Bat vk31se and vk120 vs Simaudio I-7

Can anyone share some insight into how the two systems compare?

I have the BAT vk31SE and VK120 monoblocks and the sound is very nice and musical with Esoteric player. However, recently I had the opportunity to hear Simaudio I7 integrated amp with their Nova Super Nova player and was very impressed. For an integrated SS amp, the sound was full, really nice and Jazzy. Ofcurse, this was at the dealer, our speakers are the same but rooms, PLAYER, cables and treatments are completely different and they won’t let me connect my gear to the I7 unfortunately which would provide for a better frame of reference :(

Obviously these two systems are quite different (BAT tubes and i7 integrated), but I am considering the i7 based on the cost savings and ease of operation (class A preamp, class A amp to 5 wpc class AB at over 5 wpc), without the Super [expensive] Nova.

Perhaps, someone already had both and did the compare? Appreciate your thoughts..
Ag insider logo xs@2xjmarshak
I think your nuts :) !! But that's my opinion.

Keep your BAT gear. Maybe upgrade the 31SE to a 32SE/51SE/52SE.

You also might like SS amplication, if so try the BAT integrated then...

Just my 2 cents
If you like the I-7, you may want to give a Karan I-180 a listen. I bet you would be impressed....
Jfrech - you are probably right :), my ears could be deceiving me, especially since the dealer had a dedicated, completely treated 'dead' room where I auditioned the integrated amp/player. I must admit that the music was not quite as airy as with the BATS, but I did like it allot. I am sure you are right about going up the BAT preamp chain - but that’s $$ too.

Dawgcatching - thanks for the tip about Karan ... Interesting - never heard of it to date - It looks nice. Not sure it its class A. Will see if I can come across it to listen.
Hello Jmarshak,

I would have to agree with Jfrech on this. One guy I know who moved away from BAT for something supposedly better only found himself down the road coming back and saying it was a mistake. Wish you all the best with whatever you decide on.

Good luck,
Supposedly the Karan is heavily biased into Class A. Having seen one, it has a huge power supply, and I mean huge, for an amp of this size. My DNA-125 has probably only 1/3 of the available current with the stock transformer.

I have one of the Karan integrateds on order to try in my system next week. I will be trying it against my Herron separates. I will let you know how it works out....
Thanks Trcnetmsncom,

It’s definitely not going to be easy to upgrade from the BATS. Ultimately, I don’t know if I will. So far, they sounded like 'cleaning dust from the instruments' compared to anything else I tried at home (compared to SS only thus far). Very musical amps. Perhaps going up the BAT preamp line is the best way to go in the future but I am still hoping for a cheaper alternative :). I want to look into cabling and room treatments before doing anything else. My room may be too live. I think I prefer a dead room with higher resolution and base response. I plan on adding a few panels at time, staring from the front...

Dawgcatcher - Sounds exciting. Wish you luck and look forward to your observations...Thanks.
Unfortunately, I won't be able to draw comparisons to your BAT separates, but will borrow my friend's ARC separates as well for a head-to-head in my system.
I have put the Karan I-180 (the newest version) into my system, running it against the ARC LS26 and SD135 combo on loan from a dealer, as well as my McCormack DNA-125 Gold and Dehavilland preamp combo. I picked it up for a demo based solely on recommendations from people I trust, which is probably how most people find out about them. This is definitely an integrated that you should check out. The Karan was both more detailed (I am hearing tons of things in the music that were never there before)and more "tubey/musical" sounding than either of the solid state amp-tube preamp combos. The McCormack and Dehavilland were bettered slightly by the ARC combo (more detail, sound is a little less lush and more accurate) but the Karan goes way beyond either of these: it has better control of the speakers, more accurate bass, more natural, and really shows off good recordings vs. mediocre ones. I have had some pretty nice separates in here for demo recently (Herron separates, Classe CP-700 mated with the McCormack) and they each beat my setup by a small margin, but the Karan is in a whole different league. They are tough to find though. Now, I just need to get my wife to let me keep it.....
Thanks for the update Dawgcatching. Sounds like you found a winner! (Good luck with you wife). Definitely something to look into. I wonder how the aforementioned equipment would all compare with the BATs..

BTW, I moved my speakers apart by a foot and the sound became much richer and deeper (I had done it before and had not noticed - perhaps something else also changed) - no idea that '1 foot' would make such a difference. I have become very content with the BATS over the last couple of days. - Can’t wait to listen again.
Great! Also try tuning your room, if you haven't already. In my room, that was by far the biggest bang for the $. I listened to a system that retailed at $40,000 today at a dealer (Dynaduio C-2 speakers), and it couldn't hold my system's jock strap, so to speak. The reason was they had no acoustic tuning whatsoever. It sounded thin and tinny: I have no idea how they sell anything with it sounding like that.

That's the next thing. I want to get some wall pannels and see how that goes.

Like in any field, some dealers know what they are doing more then others. Thanks for the info.
Sell all the BAT gear and go with ASL components. I replaced Four VK60's with two Hurricane Monoblocks and never looked back.My new Flora pre amp blew away the BAT 52SE pre amp by a long shot
Trapper with due respect, you'd have to do a lot more to convince me to just sell all my BAT gear when you use terms like, "my new pre 'blew away' the BAT 52SE pre amp."

..but I'm glad you're happy with your new gear:)
Trapper, not to dispute your findings but its hard to imagine the kind of sound that would 'blow away' my BATS also. Before I had some concerns but after recently finding the speaker sweet spot, the sound is amazing with BAT gear and JM LAB Divas. The sounds fills the room with music -Its so life like and grand that even my friends have commented on the noticible difference from the previous setup.
Hello Jmarshak,

From my experience of hearing the competing top rated well respected gear from other manufactures in my own system and in other system almost identical to my own, I'll have to say I agree with you with regards to Trapper's post.

I just chalk it up to different taste, different system, and he listens for different things than I do in reproduced music. Trapper, I mean this in a respectful way.

I am prensently using a Bat 3ix pre amp with bat vk60.What would be a good speaker cable to use with the Usher x719.I am presently using morrow audio sp4 cables.