It's been 10 years since Balanced Audio Technology (BAT) introduced their first products: the VK-5 line-stage preamplifier and the VK-60 power amplifier. (I reviewed both
in the December 1995 Stereophile
, Vol.18 No.12.) The success of these and other BAT products has allowed designer Victor Khomenko
(the "VK" of the model designations) and partner Steve Bednarski to quit their day jobs at Hewlett-Packard; they were joined by Geoff Poor as a partner to handle the sales end of the enterprise. BAT's current lineup includes several preamps, phono stages, a CD player, and tube as well as solid-state amplifiers. The top of BAT's preamp range is the VK-51SE
, which costs $9000; their top tube power amp is the VK-150SE monoblock
($17,000/pair); if you want their best phono stage, the VK-P10
will set you back $8000.