Also interested in comparisons versus the Luxman solid-states - the 505, 550, 509, etc..
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... and especially interested in comparisons to Blue Circle integrateds... ideally, I'm looking to hit a mix of non-fatiguing yet lush detail, a weighty, ballsy sound, with a hint of organic, tubey warmth that, at the end of the day, achieves neutrality, the sound of a live performance... I need something versatile that nails everything from the Takacs Quartet to Oscar Peterson to Led Zeppelin. I'm figuring this should be a cinch, right?
Thanks - I had meant to mention that I'm basically starting over completely with my system, and the current idea is to go with a pair of Ohm 1000 speakers - I'm slightly concerned that the 300x or 6922 might be a little dark for Ohms, for example. Haven't decided on a DAC for my MacBook yet, although my ideal might be something akin to an Audio Note 2.1x.
So are my questions still just too vague or poorly phrased, or have the BAT Vk-300x models failed to inspire a legion of fans who delight in describing their sound versus each other and the competition?
Again, I'm fully aware that only I know what sounds good to me, just trying to figure out if it's worth taking a trip out of town to audition one of these...
Coverto - I have listened to the BAT VK-300x before, and it sounded good. But, for that kind of price I believe you can do better. The Luxman L505u, even though it's an SS amp, sounds better than BAT VK-300x for $3,700. If you want the ultimate amp, get the Luxman L509u. All Luxman int amps put out sound that is tube-velvet, with lush detail. However, this unit costs $10k in the USA for the 120-volts model, and a little over $7,000 in Japan for the 100-volts model. The choice is yours.
Hey Renjy - thanks for the response - I have indeed heard the Luxman L509u and agree it sounds fantastic - unfortunately, with its price tag, the choice is not mine! I was not as impressed by the 505, although I did like it. If you're saying it sounds better than the BAT at that price, that's great to know.
Thanks Keith - again, very helpful - which BAT did you hear? One of the tubed versions, I'm guessing?
Pauly - my apologies for the sluggish response. The 505u I heard was a demo that I understand was well broken in, and it was indeed a great sounding amp. But there was no doubt that the 550 and the 509 were superior, with the 509 being one of the best integrateds I've heard.
Keith - from what I've read, it seems that the more recent Blue Circle integrateds are quite a few steps ahead of the NSCS, so that still leaves me wondering, but still it's great info to have - thanks.