My BATVK30 is an awesome preamp, compared to my Audio Research SP14 I found an immediate and much improved soundstage and generally warmer and mellow character to any music. Highly recommended! Jeff
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I was extremely impressed with the vk30Se. I heard it put into my system replacing a pass labs aleph P. Lost a tiny bit of resolution (what wouldn't!), but immediately, and amazingly changed the sonic picture from 2 to 3D. Great piece. That was with a vt100 tube amp. It didn't seem to have anything on the pass labs preamp when used with pass labs amps. I would characterize it as being very transparent for a tube amp, having great low level detail and wonderful imaging. Has the tube magic in spades.
I have the LS 25MKII. I did not do a direct comp with the BAT, but I can tell you that the LS25 is a class A+ preamp. It will not be the weak link in any system at any price in my opinion. The new J-fet input is very quiet and makes the LS25 one of the quietest tube preamps made. I particularly like the selectable gain settings on this unit. The new 6h30 tubes do their job well and are powerful as well.
I have the BAT VK-30SE and ARC Ref 2. Although the Ref 2 is a good preamp, I prefer the BAT. I can't imagine that the LS-25 would be superior to the Ref 2. If it is I would like to know about it. One complaint that I have had with ARC is that they seem to have an upgrade a month. Please get it right the first time. I believe that BAT has in the VK-30SE.
I am considering these two preamps as well. While I have auditioned the LS25 in my system I have not been able to audition the BAT VK30SE. The nearest BAT dealer to me is a 3hr drive. What are the sonic characteristics that folks who prefer the BAT feel are superior to the LS25MkII, or the latest ARC preamps in general?
Having done head to head listening comparison in my system of ARC Ref 1 and BAT VK50SE the 50SE was the clear winner. ARC makes a good product, don't get me wrong, however I find their "house sound" a little much. To me the ARC's have a bump in the upper mids that is annoying and a sheen or sibilance that is just not present in the BAT product. BTW, I was a happy owner of an ARC SP-11 for many years, UNTIL I demo'd BAT preamp in my home. After that.......
I used several ARC preamps over the years and have always thought very highly of them. The LS2b, SP14 were superior to many others at similar price points. I switched to Modulus 3a and also found it to be very good, however, my last change, about 18 months ago was to the CARY SLP-98 with Tungsols and KenRad VT231 tubes. WOW, what a differenc a great preamp with superior tubes can make. I auditioned the BAT 60 and 30SE preamp last weekend at a dealer with my wife, and we were very impressed with the soundstage depth, presence and liquid presentation on female vocals. Our next move will probally be to the BAT amps, but my CARY stays! Highly recommend you put it in the 3K price point search for musical satisfaction. Hope the helps.
I have replaced, recently, the stock 6922s in my LS25 with the 6H23s from Upscale. The improvement in the performance of the preamp is unbeleivable. Improvements include: dynamics, bass authority and focus, increased robustness and sweetness in the midrange, more extended highs and greater overall coherence and musicality. I have heard all the above preamps including the LS25 MKII, and I would not trade my LS25 with the new tubes for any of them.
I SUGGEST THAT YOU CHECK OUT THE NEW SOVTEK 6922 PI. IT IS VASTLY SUPERIOR TO THE 6H23 TUBE. THIS 6H23 TUBE THAT HAS BEEN MENTIONED REPEATABLY, HAS BEEN AROUND ALONG TIME. IT WAS ORIGINALLY IMPORTED BY SVETLANA. IT IS A GOOD TUBE,BUT
THE NEW 6922 PI IS MUCH BETTER. IT IS BLACK PLATED AND BORROWS ALLOT FROM THE 6H30 TUBE.
I have both the 50SE and 30SE. The 30SE is very close to the performance of the 50SE. I found out that the Absolute Sound review of the 30SE was done with a unit that had two microphonic tubes. No wonder they perceived what they did!
The 30 SE is a great product. I will put it up against anything out there for the money.