matching bat equipement?

I'm thinking of adding a new pre amp. I own a dc-1, vk200 and ml aerius i. 2yrs ago I auditioned the vk3i w/the vk200 and it sounded unbelievable. A yr later I auditioned the vk50se with the same gear and was not impressed. I'm thinking of either the vk3i or the vk30. Reason I gave the vk30 a thought was do to its additional features. Has anyone ever listed to the 3i or 30 w/the vk200 and was there a difference? Are they the same sounding pre's w/just more options on the vk30? Any help would be great. Thanx Pete
I have both the 3i and a 50SE. Two most different flavors!
50SE lacks the dark, tube euphonic of the 3i. 50SE truer to the source, 3i wonderful with bright speakers, such as my Infinity IRS Betas.
Go to and call (not e-mail) Jim Chambers. He is a BAT dealer and a grat guy who will offer you good advice with NO pressure. I have dealt with Jim for a few years asking him all kinds of audio questions and have only purchased a remote for my VK-30SE. He even helped me get it used.

Hope this helps. Give Jim a call.
Pete, you may want to add the older VK-5i pre-amp to your list of pre-amps. I had the VK-3i and upgraded to the VK-5i
and have it mated to the VK-200 amp, which is a great combo!
The VK-5i is the predecessor to the VK-30 and some prefer
it's sound over the 30. They sell for about the same on
the used market (under $2000), but I think the 5 listed for
about $1000 more than the 30 new.
Yup I agree with the posts so far. The 3i and 5i are sweeter, darker and more euphonic, more forgiving with an ss amp. The 3i is a bit more euphonic than the 5i. I have personaly owned both the 3i and the 5i. If you can get a 5i at a reasonable price, that would be the one to have. Keep in mind it only has balanced in's and out's

The synergy with either the 3i or the 5i is so perfect with the VK200, because they were all designed at the same time.