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Thursday, 01 April 1999 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Balanced Audio Technology VK5i Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction 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, ...
Monday, 01 December 1997 ,  Written by John Sunier
Each of the past 12 years as I have hosted my national radio series Audiophile Audtion I have selected about 60 to 65 concert music CDs which during the year past struck me as combining great music, great performances and exemplary sonics. These Cds are selected based first on superior performances and secondly on excellent sonics. With that said here are the top ten best classical records of 1997. BACH: Brandenburg Concertos (complete) - Il Giardino Armonico/Giovanni Antonini(Teldec 4509-98442-2, 2 CDs): The six Brandenburg Concertos were the first major Bach works that I became familiar with in my youth. The source, as I recall, was a mono open reel prerecorded tape. I've heard a lot of Brandenburgs since then and this one is the most exciting, muscular and awake interpretation around. My previous favorite, and I'm not ditching it, was the one conducted by composer Benjamin Britten on the London label.
Tuesday, 01 April 1997 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Bowers & Wilkins 604 Loudspeakers
Introduction With a slim footprint, sleek design and a dynamically powerful sound the B&W 604 tower loudspeakers fit right into any number of modern systems and do equally as well in just about any home decor. Standing 40 inches tall with a 3-way compliment including a B&W metal dome tweeter, one bright yellow colored B&W Kevlar 7 inch mid-range and two 7 inch Cobex drivers, these B&Ws have the ability to put out some serious musical energy while maintaining a razor sharp image. The 604s are capable of an imaging you would expect from a high end loudspeaker costing many thousands of dollars. B&Ws have not historically been known for their high efficiency ratings, however these 90 dB 604s can rock and roll on a 50 watt-per-channel Rotel integrated amp. Additionally, the 604s are not very placement critical. In setup we were forced to place them closer to a corner than we would have liked but ...
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