There are two things that immediately strike you when you come in contact with the VK-500 – its massive and its heavy. With a 19″ width, 10″ height and 23″ depth, this amplifier is no easy piece to move around. Add 105lbs to the equation and you will need a partner to move this “thing” around unless you want to send yourself to the hospital courtesy of a bad back. This is an amp that sits on the floor and not in a rack.
The VK-500 is a fully balanced design and a dual mono configured amp (which is why you will only find a pair of XLR inputs and two IEC connectors on the back). There are two huge transformers in the center that powers each amp where it delivers 250W in 8 ohms or 450W in 4 ohms. Of course there are much more technical features that went into the design of the VK-500, which we leave it to you to read up on the web. We will just focus on our listening experience with the VK-500. When paired with the VK-5i (also for sale in a separate listing) and driving a pair of Focal Alto Utopias, the soundstage and imaging was nothing short of magnificent. The Alto’s bellowed out every song with gusto, warmth and emotion. When we switched the amp over to a “renown” Class D brand that was capable of producing 500W, the difference cannot be more glaring. There was like a drop in the middle of the soundstage. The “renown” amps was a matchup in terms of detail and definition but it lacked a “soul” behind the presentation. And that is where the strength of the VK-500 lies. It has the “colored richness” of tubes but packed the punch of solid state even when we switched out the VK-5i and went with a solid state preamp. If you can deal with the size and weight of this “monster”, the VK-500 should be on your short list if you are scouting around for an amp in the “budget” price category of sub-$2,000.
Cosmetically, it is in good shape. A small corner ding on the front right bottom of the faceplate and minor scuff marks elsewhere are the only other marks. We have the original box and recommends freight shipping to ensure safe arrival. Local pickup from our store is welcomed.