BAT VK50SE or CJ Premier 16LS Series ll

I have been auditioning preamps for quite some time. I’m basically interested in bi-amping my SS amps with tube preamps, looking to do this right the first time (yeah right! :) I’ve finally narrowed it down to these two fine tube preamps.

Balanced Audio TechnologyVK50SE

Conrad Johnson Premier16LS Series ll

Would anyone be so kind as to share any experiences they may have had with either of these preamps? Would anyone be able to provide a comparison of the two? Any info is appreciated.
I did not have the vk50se or cj 16ls, but we just compard the vk30se with CJ 17ls it is very similar to what you want test with ML 332 Cary CD 303 and BW 804 nautilus, from what I had been experienced with both pre-amp they are both beautiful in their own way but BAT it is neutral to warm sound and CJ more warmer and sweet romantic vocal and midrange is outstanding bat is quiet nice but not that sweet just did everything exactly from your source, I think it is down to preference choice once you are up here with all the fine equipments you have to let your ear decide which is the taste that you like. I would think if you have a SS amp and speaker that is neutral then bat will be the one, but if you have a bright SS and dry speaker like BWnautilus then CJ is a better match the only thing I did not like about CJ is they only used RCA no Balance. Tell us more what kind of gear are you using and may we can help with your decision both are great gear. Good luck and enjoy the music.

Thanks for the reply Goone

I have two JRDG model 112 (150watts) and two Rotel 1090 (380 watts) not sure which of these amps I'm going with. Believe it or not, after the 1090s were broken in, the sound that came from the amps were amazing. Don’t get me wrong not as good as the JRDG but not too far behind either. The other big name amps sounded better as well, but only slightly, very narrow margin indeed. I’m using Transparent Reference XL as interconnects. Power cords, also Transparent, PowerLink XL along with the Transparent PowerIsolator XL. My. Speakers are B&W Nautilus 802. The speaker wires for now until I start bi-amping are Kimber Kable Bi-focal XL terminated with WBT-0660. The JRDG sounds great but can’t really drive the N802s.On the other hand the Rotel 1090 has power to spare and really make the speakers sing. Is it possible to use the JRDG for the highs and mids and the 1090 for the bottom end. (hmmm) or should I use both JRDG for bi-amping or both Rotel 1090s? In any event the tube pre-amp will come very close to the sound I'm seeking. Help is needed. Thanks

I would like to know if there is a change of impedance mis-match? Can anyone explain this to me? I've been hearing alot of it lately
From my opinion, this is going to be great sell both of your amps don't run rotel with a fine Nautilus 802. Sell them both buying a ML 335 and CJ16LS or 17LS you will be set for awhile you will have both HI-FI sound a Musical sweet music , CJ will put out that analytical sound from ML and give you that sweet vocal and outstanding midrange.
You probably wondering why I did not mention anything about the bottom end because I know ML will drive that nautilus of your without any problem neither with CJ or BAT.
The "impedance mismatch" you refer to has to do with the ratio of the preamp's output impedance to an amp's input impedance. Basically, the higher the preamp's output impedance is, the higher the amp's input impedance should be. The C-J's design means it will have a somewhat higher output impedance than a lot of other pre's, so don't pair it with an amplifier that has an especially low input impedance. I believe that anything upwards of about 20k ohm for the amp will be OK, and this means most amps will work alright (50 - 100k ohm is typical for many amps). The other possible effects that a highish preamp output impedance could produce are capacitve high-frequency losses if very long cable runs to the amps are required, and there also may be some issues involved with splitting the outputs to feed multiple amps when biamping. I wouldn't hesitate to contact C-J with any questions related to your choice, even if only to double-check what your dealer may tell you.
I would save a bunch of dough and buy 2 Cary Rocket 88s and the Cary 2002 preamp and vertically biamp. You can even try it with one, or get a single V12. Once you go tubes, you will forget Rotel and JDRG (which I have owned both btw).

Dennis Had has done this with 801s and was one of the best sound rooms at CES. Can't wait to hear this combo at HE2002.
Since you are considering BAT, I can tell you that a vk500 and the 50se pre will give you power, dynamics, and a very well rounded but not overly beautified sound. My 2 cents are based on my experience with a 50se, vk1000's, and 801's.
Have fun!

I am not sure what impedance mismatch problem you have been hearing. I have been using a BAT-VK50SE to biamp Theta Dreadnaught for a few years with great results. My speaker was Martin Logan SL3 and recently, upgraded to Vandersteen Model 5. The input impedance of the Dreadnaught is 100k on XLR and I connect it to the BAT with 4M balanced interconnects.
VK50SE is the best preamp I've heard.
The CJ 16LS series II is simply one of the finest pre-amps available, except for the CJ ART, it matches especially well with ss amps.