Best remote with preamp

After using various preamps where the remote control interface left me wanting more, I'd like to see what is considered the best or perhaps 'perfect' remote for a preamp. Note I don't mean cdps, or other remotes. (Integrateds qualify but aftermarket remotes don't).

So many of them (even those supplied with expensive units) are gimmicky, or oddly-shaped to the hand, or have poor tactile feel, etc.

What is critical is the volume control, its feedback to the user, both tactile and visual, and its 'connectedness' to the unit, that is, how responsive is the unit to the remote.

So points would be scored heavily for an easy-to-read volume setting from across the room (doesn't have to be a numerical readout but if so it should be well-executed), fine-control of volume, in-the-dark usability, balance, weight and button size and such things.

For this exercise assume cost is no object.
the darTZeel battery powered NHB-18NS has a very minimalist remote; only volume up, volume down, and mute....three buttons on a very classy all aluminum, red anodized, perfect hand sized remote. the recesssed buttons have a positive 'click' so you can do very fine adjustments without looking. the remote is not back-lit, but there is no reason for it to be.

but the best part of the dart remote is the actual design of the volume control in the preamp. it is out of the signal path completely.....and no i cannot explain how that is done. like the dart amp; the dart pre has minimal parts count in the signal path and is battery powered for amazingly low noise. most, if not all, other preamps in the performance class of the dart pre don't have a remote. i'm not speaking about cost of preamps as expensive pre's are not always the best sounding; but i am speaking about transparency and naturalness. it is very difficult to add a remote to uncompromised preamp designs. ask a designer if their preamp sounded better without having a remote and they will likely say yes......or they might say that they did not include a remote to retain optimal performance.

you can choose from two volume controls. one has a conventional dial where there is a LED on the dial which allows for easily repeatable volume settings for one rotation that can be seen from accross the room. this choice uses a motor to turn the volume control dial.

the other choice still has the LED on the dial; but there are 4 rotations of the dial on the volume scale so you have much finer steps of volume control. this was my choice and allows for really 'correct' volume adjustments. for this approach the dial does not move when using the remote. but if you turn the dial manually it will turn 4 times from low to full.

both approaches sound great.

you can also preset input gain for each of the 6 inputs and has a unity gain setting for a HT pass-thru.

for my personal listening culture; this remote does exactly what i want; and does not confuse things. when i have visitors and hand them the remote, even in the dark, they can easily use it is that well thought out. many comment 'why can't all remotes be like the dart's?'
pbn audio preamps
Accuphase C2810
Anything by BAT--heavy remote, positive tactile feedback, nice big readout on the pre-amps (which can be shut off), mute, fade (up and down). Button size is smallish, but there are not many on the remote so you don't need to "look" once you know where they are. Oh, and the pre-amps are terrific too!
I'd recommend the Audio Research Ref. 3 preamp, as it is both a top notch preamp, and it has a full function remote. My friend has one and it is exactly like you describe your perfect preamp and remote to be. The buttons are well spaced, and the display on the preamp is nice and large.

Stay away from the Ayre K-1xe (as the remote is very, very basic), and there is no digital display. (FYI, I own the Ayre K-1xe and love it and recommend it highly as a preamp, but the remote is not its strong point, IMHO.)
Second the ARC Ref3.
The first thing you don't want is a stepped volume control. They always wind up too loud or too soft for the level one wishes to attain. The VAC Renaissance has a solid metal remote, nicely weighted, smooth finish, minimalist features, with soft buttons for volume up/down one above the other, spaced apart from any other buttons, so there is no guessing as far as feel. One can execute adjustments of the finest level via either the remote or the volume knob. If you need to see the level you are set at, the volume knob is beveled and it is easy to tell fairly closely where the level is by just a glance.

The interface between man and machine is important whether it be a preamp or great automobiles like my BMW's.
The remote for the Bel Canto eVo2i is a very nice piece. Solid metal, responsive and with only usable features. Actually there are two features I never use, "tape" and "loop." The remote for the eVo2i is the same as the remote for the PRe2.
The Volume control is especially good, it steps in .5db increments which offers accurate adjustment at the correct speed. When you activate the volume control the display immediately comes up to full brightness for easy readings. The display dims a few seconds later or goes off completely if that's what mode the amp was in. The display setting is also on the remote.
I'm not talking about the performance of the amp, only hte remote which is one of the nicest I've used.
I agree that the VAC Ren has a great remote. Mine is as above, but input toggle is on top, volume toggle next and 4 others are large round buttons in a diamond pattern below the volume. All buttons are large and hard to mistake for another. BAT remote has very nice digital volume display and is nicely made, etc, but other buttons are a bit hard to distinguish and if you ever mistakenly hit the unity gain button, your family, your neighbors, your ears and your speakers may never forgive you.
best remote I ever used was on Hafler Iris preamplifier. It actually had a turn knob for volume control and another for balance control. Same exact knobs as on preamp faceplate. it looked like a brick, felt like a brick but worked like magic. I still miss it....but not the preamp.
SIMAUDIO---fast,fast remote--very heavy. you "feel" the clicks of the buttons.Same remote for all components.