cary slp-98L vs bat vk3i

has anybody compared these two preamps? is the cary a cut above? or is the bat the way to go? thanks
I was very disappointed with the Cary SLP98L but haven't compared with a BAT. However a Golden Tube SEP2 made the Cary sound like trash. The Cary was just awful with stock tubes; I never did try any upgrade tubes; resold it immediately. ymmv
I've auditioned only one of the Cary tubed preamps which was enough for me. Very fuzzy and slow sounding did have the stock tubes.It was a fairly current model not sure if it's the same model number as the one your referring to though. It was very disappointing!
Unless you have a completely over the top high end tipped up system. The 3i isn't a really tooby unit. Toob rolling only helps a little. The unit with modern stock toobs is excellent.

I run gray top RCA 6v6 and Amperex 6922's in mine but it sounds great with the maligned Philips JAN 6922's.

Buy the BAT and don't look back

I haven't compared the two but owned the Cary for a while. With stock tubes it's okay, but when I put in NOS Sylvanias the preamp really started to sing. The Cary house sound is very biased towards the mid-range, but this preamp delivered good bass, not outstanding, but very listenable. It is a bit warmer than other preamps I have heard. My current preamp, a Joule Electra LA-100 MkIII is more transparent and extends the frequency range better than the Cary.

It might be helpful to know what amp you're going to use it with. I used my SLP-98L with a Cary V12i and they mated very well. I would not say the Cary is a cut above the BAT. I believe if you get to hear them both the BAT will sound very different. It will depend on the sound you are looking for and the synergy with the rest of your system that will probably determine what is best for you. I have heard the SLP-98 Jaguar Red versions are better than the Black versions. Not sure why, maybe because the Jaguar Red ones are the most recent production. Also, mine did not have the Jensen oil cap upgrade or the other Cary upgrades that are available for the unit. These could make a difference in the sound.
My Cary SLP 98L has all the current mods, Jensen caps, hexfeds and is direct coupled. It has Raytheon VT231s in the rear sockets and 1952 Sylvania 6SN7GTs in the front sockets.Powercord is a TG Audio SLVR. It does not sound juicy, tubey or anything but very dynamic and neutral. If I want a touch of juice, I just trade the Sylvanias for RCA VT 231s. Bring on your BAT.
I agree with Claud, the Cary 98 is very neutral and doesn't impart much of a tube flavor. I tried it out on my system when looking for a tubed preamp. I bought another brand because I was looking for more of the tube character. But if you're looking for nuetral and dynamic, I think it's one to consider.
heard a cary 98 in a buddys system and it was pretty good... i think the question is your setup and willingness to tube roll..

if balanced then bat ( a vk30 is a lot better than 3vki - disclosure i have a vk 30 for sale) if rca then i would really look at the cary
I have not owned the Cary, but have owned a BAT VK 30 and was not at all impressed.