BAT VK500 - Reliability & sound quality?

Any opinions on these from owners or those who have heard them? I am a bit concerned that their reliability may be questionable (fro a couple of old posts I read) I need a powerful amp (high current) so cant really use tubes....
Not to talk you out of the amp but VTL, ARC and Melos all make high power tube amps with current capacity and power supplies with total joules equal or greater to the VK-500. Slewing rates will be greater for the BAT design but how that impacts the overall sound is open to question.
Just another perspective here. Just how much power do you need ? Bridging the BAT VK60s will give all the power sane ears can take. Just my opinion speaking here, but the BAT customer service is the best in the world ( the audio world) and that may be a slight consideration. AR reference 600s are good too, but at a much higher cost.
Hello, I am one of the BAT VK-500 owners that you are likely referring to in your post.I bought mine second hand a couple years ago and had no problems with it until one of the channels pooped on it last year(8/99). After speaking with BAT's Victor K. about it, I decided to send the amp to them for repair and upgrades made to the VK-500 design since mine was manufactured. After an extremely long break in period(about 250+ hours playing time), the amp has really blossomed in my system(BAT VK-D5,VK-30,driving a pair of NHT 3.3's)and has been as steady as a rock since. I have no idea how the amp was treated prior to my ownership, but I know it was one of the earliest generation models. BAT was/is a pleasure to work with(spoke personally with Victor K. on many occasions)and they really stand behind their products big time! Highly recommended. Ken
I've owned my VK-500 w/batpak for over a year. The power switches have been left on for the entire time and I have had no problems with the unit. It loves a good pair of upgraded power cords, I'm currently using Black Mambas which give the amp the ability to produce excellent bass and a very quiet background. I power ML Quest Z's with the VK and am very pleased with the combination. Even though the BAT is solid state, it renders a somewhat tubelike presentation and is very neutral sounding. I would gladly purchase one again...
Thanks for the feedback guys; By any chance, has anyone heard a Classe CA400? How would this compare to a BAT+BATPAK, to run my Apogee Duetta Signature ribbon speakers?