I have not owned a VK-200 but I did own a VK-500 for four years. I moved up to Pass Labs Aleph 1.2 monoblocks becaue of the more natural sounding midrange.
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TUBES! A tube amp mated with the right speaker would yield better results to a lot of listeners. But if you want to stick with SS look into Rowland, Accphase, Halcro, Cello, it really depends why you think you want a new amp and what speakers your using. Help us out a little better and we'll point you towards a better possible solution.
I found the Plinius SA 100 mk II/III significantly more detailed, with deeper soundstage, and more air around the instruments. I owned both the BAT and the Plinius at the same time, and compared them often.
The price you pay is somewhat less bass slam with the Plinius (the BAT, in my system, had OUTSTANDING bass extension and slam).
The Plinius might not be your cup of tea, however, unless you're looking for a somewhat brighter amp, though the Plinius is more neutral than bright. I found the BAT to be the warmest solid state amp I've tried, so if you're not looking to go any brighter, you should consider tubes.
The BAT also softened sibilance problems in various recordings, but a the expense of detail.
Note that I was using Pro Ac Response 3.5 speakers with a Meridian digital front end going directly into the amp.
I used the BAT in my home for almost a month. It had already been broken in by the dealer, and I liked it. I was driving my Talon Peregrines with it.
However, I heard an Electrocompaniet AW 250DMB at another dealer, and he was driving a pair of Peregrines with it. I couldn't get over it, or the price! $6000.00!!!! That's a lot of cash.......
I saw one on E-Bay a month later and didn't hesitate. It has been great to come home and listen to music ever since. Right now, there are two AW 250DMB's on the classified block here on A-Gon. My advice is buy one of them. You will not be disappointed.
I must tell you though, that the advice given above for bi-amping with the BAT's is extremely intriuging. I never thought of bi-amping with the BAT's, and it would have to work really, really well. You wouldn't need a crossover, and the gain would have to be damn near identical. It's ashame that the Peregrine's are not bi-ampable, cause that is an experiment worth trying!
Here's what my listening experiences were.....let me know if you agree. I had a Mark Levinson 23.5. Then a Coda 11.5 which sounded better then the ML. Then Clayton M100 monoblocks which were better then the Coda. Then a Plinius 100 MkIII which sounded not near as good as the Clayton monos. Then a Clayton s40 which was almost as good (96%) as the M100 monoblocks (more bass with the monos), and definitly better than the Plinius, Coda, and ML. Anyone heard both the Clayton S40 AND the BAT vk200 and compared them?
I auditioned the vk200, the clayton m100 monoblocks (till I could try the s40) and the plinius sa100mkIII. I think that stevegolf1 described the BAT deadon. It did have very impressive bass, but the treble felt a little rolled off (hence, it was helpful at softening sibilance). The Plinius still provided good bass (and as I have a sunfire subwoofer, it wasn't as important to me) and offered superior detail, definition and separation in my system.
The S40 is very much the same sound as the M100 monoblocks, just less power. In terms of bass power, I'd say BAT first, then Clayton, then Plinius. But the Clayton had a slight lower-midrange hump that while I found very pleasing, especially with vocals, was not something that I could see myself wanting to keep longterm. The plinius was the most neutral of the amps I tried. I enjoyed it in AB, but give it about 30 minutes in Class A and the music just got deeper and sweeter.
Hope this helps.
I auditioned a BAT vk200 while buying my Maggies (3.5). I then heard the same speakers with the vk500, it seemed smoother, more at ease. Great bass control(who says planars have no bass) and a very sweet mid range. The highs just shimmered! Needless to say I now own the vk500. Although I have always used a tube preamp for a little warmth.
can all of you comment on what power cords and interconnects you have used with satisfaction.i have a vk500 which creates a hum or cuts off sound if i use any i/c other than cheap balanced monsters, i own silver ovals which for the moment create ditortion-as with other i/cs.am trying Whales 200hours only hoping to hear improvements people raved about thisPC not sure if vk500 will mate easily.DOES BAT respond well to HT PRO AC11. sunil