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A Special Edition version of BAT’s new VK-P12 phonostage, VK-P12SE includes numerous engineering improvements to offer greater information retrieval and supreme musical presentation. The first gain stage is completely revised to provide a substantially lower noise floor. In addition to the transformer-coupled output transformers, a reconfigured output stage incorporates four high-gain 6C45 tubes. They provide high-current and low-output impedance, establishing superb drive and crystalline transparency. These enhancements result in a phonostage with improved silence in the quietest musical passages, unfettered dynamic ease, and a grand sense of scale. For listeners that may want even more performance, VK-P12SE is fully upgradeable to the VK-P12SE SuperPak.
A Special Edition version of BAT’s new VK-P12 phonostage, VK-P12SE includes numerous engineering improvements to offer greater information retrieval and supreme musical presentation. The first gain stage is completely revised to provide a substantially lower noise floor. In addition to the transformer-coupled output transformers, a reconfigured output stage incorporates four high-gain 6C45 tubes. They provide high-current and low-output impedance, establishing superb drive and crystalline transparency.
The VK-P12SE is fully balanced from input to output. For the best possible performance, the phono cartridge should be used in a matching balanced configuration. Many turntables and tonearms allow for such a termination. In some cases, even if only RCA connectors are present on the arm, the cartridge can still be used in a balanced configuration by using a specially designed cable.
Ten-Tube, Transformer-Coupled, Zero-Feedback Design
The VK-P12SE features an all-tube zero-feedback design that combines the benefits of balanced operation with complementary vacuum-tube current sources. Dual-mono construction and enormous energy reserves are matched by extensive flexibility in cartridge loading. The first gain stage achieves a very low noise floor by using premium Vishay Bulk FoilTM resistors that replace metal film resistors in critical circuit areas. The output stage employs four powerful high-current 6C45 vacuum tubes for improved gain and better drive capability. Like the elite VK-33SE, VK-53SE, and REX II preamplifiers, the VK-P12SE features a transformer-coupled output stage. This new design replaces BAT’s venerable Six-Pak of output capacitors with custom-designed output transformers. The new transformer-coupled output stage proves substantially superior to any capacitor in maintaining a purity of signal transmission.
Flying RIAA Network
Among the benefits of the VK-P12SE’s differential RIAA network are ease of adjustment and improved common mode noise rejection. This circuit is also completely passive and has fewer components than a more traditional implementation. The ease of factory adjustment translates into improved matching of the RIAA curve to specification, with an RIAA error typically not exceeding 0.1dB! With the BAT Flying RIAA network, you can be assured that all of your records sound the way that the recording engineer intended.
Vacuum-Tube Current Sources
Vacuum-tube current sources further improve the linearity of any gain stage to yield a more open and textured sound than a simple resistor-based solution. In the VK-P12SE, dual 6SN7 vacuum tubes act as current sources for the second gain stage. They complement the inherent strength of vinyl playback in that the finest texture and harmonic structure of musical instruments are portrayed with greater delicacy.
Selectable Step-up Transformers
The VK-P12SE features second-generation step-up transformers that provide as much as a 20db improvement in signal-to-noise ratio in comparison to direct mode operation. This allows the customer to successfully use even the lowest output moving-coil cartridges. With up to 80dB of gain available, no signal is too small!
Why did we build a Special Edition of our highly regarded VK-P12 phonostage? To create a phonostage that offers even greater ability to retrieve the finest musical detail from your record collection. The engineering execution simply conveys the manner in which we accomplished this goal. We hope you can audition the VK-P12SE in your own system to understand why it is indeed something special. Of course, all VK-P12SE phono stages can be further upgraded to VK-P12SE SuperPak status, maintaining the commitment to a rational upgrade path that has earned BAT tremendous customer loyalty.