ARC LS5 mk3 or BAT VK-31 SE

I own the ARC and like the an unfamiliar system.Anyone heard both in the same system? Downstream is Levinson 436's and B&W 802N's.
Thanks !

I heard both in two systems: my own and at a dealer. Here are some links to A'gon threads I contributed to in the past.

Had I known 5-10 years ago about various 6922/6DJ8 tubes like I do today, I am sure I would have heard significant improvements of the LS5 then when I owned it then. This is one major benefit of the LS5 vs being stuck with the 6H30 tube in the 31se.
Jafox -
Thanks !!! I think I will sell the LS5 mk3...and go towards the 31SE. And what is the next step from there? I see some 50SE on Agon...What do you think of that.....or a VK30 with 6922's?
Thanks for your advice !
Hi Bill,

I think overall the 31se was better than the 50se. If you want an all around step up from the 31se, the 51se would do the trick. Of course the new line 32se - 52se could be considered. Then there was the REX! .... simply the IMO best I've heard.

Good luck,

The BAT presentation is very different than that of the ARC. It's not all about refinements of tonal coherency, stronger frequency extremes, resolution, but more so about whether you like the presentation much more projected out into the room or more so back at the plane of the speakers.

Before you jump at the 31se, there are many worthy tube line stages in this price range. I assume you have a fully balanced system and thus you want to stick with a balanced line stage. This eliminates many great products. But the Aesthetix Calypso fits the bill as a contender to the 31se. There are definite pros/cons of each. Moving up to the Aesthetix Callisto significantly beats each of these at their own game but at a much higher price.

You may or may not like the BAT sound. Make sure you get a chance to hear it in your own system before you commit. For me the 51se was a refinement over the 31se as much as the 31se was over the LS5 III. And so I did not bother with the 51se. As much as I liked the 31se, I quickly found myself wanting line stage performance found at the next level.

If you want to skip all these incremental improvements, you're into the $5-7k range with products like the Aesthetix Callisto, Aria WV, Arc Ref3, VTL 6.5/7.5. The VAC Rennaissance or Lamm L2 are serious contenders but these are single-ended.

I have a VK31 non-SE, into which I put 6 Bugle Boys, and it sounds very nice. I've figured out that I'm not a fan of the 6H30's, and that's one nice thing about the non-SE versions of the BAT's--you can play around with the tubes. And it matters.