The REX…That BAT Built

Okay, I’m an insufferable audiophile. I love listening to my music. I love listening to live music. I love listening to new music. I love listening to new (or just new to me) equipment. I love comparing equipment. In my years of audio-philia, I’ve auditioned DOZENS of pre-amplifiers. I may have found my END GAME pre-amplifier….The REX by Balanced Audio Technology.

In its simplest form, a pre-amplifier allows you to switch between music sources and control volume. In a more complex form (i.e. home theater), pre-amplifiers can facilitate sending sound to separate rooms & speakers, inserting subwoofers, inserting and controlling crossovers, etc. As mainly a 2-channel guy, I generally utilize a pre-amplifier in its simplest form.

Secretly, I’ve always “rooted” for Balanced Audio Technology (BAT), as sort of “homegrown”. Geoff Poor is one of the three (3) founders of Balanced Audio Technology in 1995.  In addition, Geoff owns Glenn Poor’s Audio Video in Champaign, IL.  As I live in close proximity to Champaign, and know Geoff personally, I’ve always wanted to see BAT do well.

Recently, I purchased and enjoyed a VK-52SE, which was (& is in it’s newest iteration: the VK-90) BAT’s top of the line single chassis pre-amp. Truly, I enjoyed the VK-52SE. It portrayed music with a dynamic contrast and “umph” that reminded me of a live musical event. However, as an insufferable audiophile, I eventually moved on to other pre-amps.

Then, a REX…fell into my lap. In audiophile speak, “fell into my lap” means:

  • I saw the REX for sale
  • I realized I had enough money in the bank
  • No one was around to stop me (i.e. sober me up with logic….like do you really NEED another preamp?)
  • I bought it 

The REX (now in it’s 3rd iteration…I own the 1st iteration) holds BAT’s top spot as a preamplifier. It’s a dual-chassis deal (i.e. control module & power module), with two (2) umbilical cords connecting the “modules”. 

Anyway, I plugged in the REX…and my jaw dropped to the ground. I’ve NEVER heard such separation of instruments, quiet in between notes, and soft sounds CLEARLY presented within moderate and loud passages. It reminded me of the “Is it live or is it Memorex” commercials of yesteryear. WOW!!!!

Last night, after a few days of ownership, I invited my son to listen with me. Literally, we ‘GIGGLED’ during songs…completely enamored with the REX. Then my son said the unthinkable, “Dad…I don’t know if it can get any better. You may want to concentrate on improving other parts of your system. The REX may be IT….for now.”

Okay, I’m not ready to accept my son’s statement as fact. But Damn…. I’m REALLY struggling to refute it. I thought you should know.

Stay Dangerous,

Audio Dork

1 comment

  • I am currently using the REX 3 Pre Amp for the last 3 months. This Pre Amp is in a different league. I have previously used Vitus SL-103, Accuphase C-3850 and Ypsilon PST-100 Mk2 TA SE , they don’t compare.

    Aris Giannakis

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