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Balanced Audio Technology
BAT has updated several of its preamplifiers, phono preamplifiers, power amplifiers, and its hybrid integrated amplifier to new models. These are the VK-80 ($9995) and VK-90 ($14,995) preamplifiers, the VK-P80 ($6995) and the VK-P90 ($12,995) phono preamplifiers, the VK-90T ($14,995) stereo power amplifier, and the VK-3500 ($11,500) hybrid integrated amplifier. They have also introduced their very first all-tube integrated amplifier, the VK-80i at $9995.
All of the new products have BAT's 25th anniversary industrial design (first seen in the REX 3) which is a wonderful new look to their products. The VK-80 has 2nd generation output transformers which have been upgraded through the use of Cardas OFC wire. It also uses extremely expensive silver foil in oil capacitors as part of the new generation 3 SuperPaks, and these SuperPaks are now included in the base price instead of only being available as an upgrade. All of this results in the preamplifier being more open and revealing while maintaining its musicality and non-HiFi-ish sound. Best of all, the price has remained the same as the VK-33SE.
The VK-90, while maintaining the same advantages that the VK-53SE had over the VK-33SE (twice the current yielding much more visceral performance), also uses the silver foil in oil capacitors in its generation 3 SuperPak, and this SuperPak is significantly larger. It is also included at no extra cost.
The VK-P80 phono preamplifier has improved its internal parts by moving to Mundorf silver/gold-based oil versions for its inner-stage and output capacitors. This results in a quieter product with a blacker background and more dynamics.
The VK-P90 phono preamplifier uses the same, larger generation 3 SuperPak as the VK-90. Its generation 2 step up transformers (for very low output moving coil cartridges) have also been improved. It also uses the Mundorf silver/gold capacitors for its inner stages.
The VK-90T power amplifier is similar to its VK-75Se predecessor but has improved internal interconnect wiring and uses the same Mundorf silver/gold capacitors described above.
The VK-3500 hybrid integrated amplifier also resembles its predecessor, the VK-3000, but it now comes standard with a built-in phono stage, and its 6H30 preamplifier section is upgraded with the Mundorf capacitors.
The VK-80i is a whole new product category for BAT in that it is their first all-tube integrated amplifier. The main feature which makes this product stand out against its competitors is that both the preamplifier stage and the power stage are true triode as opposed to other designs which let you switch their ultralinear power stage into a triode mode which, nevertheless, is still using pentode tubes as output devices. This is not the same as a true triode design. The VK-80i also uses Mundorf coupling capacitors, the same higher level of inner wiring as their other models, and the same fuseless output protection as their other power amplifiers. All in all, it's one of a kind!
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