ARC LS2 versus B.A.T. VK-3i

Can anyone tell me how these two pre's compare? I will be using them with my Bryston 4b SST on Thiels cs2.4 speakers. I currently own the ARC LS2, but I am looking for a better pre. I am looking for a more airy sound, more transparent, but not too harsh.

thanks in advance
I don't know the BAT but I had an LS2BMKII and can ASSURE you there are preamps out there these days which will give you a LOT more definition, air, and... music.

Happy hunting.

I ended up with the LS5MKIII which I've since had modified by GNS.

Bob Wood
Thanks Bob.

I will look some further in the ARC line also
I've compared the ARC LS15 and SP8 to the BAT VK31. I thought the BAT was generally fuller-bodied and a bit darker, though not lacking in air. I put some Bugle Boy tubes in the BAT and it's pretty hard to beat, now. ARC is good gear, but I think it's a little analytical for my taste. Obviously, these are not direct comparisons, but may give you some ideas.

I think I will give the BAT a try. I am trying to loose the hard ss's in my set and gain some air.
Your Thiels are not known for smoothness IMO. I have heard and had them in my home so they like polite electronics unless you like lots of detail? I think your choice of BAT is a good one. I have a VK5i and VK200 and like both alot. Also had a ARC LS7 on borrow awhile back and didn't care for it. It had good qualities but sounded to me like there was a blanket over the speakers.
You're on the right track with the BAT VK-5i or 3i. They're open & transparent on top(though a bit rolled off), and warmer & bloomier in the middle than BAT's later preamps-- a good offset to the dry sound of Thiel & SS amp. If later on you feel you need more bass control, midrange neutrality, HF extension, then you can get it by replacing the BAT PIO coupling caps with better film caps.
I have Thiel 2.4s and just auditioned a VTL TL-2.5 tube preamp thru a Meridian G06 and Levinson 27.5 amp. It was absolutely amazing, utterly holographic and well, what can I say, very life-like sound, and haven't even optimized spkr wire choice yet. I have never heard such stage depth, width, and clarity in my system, and, as Dgarretson says above, the warmth of the tubes helps tame the overly-forward treble end of the Thiels. I've heard that the BAT vk3i is similar to the VTL and will be auditioning the BAT VK-3i in my system in a few weeks.

Did you audition the VK3i?

Mark, I decided to order a Pass Labs X2.5 preamp, didn't listen to the VK3i; from reading I think the Pass will be better and won't have the heat (in a cabinet, VK3i runs hot) or tube rolling to worry about. I'll post what I think of the Pass after it arrives. - Jim
Mark, I decided to order a Pass Labs X2.5 preamp ..

I don't know VTL or BATVK3i but I have the Thiels 2.4 and Pass Labs X1 (Parasound Halos JC1 amps) and it sounds fantastic