Balanced Audio Technology VK-P10 phono preamplifier Equipment & Setup
I began my auditioning with the VK-P10 sitting on its own rubber feet atop a Signature ClampRack. As I began to listen, I mixed and matched components and adjusted gain and loading.
The final optimized playback chain included the Symphonic Line RG-8 on the Forsell Air Force One, XLO 3.1 phono cable with single-ended RCAs at both ends into the P10, then balanced runs of TARA Labs Decade line-level interconnect to the VK-5i preamp. The Forsell Air Force One, after a small service by the factory, was once again spinning its magic tune. (The self-adjusting air bearing sometimes needs...adjusting!)
I relied on the Jadis JA 200s and the Forsell Statement for amplification, these wired up with a long run of Decade (both single-ended and balanced). Decade also did the deed between the amps and the Avalon Ascents. I also spent time with the P10 wired up to both the Graaf 13.5B line-level preamp and the YBA 6 Chassis; through the latter, I could listen to the P10 and compare it to the YBA's own phono stage.
I tickled the best sound out of the VK-P10 by putting it and the VK-5i up on Shun Mook Diamond Resonators. I set a pair of Shakti Stones on end and pushed them close (but not touching) the case of the BAT units near the front-mounted vertical transformers. (Shakti earmuffs!) I also experimented—and had good results—with Shakti On-Lines. These little black thingies snuggle up against interconnects, secured with Velcro ties. More on these little guys later.—Jonathan Scull