For whatever it's worth, IMHO, there's a bias against BAT solid state products in part I believe because BAT cut their teeth and created a solid reputation on the VK5i, 3i, and the VK60 all of which are hybrid tube designs. I'll even go a step further and say BAT's solid state products clearly don't get the recognition they deserve, in part because the average audiophile has no or minimal experience with BAT's solid state gear because they're stuck on tubes. Personally, I became a fan of BAT's solid state gear first before sampling their tube gear. Most acquire BAT's tube gear without even giving BAT's solid state gear a fair listening. Bias towards tubes is no surprise when it comes to audio. I came to BAT by buying a used VK200 amplifier years ago just as an experiment to see if this small amplifier had the capacity to drive my CLS's, which most know is a power hungry and demanding load. To my surprise, the VK200 drove the Logans with ease, and very dynamically. But then of course I had to sample a VK500, which was but more of the same. Having a personal friend as a local BAT distributor I've owned the 30SE, 50SE, and I now own a VK40. It's performance within my system performs so well that this is the second VK40 I've owned. One of these days I'll tire of sampling new gear and I'll settle with a VK40. I've done blind tests of the VK40 against a VK51SE, VK31SE, and it's my opinion 9/10 listeners would say hey it's like splitting hairs, because the same dynamics, authority, reserve power are all there. Does a 51SE provide $2k more in performance level than a VK40? That's a question most won't allow themselves to answer for the reasons I've already suggested...they're stuck on tubes. Cutting to the chase, the author mentions getting a VK40 because it's "at a good price." And the price for used 40's are low in comparison to BAT tube pre's because of a lack of familiarity with BAT solid state pre's. A 40 is as good as anything Pass Labs, or certainly Mark Levinson has developed. And yet even those two solid state offerings get more respect than BAT. Perhaps because neither the PASS or ML has a competing line of products that run against it. In any event the 40 is one heck of a buy, and certainly worth sampling at the low entry price to sample one. Enjoy!