The LS7 is fine, however the BAT 3i with the VK60 has wonderful synergy. If you like the amp, the preamp will only increase your satisfaction. That's a great amp...the balanced cables will belp some.
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The synergy between VK60 and VK3i is much better than between VK60 and LS7. A few years back I went from ARC LS-3 to VK3i feeling much as you do now in regards to the difference. But once I made the change the music was much nicer. The ability to run fully balanced circuitry is very beneficial - more 3-d, more depth, fuller sound, and allows the full capability of the VK60 to shine.
Beyond the ability to run a long legth from rig to power amp and keep the cables short I wonder about the balanced /unbalanced thing.My $5K turnatable is single ended as is my digital source.Yeah true balanced from signal source is best as I have heard fully balanced rigs from a number of companies where the CD/Pre/amp are all true balanced but wondering if going back and forth is OK.I his Stereophile book Hartley suggests that going back and forth can do more damage than good.But since I have been tempted to get a fully balanced BAT Rig myself think as above it's synergy would make it worth it.If I didn't have 93db speakers and thought of goin SET I would love to have a BAT rig which inludes one of their balanced external phono's.