Wow ! I certainly didn't know all of this when, totally by accident, I've stumbled upon that B&K amp !!! If it's the counterfeit copy, then I can't imagine just how good the "real thing" must sound !
Since going "The Salk Way", I've been curious of Van Alstine amps, as they seem to go so well together but, being a McIntosh junky (and NOT for the BiG Blue Meters, believe it or not...), I've put pretty much all of what I could afford in it so it does not leave enough for another HiFi system (unless I sold my McGear...). Also, I've grown accustomed to XLR connectors as they are dead silent when linking Macs together. For me, XLR is not mainly a "sonic affair" as I don't feel that the sound is better than with RCA (even though different) but more of a "No POCK !" in the speakers when switching the amps on - not that the MC501 make any noise anyway but other amps do - or other noise(s) when there should only be silence. I know that Van Alstine offers an XLR option but it's another 200 or 250$, plus the european voltage option (free on some amps, I think I read), so it adds up to quite a lot for a "guest room" amp !
All this being said, I'd really like to have the chance to try a Van Alstine amp, either a Synergy or a Fet Valve and, maybe, one day, when I'll order my SS8 from Salk, I'll also get a Synergy 300 or Fet Valve 400R to drive them but it's not "in the cards" right now.
Man ! Now I feel ashamed for liking the B&K !!!
P.S.: To MM Van Alstine and Salk: Is it possible that, in a near future, you'll come visit us in Europe ?