Thursday, 01 April 1999
Jerry Del Colliano
The BAT VK5i is a $4500 all tube, dual mono, fully balanced preamp from
high end up-and-comer Balanced Audio Technology. Since Sonic Frontiers
ten years ago, there have been very few new tube manufacturers to come
along and capture the precious high end market share until BAT. Founded
in 1995, BAT is both a tube and solid state electronics manufacturer
who has carved a niche between high value and high performance music
playback products. The VK5i is a great example of this balance.
The VK5i makes few excuses in its operation. It features a
full-function remote that is nicely crafted and fully loaded with
functions like mute, fade, and volume. The faceplate features a
utilitarian look with seemingly military spec switches for both power
and mute. The volume knob, which digitaly controls a Vichey pot, is
built solidly, but does not feel as high tech as what you'll find on a
Mark Levinson, ...