UK distributor for Balanced Audio Technology, Karma-AV has introduced the VK80i to UK music lovers. Incorporating technological advances first introduced by the brand’s flagship REX series, the VK80i all-tube integrated amplifier features specifically the triode-balanced architecture, fuse-less protection and automatic-bias circuits deployed by the REX 3 power amplifier design
Generating 55W per channel, the VK80i uses the triode 6C33C-B tube, which offers many times the current delivery of the 6550/KT90 tetrode tube variant often employed by traditional tube integrated amplifiers, says the maker. Arranged in a fully balanced topology, the powerhouse 6C33C-B allows the VK80i to deliver the high-current performance required to drive even difficult low-impedance speaker loads while providing a natural portrayal of harmonic texture and instrumental timbre.
Karma AV says the elimination of internal channel and tube fuses means that the VK80i’s performance is not compromised by the ‘sound’ or the quality of the fuse that is normally placed in the signal path of an amplifier channel, argues its creator. In the rare event of an output tube becoming over-stressed, normal operation is restored by turning the VK80i off and on again.
Intelligent auto-bias operation
Furthermore, advanced engineering within the VK80i eliminates the need to set and readjust the bias of the output tubes. The VK80i features an intelligent automatic bias design that intuitively adjusts for changing line voltage and aging tubes, with each output tube having its own dedicated bias circuit.
With no tubes to bias or tube/channel fuses to replace, and a full-function remote control on hand, the VK80i offers the easy access to the midrange clarity, power, and dynamics that have made Balanced Audio Technology one of the most respected brands in high-end audio. Available in black or silver, the VK80i is described as beautiful looking, wonderful sounding and easy-to-use all-tube integrated amplifier.
Features and specification
- 6C33C-B triode output tube with fully balanced signal path
- ‘Fuse-less’ protection circuit for enhanced sound and user-friendly operation
- Intelligent auto-bias design makes operation easy
- Output per channel at 8Ω/4Ω: 55W
- THD at full power: 3%
- Frequency response: 8Hz to 200kHz
- Input impedance: 215 kΩ
- Tube complement: 4 x 6SN7, 4 x 6C33C-B
- Power Consumption: 400W idle, 800W full power
- Remote included: yes – all metal
- Signal inputs: 1 XLR, 3 RCA
- Volume control: resistive ladder, 90 steps, 1dB per step
- Dimensions (mm): 431W x 203H x 406D
- Weight: 20.4 kg
- Available in silver or black
Typical UK pricing inc VAT: £9,995.00; availability: September 2021