A Question of Balance
I walked into Balanced Audio Technology's room and almost couldn't leave. Geoff Poor was driving a pair of WATT/Puppy 8s wth an all BAT system consisting of a VK-D5SE/Superpack CD player ($9500), VK-32SE preamplifier ($8000), and the new 55Wpc VK-55SE amplifier ($5995).
The VK-55SE employs BAT's SuperTube gain block, essentially a 6H30 "supertube" gain stage.All of the VK-55s resistive current sources have been replaced by vacuum tube based current sources and the power supply's storage has been increased five-fold. Higher quality polypropylene capacitors.
The VK-55SE can be ordered as a stereo amp or a 100W monoblockwhich, as Poor pointed out, makes for a "sensible upgrade path."
"I know the WP8s pretty well and I have never heard them sound this good," I said to Poore.
"You know, that's pretty much what David Wilson told me yesterday. He came back twice more to listen to them."
Poor says that the SuperTube gain stage and the tube current sources are what give the VK-55Se so much "soul." I can't attribute it solely to the 55SE, since I only heard the system, but soul the system had in spades. The music breathed, it soared, it roared (when appropriate), and it flat out rocked.