ARC LS26 vs BAT VK-31se preamps

Can anyone tell me which preamp is prefered.Thanks
Hands down, leaps and bounds, over the top...ARC LS26. Just buy one and be happy forever. It's really that good...
What an endorsement for ARC!
Being a BAT fan and former owner (VK-300SE) and former ARC owner (LS-1, LS-9, VT-100, VT-100 Mk-III) methinks thy doth endorseth too much!
While I've never heard the LS-26, I have heard the Ref-3 (T.H.E. Show in Las Vegas).
I don't believe the gulf is that wide...
My personal pref is for BAT -incredibly good.
Consider this, the LS26 is NOT an upgraded LS25MK11, no 25 can be converted to a 26, the 26 is much closer to the REF 3 in fact the 26 beats the Ref 2, ask any ARC dealer.
I have the LS26, it would take a very good deal to make me move up to the REF 3
I have owned the BAT VK-31SE, 50SE, and 51SE. I have also had in home auditions of the VK-3iXSE and VK-32SE. Also, I have owned the ARC Ref 3. I would say that the choice would come down to your sonic preferences. The BAT will be more powerful and dynamic, while the ARC will present more articulation and definition. IMHO, The ARC Ref 3 was the best preamp that I've ever heard/ owned.

If your system needs more power/slam, you may prefer the BAT though.

Hi, John I liked your explantion ,but could you explan further on power& slam. Also what is IMHO? Do you think the LS26 would be a all around better choice than the Bat.? Thanks very much for your input. Audiogon member Dave
Theo: I would start with the VK-31SE. The VK-300SE was so satisfying, so "right", that I would have to hear something better to believe "better" is possible.

That said, the internals of the VK-31SE are double that of the VK-300SE (two transformers, four 6H30 supertubers and gobs more capacitors). Coming from Vicktor K., this almost certaily means the sound is that much better.

I HAVE heard an ARC system that was more "magical" than my BAT system so I'm not saying ARC is lesser.
I was just a little shocked by Mofimadnesses response.

Both manufacturers are certified high-end blue-bloods.
Both units are very good and you probably can't make a "wrong" choice. I went with the ARC LS26 and upgraded the tubes to NOS 6H30-DR's. A truly great preamp, best I've heard and made a huge improvement in my system.
Did the NOS 6H30-DR tubes make a big difference in the LS26 ? What kind of difference did you hear over the stock tubes? Where did you buy the NOS tubes ?
Dave, by power and slam, I mean that the BAT's bass region is more feels more powerful. The ARC on the other hand, goes just as deep in the bass, but is tighter and better defined, so it seems to be 'lightweight' compared to the BAT at first listen.

By more refined and articulate, I mean the ARC also has more extension and definition in the high's. The BAT may sound warmer, the ARC may sound livelier. The choice is yours. All around better choice? No. Better for some? Yes.
You need to decide what musical values are more important to you, bass and warmth, or detail and definition?
Sadly, even at these prices one has to make choices.

Happy hunting,
Brouch... the change was not Night and Day but the DR's were good improvement over the stock tubes. I fell better depth to the soundstage and just a smoother performance to the LS26 especially in the bass. Try to find tubes from the mid 1980's, they will be the best performers.