I always though making some sort of suction device like a stove hood over the equipment to suck the hot air away and out of the room/house would be a great idea. The actual fan doing the suction could be two rooms away... even part of a whole house vacuum system?
A little whisper fan and some ducting...
Make your place look like a scene from the movie Brazil?
BAT stuff just runs hot. that's all there is to it.
I used a VK5i with a VK500 BP. Tube pre + SS amp.
I used a vk5i with a vk 60.
I sold the BAT stuff eventually and wish I HAD KEPT THE AMP, DESPITE THE HEAT IT PRODUCED.
btw... the VK 60 was hotter than the SS amp
Bigger tubes produce more heat.
The BAT gear sold me on the mono block factor.
I then bought a pr of Dodd mono's and still have them. Using EL34s (4 per block) I get 120wpc, better sound than the vk60, as good as the vk500, and in some respects better still, and save for the lower end impact twice as much power will deliver, and near no heat to speak of... warm, yes. Leave the room hot? Nope.
I love the flexibility of the Dodd MK II monos. Roll the input tubes only (3 per block) and the whole sonic product can be migrated into something 100% different. About $300 to retube w/NOS & new CED Winged C 34s.
I can go from creamy buttery smooth to incisive and quick via input tube massaging alone.
They sound to me superior to Cary & Manley EL34 amps too.
There are other options I'm sure and better units overall than the vk5i + vk55 too I'd think. With lesser heat throwing as well.
I sincerely dig the flexibility and tone tube amps allow for inherently. SS amps however do still have appeal to me too.
Class 'A' SS amps too yeild goodly amounts of BTUs, so remember that in your search.
If I can't live with the heat... it's time to live with something else. BAT's a great company and I like 'em a lot, but they aren't the end all be all in music.
I tried a BAT32 pre for a day in my system. It raised the room temperature 15 degrees. Way too hot for Texas! It also blew a tube and I returned it to the understanding seller (local sale) because I didn't want to mess with tube issues. I guess I am a confirmed SS guy despite my brief forays into tube stuff. I am running a Pass XP10 now-- tubelike sound with class A solid state reliability and quality. It's a beautifully built and engineered preamp. Warm in sound but not temp!!
My first really high-end system consisted of the following:
BAT VK-500 Amp
Two VK-60 Monoblock amps
BAT VK-50SE Preamp
The temprature in my room would reach 100+ degrees within an hour or so. It was unbearable. To say that BAT gear runs hot is an understatement!
Besides frequent tube replacements, heat wreaks its havoc on other surrounding circuitry as well.
BTW... I'm in the "Sunburn State."... but we have a new thing here that helps us get thru our nine month summers....
I enjoy it, but don't enjoy paying for it.
I can place my hand over the top of my current tube preamp and hold it there a very very long while, I can do nearly the same thing with those Dodd MK IIs blocks, just to a tad lesser degree.
There are mini fans designed to run near silent or silent indeed and cool off such appliances. I've seen them and seen them talked about here in the forums.
Some appear to be small enough to attach to a rack, or reside nearby and should help immensely.
The coolest running amp I've ever owned was/is the Odyssey Stratos. By Far. Maybe the newer Stratos mono blocks or whatever Odyssey is calling their top tier blocks these days will run similarly.
I could use it as a pillow if it would just fluff up more.
It is true that the tube amps do run hot... about half of their standby power is actually in filament supplies!
Big tubes have big filaments. That is why they can deliver current pulses of several amps with ease.
Regarding the total power dissipation, it is about 500W per unit. Which is about 1700 BTU. From there a calculation can be made in terms of air conditioner load.
Tube life in units like VK-60 is not really an issue. There is some percentage of power tubes that fail early due to internal arcing, about 3-4% overall, but average tubes typically last several years.
There is also no thermal stress on internal components, they run very cool, due to design derating and strong chimney effect. Therefore after 15 years of production we are still not seeing any amps failing due to overheating. Usually the problems are related to random component failures, or foreign objects in the units - heavy accumulation of dust and pet hair among the most common.
I have numbers of tube amps in my house, BAT tube amps do run hot but not much hotter than other tube amps. amount of heat BAT 75SE produces is equivalent to ARC, VTL, or SF 100 wpc tube amp and drive capability is similar, so comparison between different wattage is fair.
But this is where the story ends, BAT sounds so much better than other tube amps!
To sweeten the sound of your VK55, roll the 6SN7.
I'm right there with ya Semi! Can't wait to hear the new REX power amp. To the OP Bob, may I suggest a warmer cable, try moving your speakers, or even some room treatment? Hope this helps
So, that is why some people have different amps for summer and winter?
I have VK-200 and VK-30, and am trying to get a VK-55 or VK-60, or even VK-75 to be prepared for next winter. ;-)
If the BAT tube amps and preamp are producing too much heat but you still like the sound, have you considered their integrated?
I have no idea what the heat factor is with it, nor how it compares to what you currently have. I've heard the integrated with one level of tubes or another, and it sounded fantastic to my ears.
Even though I've just recently acquired a BAT product for the first time, I can confidently say they are more neutral and musical than most offerings available. Take a listen to VTL tubes perhaps?
I have had my rex power amp for about a week now and can say that it sounds better than any amp I have ever heard and I have heard many over my 40 years as an audiophile. Of course it runs hot--they all do, but the rex doesnt seem to run any hotter than average. Kudos to Victor!
Congratulations Wbk! The REX power amp has got to be one of the best kept secrets in hi-end audio today. Can't believe more people haven't been exposed to it.
It without a doubt is the best sounding amp I've come across in my almost 40yrs. of being into audio and 40+ yrs. of being a musician. IMO instrumental texture of tone is simply on another level of any other amp I've ever heard.
BTW, don't know if you bought your amp new, but if so I have to tell you to get ready to have a stupid dumbfounded grin on your face as it breaks-in. It just keeps on opening up with more and more detail and dynamic authority as this amp comes 'alive' it breaths music. Just when you think it can't get any better and your done the amp somehow seems to arrive at a new plateau of performance. I have a little over 300hrs on my REX mono-blocks and I still may not be done with the break-in process.
What Tom in post above said. The REX amps are the best I've owned and in the top three amps, tube or SS I've heard. And although very costly, alot less money than the amps i would say compete with them.
Love the BAT product. 52SE a great preamp and excellent for the money. Friend was running the REX for a while but his room is quite small and I think he found the heat an issue. Plus he changes gear frquently. Really like the sound and benefits of running tube pre with ss amp. have run Audionote tube with Bryston 14bsst and sounded great. Now running Edge 12.1 amp with Allnic L3000 pre and relly like the results. Also have the Edge sig 1.1s.e pre and think the Allnic may sound best.