Balanced Audio Technology's VK-56SE Amplifier

"We do have a new BAT amplifier," replied MoFi Distribution's Managing Director, Norbert Schmied, to my standard room-entry inquiry. I had drifted into the MoFi room, which was busier than most exhibit rooms at the Venetian Hotel. Norbert took me over to a Balanced Audio Technology VK-56SE ($8500), a 52-lb, 55Wpc tube amplifier with a silver faceplate and a graceful arching rear bar, somewhat like a roll bar in a car. In addition to the roll bar, the VK-56SE now offers a fuseless protection circuit. The silver finish, fuseless protection, and roll bar distinguish the new amplifier from the company's entry-level VK-55SE tube amplifier. Norbert pointed out that the VK-55SE and 56SE's 6C33C-B triode output tubes offer many times the current delivery of the 6550/KT90 tube variants used in other tube amplifiers. The VK-56SE retains the VK-55SE's autobias design, and its ability to switch between stereo and bridged monaural function (the latter providing 110W).