a battle of 'best buys'...both are balanced and powerful....go with the legend.
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I've had the VK-60 monos. Very powerful, clean, wonderful sound. BUT... costly, finicky and will roast you in the summertime in a small room. Better hope you don't need to send these big, heavy monsters to BAT if they act up. Could get really expensive very quickly.
I now use the Primaluna 7 monos. Great, reliable, dependable amps. Almost a sin at the price. I purchased these used (there are some 6s and 7s on the 'gon right now) and never regretted it. They are 70w per. I love them. RECOMMENDED!
The BATs made a few trips from the West coast to the East coast and back (costly). Each time BAT "solved" the problem*, each time I had to remove the cover to correct something which was not addressed properly, etc, etc, etc. It did not feel good to pay hundreds of $ every time they had it in their hands, and I did not feel that much care was taken to solve the problems.
Problems: loud pops from the amps (not the speakers), loud hissing from the speakers. It was frightening to turn the damn things on.
I finally sent them one last time to BAT, and sold them from their.
A friend of mine has had a pair for years. He has not had the same experience, but he does not use his system often.
This is my experience. I hope you have better luck.
P.S All the above AND retubing per BATs recommendation.
I have a MC240 that was used for about 30 years on a routine basis. It never even went to the Mc Clinics and still was running without a hitch. Then it sat for 10 years before I got it. I powered it up with a variac and used it for 3 months without ever doing anything to it! Then I gave it a full rebuild but only because it is now 40 years old! I'd say you could expect the same of a MC275 - and it sounds fantastic IMO. The 275 runs warm but not hot (better for durability). As Jaybo says, it is a legend and there are very good reasons why that's the case.
I had a BAT VK-3i that I liked quite a bit sound-wise but it had issues too. The volume control would send a clicking sound through the speakers when rotating it. Faint but there. Also, there was crosstalk if the unused RCA inputs weren't shorted. I contacted BAT about it but was basically told these things were normal!? I sold it soon thereafter. My McIntosh C42 replaced it, which has been a blessing in all aspects - no wierd noises, zero crosstalk, and the best sound I have had from a preamp (and I've had many).
I don't know the Mac, but the VK60 was probably BAT's most popular tube amp & there are few posts reporting reliability issues. You can go 2000 hrs before retubing output tubes and acquire good 6C33C-B tubes on ebay for $15 each. The 6922s & 6SN7s last much longer. For a few hundred dollars more you can add V-Cap teflon coupling caps and replace the cheap stock internal IC with decent wire, and you will have one fine amp.
Allow me to opine about both, as I currently have both.
Actually I have BAT monoblock 150SE's (in an all BAT system) and Mac monoblock 275 IV's (in a second system). When they were the best BAT tube amps, I had monoblock 60's.
I have not had any problems at all with any of my BAT equipment. I don't think I am just lucky. BAT equipment is well designed and well made, IMHO. No manufactured equipment is perfect and there will always be some individual lemons.
Yes, the BAT amps, using the 6C33C output tubes, generate more heat than the Mac's and, as suggested, consideration should be given if used in a small room and/or in a warmer climate.
Unless you get the newest 275 V amps, the older versions have the archaic speaker terminals Mac has used in the past, making the use of spades and bananas problematic.
Annoying but not insurmountable.
That said, now we have a level playing field - both amps having the same power output.
I listen to both but prefer the BAT's. I must add that my 150SE's have been modified with V-CAP teflon capacitors, a very simple procedure to do, thanks to the help of Dgarretson. That has made a huge difference in sound - much more low level detail, improved dynamics, and a deeper, wider sound stage. Others have previously commented on the benefits of V-CAP teflon coupling caps in various units. Well worth the cost. But, even before that mod, the BAT equipment drew me more into the music, which is what this is all about, right?
I emphasize that you must hear both to make a better decision. Both are very popular having achieved widespread acclaim for their sound.
Thanks much for the replies, especially considering they are directly on topic with real experiences.
It sounds like aside from serice related issues and "environmental" concerns, both the bat and the mac are high quality amps. Likely, I'll start with one from the 'gon and see how it works with the rest of my system. If I encounter a major shortcoming, ill probaly try the other as well, and keep the one I like best.
I would prefer to buy new, maybe I can scrape up the dough, that would make a comparison easier with dealer support. I guess from bat that would be the vk55, as the 75 would be too much $$$ if new.