If I like ARC, okay with CJ, and run for SF....

What will I think of BAT?
I am very familiar with the "house sounds" and quality of Audio Research and Sonic Fronters, and a little bit with CJ.
I am considering buying some store floor demo samples of Balanced Audio Technology, but don't know much about the brand and will need to wait until I get home to really listen. Will i like these? They are on sale for a good discount and the best deal I can see right now. All I need to do is drive 100 miles, pay. and go! The build quality look firt rate- how is the sound and reliability?
I don'r get why you can't audition them before deciding whether to buy them or not. I know the associated equipment may not be similar to what you have at home but it will still give you an idea as to whether the BAT sound is something you may like it or not. That's my 2c worth.
I've had BAT and CJ for fifteen years and have enjoyed the sound, if not quite the final word on resolution.

One of my regrets, is that BAT demands balanced connectors, while my CJ amp was not so. Actually and eventually, my system would grow away from balanced and back to RCA, so my BAT preamp became an interconnect pain in my butt.
Opps, my first post should have said RUN FROM SF. Never did like the sound in any system I tried. But ARC is great and CJ is good too, but a little laid back for me.

Camalk- I'm sure I can listen before I buy too see if they work find but not long enough to know unless the sound is really really bad or they do something wierd like malfucntion or shut off etc.. I just hope they are not dry and lifeless like the SF gear that I have owned.

Thanks kennythekey - i think BAT has added RCAs to some of the products. I know I saw an older preamp that only had xlrs.
I'm glad that BAT is adding RCAs! I know very little about BAT's newer stuff. My CJ Premier 11a and BAT VK-5i does not sound dry, but I do know that CJ is somewhat branded to be honey-colored. My BAT may be helping with that but I'm not sure, because the two components work together very well, except for the connectors. The sound is just sweet enough, detailed, airy, and has good resolution.

I am also in the process of replacing both.

If you really like the sound of ARC, why not look for something from ARC? You know what type of sound to expect. But before I buy anything I would still want to hear it in my system. There are differences in the sound even from units by the same manufacturer.

If I wanted to try the BAT, I would tell the dealer that I live quite far away. Ask if you can demo the unit for a week. If you like it, then just keep the unit and call the dealer with a credit card. If you don't like the unit then return it. That way you don't take the chance of being stuck with something you don't like.

IMHO though I would rather buy a piece used than a demo. Demo pieces are usually left on for long periods of time so that they are warm if a customer wants to hear them. The other thing is that a lot of people have taken the demo home and played around with it. People tend to take better care of something when they own it compared to when they just borrow or rent it. But this is just my opinion.

I am a big ARC fan. I own an LS25 mk2 and Ref 110. I have also owned a Cary SLM 100 and have had a couple of CJ pieces in my system. I liked both the CJ and Cary but the sound was a little more tubey than ARC. I have also heard a BAT system at a dealer. The sound seemed more like my ARC gear, both use the 6H30 tube. But it was at a dealer that does not loan out gear. I would still want to hear something in my system before I bought it.
Lostbears has some good points. For example, I'm getting a custom amp to replace my BAT/CJ combo. The company offers a money back guarantee if I don't like the sound. This makes it an easy decision.
"If you really like the sound of ARC, why not look for something from ARC?"

I do think about ARC all the time, but there are not too many dealers near me and they have to order everything anyway- no floor samples for all models ect. Anyway, I could get a BAT amp and preamp for about the same cost as a new ARC VS115. Also on the BATs, the store does state that all tubes are new.

You do make a great point about used vs. demo gear. I never considered this, but is does make good sence. I know how store workers dont really care some times and things get tossed and kick around.