS Sonic Reference Monitors...
There really are no words which accurately describe the intense and beautiful emotions one experiences from listening to Victor Khomenko's equipment...BRAVO!!!

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000




Reviews 1 - 5 (12 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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