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Mechnutt 06-10-2015 10:49 PM

Are there any VK-51se owners here?

skreich 07-05-2015 02:55 PM


chessman 07-14-2015 08:09 PM

Welcome gents! It's been lonely in the BAT cave. :)

skreich 07-16-2015 09:51 AM

It still is.....I absolutely do not understand the lack of interest in BAT products. I bought my first BAT preamp (a VK-5, that I had upgraded to a VK-5i) and I've been a huge fan ever since. I admit that I tried both a 600SE and a 655SE, and while I liked them, I was never able to really love them. I guess I'm just a tube guy........I currently use a pair of Manley Snappers, but have located a pair of Rex monoblocks that I'm probably going to buy.

Mechnutt 07-19-2015 12:45 PM

Have you guys had to change out the caps in the six packs? I replaced all 12 due to pops when switching inputs. I put in the stock caps and it made the preamp a little brighter in presentation and more dynamic. The sound also is a little more forward. I have about 60-75 hours on them.

chessman 07-19-2015 12:58 PM

I have not had to switch out anything. And dead quiet so far. :)

Mechnutt 08-31-2015 08:25 PM

Can anyone comment on the differences in sound (warmth, transparency, tube sound) between a VK-51se, VK-32se and VK-52se?

I love my 51se but I am wanting a little more warmth and transparency. I replaced all 12 Six Pack Caps with the same Jensen Aluminum and oil caps and have about 90 to 100hrs on them and the sound has a little brightness to it that was not there before. I am guessing that the caps probably need 150-300 hrs to break in. The preamp is much more dynamic, musical and has a fuller sound with more depth with the new caps.

I have been curious about the VK-32se and VK-52se and if its worth buying used. I should be able to get $3500 for the 51se with all new caps and EH gold pin tubes that have less than 500hrs on them.

I am also considering getting a CJ ET-3se preamp which will need 500hrs to break in the Teflon caps.

Formerly YB-2 09-02-2015 07:10 AM

I'm not a particular fan of the 6H30 tube due to the lack of tube-rolling options. BAT offers the 6922 in their non-SE model preamps, which is an excellent tube (my favorite small-signal tube and one reason I like their non-SE models like the current VK-33 or earlier VK-30/31 & VK-50/51 - all can be 6-packed, etc., just like the SE models). One can tube-roll the 6922 to their hearts (ears?) delight while that is not possible with the 6H30. If you can find other 6H30 tubes, Sovtek, for instance, than EH to roll in there, you may find it fits your needs better than the EHs do.

Victor Khomenko 09-04-2015 08:18 PM

There is no huge difference in the sound between the 51SE and 52SE, the big difference comes from the output transformers, found in the 53SE or 33SE. If you want a single chassis preamp, then perhaps the 33SE would be just the ticket.

If you like experimenting with tubes, then either the 32 or 33 should do just fine.

Mechnutt 09-05-2015 12:21 PM

Thanks Victor. Unfortunately there are no BAT dealers here in the Twin Cities (your company needs to fix that, the only other tube gear here is AR, Atma-Sphere and McIntosh).

Can you give me some idea on what the difference in sound is between a 51se and a 32se/33se are?

Do you know if the Jensen caps in my 51se need more time to break in?

One last question, I replaced all 12 six pack caps but I did not replace the other 4 Jensen caps. Things seem to be working fine. However, I was thinking about replacing the other 4. What's your opinion on this?

Thanks for your help and for making such great gear,


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