BAT VK-3i / BAT VK-30 or Herron VTSP-1A pre amp

I can not decide which of these pre amps I should upgrade to. Anyone having information or suggestions, please leave your comments. This is will be my final factor in choosing to buy one or the other, thanks.
Another one to consider is the new AE-3 DJH edition. I just ordered mine Friday and am looking forward to it. From Upscale Audio's website information and talking with Dennis at AES, it sounds like it sound be quite the preamp for $1200.
I would imagine that the Herron would be quite a big step up from the VK-3i in terms of sound quality. Both BATs though offer a remote and are more full featured.

I just upgraded from a BAT VK-3i to a Sonic Frontiers Line 3, which I picked up for a great price from Kevin at Upscale Audio. The Line 3 is quite a bit better than the VK-3i and it's a steal at the price Kevin is selling it for.
Well, I'll pitch in and say that I'm a BAT fan.

I have the VK-3i and it's my favorite piece of gear. It just has that bombproof Russian thing going!

You can turn the preamp on or off while the power amp is connected and not suffer the pops and bangs you usually get.

You have your choice of balanced and unbalanced connections so you keep your options open for the future.

The digital volume readout is way cool and makes it easy to return to a setting once you decide where you like it.

If you want to get frisky you can roll some tubes to change things around a bit.

I will avoid the usual "my preamp beats your preamp" drivel you so often find on the boards. I have not heard 30 different high-end preamps in my system so I can't possibly know how the 3i compares to all of them.

I will say I am totally satisfied with the 3i. So much so that I bought a VK-60 amp to go with it! That says everything there is to say.

Good luck in your choice and I hope everything exceeds your expectations!
My vote would be for the Herron 1A. During my search for a preamp, I auditioned both the BAT 3i and the VTSP-1A. The personal conveniences listed in the postings above, are true and a very good selling point, however when it was all said, I chose the Herron. Both are very good preamps, but for my application, the Herron displayed a more musical presentation, lower bass extension, larger soundstage and excellent imaging and air.Also the tube "hiss" was considerably lower with the Herron vs the BAT. Yes, there is no remote for the VTSP-1A and it's a single-ended preamp only, but if these are not a priority for you, you may find the Herron to be the pre you are looking for.This is not a sale's job, just comments from a satisified customer. If you are interested my system consists of:
EVS Millenium DAC 1B & EVS modified Sony Transport
Herron VTSP-1A Preamp
Sierra Audio Denali Power Amps (monoblocks)
Osborn Epitome Mk V Speakers w/extra woofers
Audio Point Sistrium Audio Rack
TG Audio Power Cords (HSR "A", "i", "I2")
TG Audio HSR Silver I/Cs
Mapleshade Omega Mikro passive power cord
Mapleshade Omega Mikro Level V analog I/Cs
Mapleshade Omega Mikro digital I/C
Mapleshade Omega Mikro Level 3 Active Silver speaker cables

I wish you success in your decision.
Hi KennyB,

What does the SF Line 3 do better than the BAT Vk-3i?

I've been the most satisfied with my BAT vk-30. BUT, you need good cables and RFI filters and good power and upgraded tubes to really hear this preamp. I use balanced Jena symphonies and Versalabs wood blocks to get a sound that rivals reality. The Herron is a beautiful sounding preamp, ultimately felt less real to me, more artificially beautiful.
Hey Jim, what tubes have you tried in your VK-30. BTW, I got the phono card in OK, but then found that my TT had gotten trashed while in storage in my basement. Now using my "second" TT, a direct drive Denon. The card works fine and BAT was awesome with respect to assisting with the installation (even tho I had bought the piece used). So Bowlerds, if speed, quality and responsiveness of service is an issue, BAT is beyond excellent. Can't comment on the Herron, but I've been very happy with my 3i sonically as well.
Kw6 asked what the Line 3 does better than the Vk-3i. IMHO the Line 3 is better in some very significant ways. It's more dynamic, more refined, and more extended. It throws a huge soundstage and it has greater resolution of low level detail. I'm hearing many things that I hadn't heard before -- and with considerably more realism. I like the ergonomics of the Line 3 a bit better than BAT's. I can change phase and switch to mono using the remote. The
muting function is neat in that it gradually raises the volume when mute is turned off. I do miss the BAT's volume presets though.
Thank you KennyB!
I have been running a VK 30SE for about a year. Definately worth the upgrade. I agree with some comments pertaining to using good cables. The company is fantastic with customer service. Can't say enough good things about it.