BAT's VK-D5SE vs Audio Research CD-3

I am looking at either the CD-3 or VK-D5SE.
The VK-D5SE is a tubed player.....the CD-3 is not.
I'd appreciate any input.
Thanks. Sally
I have about 6 hours critical listening on a well burned in AR CD3 that resides at a local dealer. The AR is runnning through a rotel preamp and 100W AR monoblocks driving Naut 803's. I'm unsure of wire used...looks to be entry level AQ stuff though?

I just took delivery of a brand new 24-bit VK-D5SE with the Super-Pak upgrade and right out of the box, the BAT unit is just as smooth as the AR and delivers better resolution of cymbal and stringed instrument decay. Brass is sublime!!! It's got just the right amount of bite yet does not turn grating or hard. The BAT has more engaging "toe-tapping" PRaT with tuneful bass and drumwork. What really got my attention was some of the coloration of lower freq acoustic bass that I've never noticed before in my system.
Realize I'm running XLR Kimber KS-1111 to a McIntosh MA6900 driving Naut 803's (StraightWire Serenade speaker wire)so the comparison with the dealers AR is not apples-to-apples.
The only area where the BAT gives ground to the AR is the transport. The AR is a fixed position top loader while the BAT uses a phillips L1210(?) sliding plastic tray. I rather have a front loader vs. a top, but it would be nice to have an aluminum transport at this price point.
The BAT internal layout and components are Mil Spec/NASA grade and while I've never seen the internals of the AR I hear they are of equal construction.

Since my BAT is new and so is the KS-1111, whether you subscribe to burn-in or not, the BAT is slightly more involving without imposing the slightest hint of digital signature. The guys at BAT admit they voiced it to compete with high dollar viynl rigs and so far I think they've done a pretty good job.
Since I haven't compared them A/B or anything remotely like a dbt, I have to say you can't go wrong with either player!
The AR is smooth and musical, my impression is it's voiced "slighty" warmer vs. the BAT, and it's resolution maybe slighty less?

I had the opportunity to buy the AR and I choose the BAT.
Going back to burn-in...If it gets any better it will start to put definite distance on the CD3, at least to my ears!
Your system sounds great.
I think I'm sold on the tubed BAT. The guys at BAT are wonderful, I agree. I'm hoping this player will get along with either BAT or Simaudio equipment.
I had been thinking about changing my separates to the Simaudio "Moon i-7" integrated.
Thanks for your input.
Is the B.A.T. still an excellent spinner in 2016?
The Bat has the best Burr Brown Multibit dac chips 4x PCM1704K.
Balanced Audio Technology VK-D5SE 4 x PCM1704-K – DF1704E

The AR has pain old vanilla Delta Sigma Crystal CS4238

Without even hearing them the Bat is the one I’d pick for Redbook CD replay.

Cheers George