I tried both and I definitely like the VK60 better. It has all the mid and high, 3D holographic effect with smooth and extended high. Bass wise is acceptable for tube amp. I moved up to the Spectron M3SE Solid State AMP to get better bass without lossing mid plus improved high for tribled the cost.
Sam, buy another Predator and then get a pair of Dodds. Better bass, less heat, less expense to retube, same mid range, more flexibility in rolling tubes and top end extension, and lots easier to handle.
The Money diff, if much at all, will be well worth spending and at twice the power of either you'll be less restricted if you make speaker changes in the future.
If the price between them isn't huge, just wait and do the 55 as you like it a lot anyways.
But them Dodds ain't bad. Not bad at all. Versus the 55 or 60, I think they are a slam dunk no brainer if you do the 120 MK II with cap upgrades.
Either go with what ya know, or get mo for your dough.
The 60 is way better than the 55. 55 = cheaper, smaller iteration meant to satisfy those who found the 60/75 too big/expensive. Consider the vk-60 basically a VK-75 with a different name, since that is what it is. The VK-60 is a huge bargain. vk-55 = answer to the question no one was asking, IMNHSO.
Until recently I had a VK5i in combination with my VK75SE tube amp. It was a good combination, but errs towards loose bass and bloomy presence region. You can bring out lots more detail, neutrality, and bass control in the VK60 by switching from stock paper-in-oil coupling caps to V-Cap TFT teflon, and by replacing 2' intrachassis microphone cable IC with a better quality IC. With these lite mods the VK60 will be a keeper.
Dgarretson...Who can do these mods and how much are they? Thanks.
Anyone with the ability to desolder/solder can perform these mods, accessing through the bottom cover of the chassis without removing PCBs. Probably about 1 hour of work. You need 4 x .22uf/600V V-Cap @ $89 and $60 in triple-braided silver IC from Reference Audio Mods(or two 2' sections of any good balanced interconnect.) If V-Caps are outside your budget, substitute Russian FT-3 teflon caps from ebay @$5. Email me if you would like detailed instructions.
I have a VK31 pre-amp that I've used with ARC, VTL and BAT amps. (The BAT was a VK75, not the SE--which means I can play around with NOS tubes, which is fun with the BAT gear). That BAT combo was certainly synergistic. I would imagine you would be pleased, and I also would guess that the A'goners that are recommending the 60 over the 55 are probably right...if the 75 is basically the update for the 60, then you will probably like having a little extra testosterone with the 60.
Having seen inside VK75SE, VK75, and VK60, all three are pretty much the same, except for addition of a regulated filament power supply PCB and subsitution of 6H30 tube at input in -SE version.
Thank you guys for the recommendation. It looks to me the 60 would have better bass than the 55? It does have an extra transformer and a bigger amp to boot. I know the 55 was a room heater and I bet the 60 would put out more. Does the 60 suffer from any reliability issues?
Wonder how the 55SE would compare to the 60.. I think the SE version is more than just dropping in two 6H30's. Their website says it has a larger power supply and bigger capacitors than the standard VK-55.
Check with BAT on this but I believe the third transformer is on the underside of the unit. Victor told me once that through a more efficient design of the circuit he was able to squeeze a few more watts out of the VK-55 than the VK-60.
Overall, IMHO BAT tube amps are some of the very best sounding tube amps on the market.
Perhaps I was unclear. In addition to 6H30, the -SE versions have an extra PCB with a separate transformer and three separately regulated circuits for tube filaments.
not sure anyone commmented here on "Does the 60 suffer from any reliability issues?"
I have ran BAT tube amps for about 8-9 years. Started off with a VK60 for a few years, then a 75SE, last 2 years, 150SE's. Other than a few 6c33b tubes arcing and popping fuses (it's just the tube here, those tubes are that way, which takes about 5 min to fix), they have been rock solid.
I don't think you have to worry on reliability. Just keep a few fuses handy (radio shack) and a extra 6c33b tube...