VTL MB450 monos Vs. BAT VK 60se monos?

I am currently using a solid state amp. I recently replaced a McIntosh SS pre-amp with the BAT VK51se pre-amp that I bought off AGON. WOW this move was a step in the right direction. Not a small step but a big one. So, I want to move to tubes for my amp too. These are the two set-ups that I am considering. Input would be greatly appreciated.
Hello Imformusa,

Assuming the BAT VK-60se monoblock amps can drive your speakers properly my advice would be to .... go with BAT.

If you do decide to go with the BAT's it might be a good idea to get a fresh new set of 6c33 output tubes for them. Good luck to you whichever amps you choose.

I have owned both amps, though my BATs were the 150SEs. The BATs probably sound a little better, but they don't have the brute strength that the VTLs do. If you need a lot of power or are used to it you might be disappointed by the BAT amps. I personally would choose the VTLs on the fact that they have more power and I really like the sound of more power. The VTLs are HOT very hot, the BATs are hot but not nearly as bad. I personally had a fair amount of trouble with my BAT amps blowing fuses, where I had zero trouble with the VTLs. Incidentally I have moved to Parasound JC-1s and could not be happier (tubes, especially high powered amps are a pain in my opinion)
Depends a little on you speakers and room. Source as well.

But I am partial to recommending you stick with BAT here. The VK60SE mono's are a steal for the performance and a perfect match for you pre amp.

The VTL's are great amps to, no issues there. Just the synergy gained from a BAT pre and BAT amp combo is something special I believe.

Good luck !
Wow Ejlif! I am really surprised. I had the JC-1's and the MB450's in the same system for a while (Maggie 20.1's as well as Gallo Ref 3.1's), and to my taste the VTL's put meat on the music whereas the JC-1's sounded pretty flat and uninteresting. Either different synergy or different taste! All the Best, Peter
Peter, I guess they must just mate a lot better with my Ayre K1x pre better possibly? Don't get me wrong I do like all the amps mentioned a lot, but for me everyday realities like massive heat output as well as the need to turn the amps on and off and wait for them to power up and be ready are enough to turn things in favor of the JC-1s. For instance with either tube amp I wouldn't bother with turning them on for 30 minutes in the morning before work, there is nothing musical about that!
Thank you everyone for your thoughts. Okay, I forgot to mention which speakers I am using. I have the JM Labs Focal 1027BEs which you all probably know are pretty easy to drive. I always read comments about that "tube magic in these threads" - which I would have to say in the case of my pre-amp is true. But then again I went from a pre that listed in the $3500 dollar range to one that listed for over $8000.. Could it be not a tube vs. SS issue but just one product against another. I am really looking for a 3D sound stage with beautiful timbres, and sound that isn't to dark(a complaint that I've read about tubes) and natural/real/balanced. I listen mostly to classical, with some jazz, and some rock. Does a ton of power make difference with speakers that don't really require it?

Best, Len
Also for the sake of full disclosure my amp is Accuphase which is a brand that has a broad range of opinions around it. Accuphase is balanced, clean, doesn't sound digital like some other SS stuff. You can listen to it for hours without fatique. Care free use with no heat biuild up (it's a class a/b amp)However some people might feel that it is a little flat, analytical, and lacking in emotion. I can say that it isn't ambient sound.
The BAT SE Amps are more even handed and extended on the top and bottom. You'll get those 3d soundstages and beautful timbres.

With your speakers, that BAT vk60se mono's will have plenty of power.

I do recommend having a few spare 6c33b output tubes. and fuses. The amp autobias', so a tube and fuse is plug and play. About as hard as changing a light bulb. (JUST MAKE SURE AMP IS POWERED OFF AND tubes are relatively cool)

My experience of about 8 yrs on using BAT tube amps is the 6c33b output tubes are prone to failure, but one you have a set working, they seem to work. When you put in a new set of tubes, one may fail in a few days/weeks. It's the nature of these tubes, not the amp. The tubes are about $40 each.

I have owned a VK60, VK75SE, now 150SE mono's...

If you like your preamp, this amp and pre combo is killer.
You won't be getting a dark sound with the VK Se version amps, they are anything but that. Depending on your Accuphase you may just be making a sideways move, especially if you are giving up power to go to the VK60se.
I have the 1027's. Under show conditions I have heard the 1027's with Pathos amps. The combo was fantastic. The top of the line models but I am pretty sure that the "lower" models would also sound great. If I were going for tubes, they would be on my very short list.
I have heard the 927be's(my old speakers) with BAT gear. That sounded very nice as well. It may be characterized as a "fat" sound. I was looking for a sub in the room. But for me personally, I would need to really consider the Pathos. It was that good.
Hello Len,

"Does a ton of power make difference with speakers that don't really require it? ..."

read very interesting writing exactly on the topic in EnjoyTheMusic.com:


All The Best
Personally I would stay away from tube power amps. For reasons mentioned earlier. The pre amp you have is really good, can only dream of that kind of gear. If I were you I would buy some (maybe class A) SS mono amps. Place those amps close to your speakers and run long balanced interconnects and short speaker cables. Also I believe power amp will have less of an impact on the way your system sounds the the pre amp.
The VTLs are really nice, but you'd better be prepared to crank up your AC in the summer time. It will be similiar to running your AC and furnace at the same time.

As another poster noted, you should give the JC-1s a listen or include them in the listening sessions you do.
They are a super amp, and will drive just about any speaker load. Running out of power should not be a problem with them.