BAT VK-5i more tube-like than new VK-50SE?

I just purchased a Krell FPB 600C and am looking for a good pre-amp. As I search through the forum, couple names kept popping up. One is BAT VK-5i and VK50SE, and the other is Sonic Frontier Line 3. One audiogon member said not to get the 50SE because you are paying a premium to get a solid state sound, and suggested to stay with the VK-5i. Can any one share some of their experience with me? I like a warm lush sound with a bit of bite.
I own the 5i. It is definitely more lush and warmer sounding than the 50SE. The 50SE is considerably more transparent. I would not describe the 50SE as sounding solid state at all. It is very evenly balanced yes, but also has the tube magic of 'presence' & instrument timbre.
I own 5i and had a bad luck trying to mate it to Krell KAV amp. FPB of cause is a different animal …
Now I have it in all BAT system and couldn’t be happier. It doesn’t mean that you couldn’t use BAT pre with different brand amps, but IMHO when trying to mix and match components at these price levels audition in your own system is a must.
I have been using a VK-50SE for about 15 months. Compare with the 5i, the 50SE is much more dynamic and transparent. I particularly like its layered 3D soundstage which, when playing large orchestra or pipe organ, produces a kind of grandness that 5i lacks. The 50SE does require a very long break-in period. When it was new, it sounded like a bad solid state. It became more acceptable after a couple hundred hours. And now, after more than 2000 hours, I won't tread it for anything else.

I agree with Nar_com. At this price level you really should audition it in your own system. My taste may be different from yours.
"Warm lush sound with a bit of bite"

Reading that I'd say the 50SE would be right up your alley!
I have one, and am more than pleased with it. As to the 5i,
it would be a bit more "tubey" than the 50SE. I have a VK3i on another system, and the tube euphonics of the 3i match the rest of that system to a T. I find that BAT preamps, up and down the line are excellent value.
I am thinking to get either BAT VK-5i or VK-50SE for my ARC-VT100? Are they work well with ARC VT-100? Your comments will be greatly appreciated.
Don't forget the VK30 - all the nice features of the vk50, sweet tube sound from it's 6 6922s (many rolling options), newer than the 5i, cheaper than the 50se. IMHO, the best of all worlds. I have compared to a 50se and haven't found it lacking (30).

I would certainly check the archives of Audio Asylum before I'd match a BAT Pre with a Krell Amp.

I tried a Spectral Pre with an ARC VT130se & it didn't work IMHO. I ended up with a BAT VK30SE and an ARC VT130 and a pair of Coincident Super Towers which seems to work.
Jeff Wu,
I use my nos tubed vk-5i with my vt100m2. It's one of my very favorite combinations. The warmth of the 5i goes well with the transparency of the vt100m2. It's almost like a vintage toned highly transparent system. I've heard more transparent systems, but this one seems to be 'just right'. I'm using audio physic avantis with these - the avanti's are so detailed that a warmer front end serves them well.

A friend who is a dealer brought over a vk50SE and a VK30SE on separate occasions and we hooked it up to the vt100. I used audio physic virgo speakers with vk30SE and vandersteen 5's with the 50SE. The vk30SE was much better than my pass labs aleph P with the vt100, and the 50SE demolished the ARC ref1 I was using with my vandersteen 5's at the time. It wasn't even close. Keep in mind that the vandersteen 5 is a little resolution starved, so ANY added transparency improves things. I do note that the aleph P was better with the aleph 2 monoblocks.

So, to answer your question, YES the BAT preamps are a good match for the vt100m2. I would say the 50SE is better than the 5i, but I note that I heard them 4 months apart, and with different cabling and speakers.
Jeff Wu,

John is right get any BAT preamp if you have ARC amp or SS amp. In my taste i don't like BAT amp with BAT preamp they went too warm and little bit lack of detail and the soundstage was little unfocus.
John and Genduts. Thanks for your comments.
The KBL is very good. I used BAT VK5 (not i), but modified with NOS. So I would say the performance is very close to i, only the volume control is different. The KBL is very good, and in fact, much better match with Krell power amp, but we used KSA250, then VK5.

I would say the VK5 sounds too slow. Also, my friend matched the FPB with Spectral DMC20.2, also very fine sounding, although in my system, I prefer VK5 to the Spectral.

Finally, I settled for VK5SE. (not 50SE). VK5SE is probably a good middle ground to have the 3D and slam of 50SE, but smooth and musical of 6922. This is the only preamp that can combined NOS and 6h30 to 'mix-n-match' the sound.
I am curious how the VK-50SE compares to the SF Line 3. I own a Line 3 and am very happy with it. BAT's literature indicates that the new high performance 6H30 tubes yield high performance with a simpler circuit design then what is used in the Line 3. Tube availablility and cost may be an issue. Any comments folk's?