If you like what you have and have the itch to upgrade why not get a VK-75 or VK-75se?
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I agree with Tireguy. If you like the sound of BAT, then it is better to move up the ladder than trying different manufacturers. However, if you are curious about what's available outside BAT, it is perfectly understandable also. In that case, if possible, you might want to keep your VK-60 around before getting a new amp. I've seen some people making "regrettable upgrades" that they ditched perfectly good gears just for the sake of trying new things.
The levinson sound is quite a bit off from the Bat sound. Expect to gain:
- (maybe) transparency (in a sense - more of a quiet background)
- detail, but perhaps a little more thrown at you.
- power and authority
- a little more brightness.
- A soundstage that is more precisely defined in 2d.
Expect to lose:
- a fair amount of the 'life to music' that tubes, and
especially BAT amps provide.
- The soundstage will be a little less 3d.
- Bat/Tubes wonderful instrument timbre and harmonic overtones.
I prefer BAT equipment to levinson, but lots of people of people feel the opposite. Both are superb products. I think you are on the right track to keep your existing equipment so you can a/b them. Dunlavy's are a little laid back, so maybe the Levinson will offset this. Make sure that you give yourself ample time (a week or two) to become accustomed to the levinson amp's sound.
Go ahead and try one - it's a HOBBY !
What's the rest of your setup? A 2nd vk60 or a vk75se might be a better way to go. John_1 has a pretty good post. And, as you can see, I agree with the others too.
I just upgraded a vk60 to 75se. You gain transparency, detail, power, authority, tightness, quietness. Loose a little bit of warmth, but get much deeper, extended bass. The gains are leaps, not little things.
I am curious what else you have...
I'm in a similar conundrum. I also have a BAT VK-60 driving AP Virgos and there is also nothing wrong with this setup. But the one thing that keeps disturbing me is that small amount of noise coming from the BAT. It's not an issue when music is playing, but when it's very quiet in the house and my ears are in good shape I can even hear that noise in the listening position. So, for a while I was entertaining the idea to get some other tube monoblocks (although I totaled the car this weekend, so no upgrades for a while). But the VK-75SE would also be very tempting. Jfrech, since you mentioned the 75SE is a bit more quiet, how much of a difference can I expect? I guess, I wouldn't be totally quiet, would it?
I owned a ML 331 and although it was a very nice amplifier, I found it to be a bit dry and somewhat sterile than my Audio Research VT-50 or VT-100. If you are going to go with Levinson I would recommend the 334 which replaced the 331 a few years back. I can realte to you wanting to try different amplification in your system and you rightly should....I am just not so sure you are going to gain anything with the 331.