BAT (Balanced Audio Technology) VK-5i All Tube Dual Mono and Balanced Preamplifier


A quick look inside easily identifies this preamplifier as a dual mono design. There are virtually two sets of everything, even two toroidal transformers!

You'll also notice there are no single ended inputs or outputs anywhere, just balanced XLR. So please pay attention before purchasing to ensure your system can support this type of connection.

As you can imagine dual mono is an expensive design to manufacture, but there's no better design (other than dual mono via two physically different chassis) which can be a bit of a pain when it comes to handling the volume.

This BVK-5i utilizes top shelf components throughout, and careful placement of each piece to ensure as little interference as possible. Notice how the transformers are mounted 90 degrees from the PC board to reduce magnetic interference!

We tested this preamplifier carefully, including testing each and every tube in our modern and professional tube tester to make sure it arrives in perfect like-new working condition.

On the bench it tested extremely well, with near perfect phase balance in channel to channel and phase to phase.

This listing includes the preamp itself and a power cord, nothing else is included.

Click below to add our recommended matching cables from Kimber Kable, all brand new as SkyFi is an official Kimber dealer.

Kimber Kable - XLR Interconnects

Kimber Kable - Power Cords

More from BAT:

BAT (Balanced Audio Technology) VK-5i Balanced Stereo Preamplifier - Manual

The SkyFi Testing Process for Preamplifiers:
We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure there are no signs of stress or aging. Capacitors are checked for telltale sings of bulging or leaking, resistors are checked for signs of overheating or cracking, and transistors are checked for signs of stress or damage. Special attention is paid to the power supply which is the most common source of failure for preamps. We then power up the unit and run a simple 1k sine wave while monitoring the low voltage output on an oscilloscope for signs of distortion or noise to get a baseline.

At this point we will lubricate and clean all switches and potentiometers (that are not sealed) with a high quality contact cleaner, and then re-test all functions for any signs of noise or scratching.

Final testing involves putting actual music through the preamplifier. We have learned over time that some issues are only noticeable to a trained ear while listening to a familiar source material. Our test bench has reference vintage KEF speakers that we are super familiar with which will quickly reveal any discrepancies. Some preamps will then move into the listening room where they will be tested with our in-house reference system.



Original Box





Not Applicable


Yes - Power

Physical Condition


Working Condition


Recently viewed