Balanced Audio Technology’s All-Tube VK80i Integrated Amp Available
Balanced Audio Technology (BAT) introduces its VK80i all-tube integrated amplifier, which, it says, offers easy access to power, resolution and dynamics.
BAT's VK80i valve-powered integrated amplifier utilises tech first employed in the brand's flagship REX series and so benefits from triode-balanced architecture, fuse-less protection and automatic-bias circuits as enjoyed by the REX 3 power amplifier design.
Balanced Audio Technology states that the VK80i generates 55 watts per channel (at 8Ω/ 4Ω), thanks to the triode 6C33C-B tube. This, we are told, offers many times the current delivery of the 6550/KT90 tetrode tube variant often employed by traditional tube integrated amplifiers. Arranged in a fully balanced topology, the 6C33C-B enables the VK80i to deliver the high-current performance required to drive even tricky low-impedance speaker loads, says the manufacturer.
Additionally, the 20.4 kg VK80i eliminates the need to set and readjust the bias of the output tubes as the integrated amp sports an intelligent automatic bias design. So, the amp will intuitively adjust for changing line voltage and ageing tubes, with each output tube (4 x 6SN7, 4 x 6C33C-B) having its own dedicated bias circuit.
Furthermore, BAT says that by eliminating internal channel and tube fuses, the VK80i's performance is not compromised by the “sound” or the quality of the fuse that is typically placed in the signal path of an amplifier channel. THD at full power is quoted at 3%, with frequency response listed as 8 Hz-200 kHz.
Apparently, in the rare event of an output tube becoming over-stressed, the classic “turn it off and on again” restores play.
Connectivity is by way of one XLR and three RCA inputs with volume controlled via a resistive ladder design over 90 steps, 1dB per step.
The BAT VK80i is available from September at US$9,995 in black or silver and comes with an all-metal remote control.
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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