I have played with tubes off and on for more than ten years and the statements about the BAT which I feel need clarifying are:"...More musical", and ..."Organic wholeness". The BAT VK-D5 is a very fine sounding product. It is not however, an accurate reproducer of the signal which it is fed. Tubes impart a specific harmonic richness which cannot be duplicated by any other amplifying device. It is a type of distortion which we are very familiar with and we tend to think that it sounds more organic, natural and sweet. It is not accurate. The Wadia sound is one that I currently live with and I have much respect for. It's abilities to convey exactly what is contained on a recording are excellent. I appreciate the truth in the reproduction and the clarity. it's sound is immediate, focused and dynamic. I also feel that removing the preamp and the associated interconnects gets me closer to the original sound and I have grown to favor this over the "enhanced" flavor from euphonic devices such as a tube linestage. The new 861 will have a retail price of 7950.00 and the 860x retails for 7450. Owners of the 860x can upgrade to the 861 for the 500.00 difference through their local dealer and Wadia. Even used, the 860x is still quite expensive. My advice is to look for an 850 used, or for the same sound without the build quality, find a used 830ix. You should be able to sell the BAT and just about break even on a used 830ix which is an 850 in sheep's clothing. Fewer devices in the signal path results in a cleaner, less distorted view into the sonic landscape...once you re-educate yourself with accurate, dynamic, distortion free reproduction you will never go back. If you feel that it would be too hard to go "cold turkey" with tubes, think about using a Wadia with a tubed stereo amp or monoblocks. This will still provide you that "sweetness" that you are familiar with, but will not compound it's effects by adding a tubed linestage. Possibly the best of both worlds!