Preamp Choice: Rogue 99 Magnum vs. BAT VK30

I have both of these preamps, and they both have their plusses and minusses. Both have remotes, which I like! The BAT is chock full of features, the Rogue fewer. I have yet to get away from Stock tubes, and so I don't know how their sound will change when I get some better NOS tubes in them. Has anyone heard the two of them with good tubes? Which is more transparent? Any report of sonic qualities, or good comparisons, would be very appreciated!

OH - and the rest of my system is a Bruce Moore dual 70 tube amp running KT88's, Proac 2.5 speakers, an Arcam CD23 CDP, and a Linn LP12 TT with Denon DL103r cartridge. Thanks.
Peter s

My friend Brian emailed you and told some of the things you mentioned to him.

I went from the stock tubes in my Rogue 99 Magnum, which I do not even know what they are because it does not say, but have been told they are either GE or Russian NOS. Anyway I bought some of the cheaper RCA NOS tubes from Andy at Vintage Tube Services, I asked him for a tube that was not too expensive but musical, with lighter bass response and the RCA is what he sent. He told me they were not the best RCA NOS but still good. I agree with him, compared to the original tubes the RCA has less bass and is more midrange oriented with a more open and detailed presentation. They might be slightly bright for my taste but then again I have Maggie 1.6s which can be agressive if everything is not just right.

I am sure within the next few weeks we will compare preamps (as Brian has the VK 30) and report back.

I hope this helps

What are the sonic differences between your BAT vs. the Rogue preamp in your setup?
With stock tubes (slight upgrade from Stock on Rogue, NOS RCA's) I find the Rogue to be more transparent with better and more defined bass presence, but more forward vocal range, which can come across as more aggressive. I am very sensitive to a hint of aggressive mid, though my listening buddy thinks it's worth it for the transparency (subjective choice). I figure I can't make a choice until I've put good tubes in both.

Has anyone upgraded the tubes in either unit? What results did you have? I've heard that the BAT really opens up to become more musical ("sweeter, less sterile"). Rogue and BAT users out there, what improvements have you seen? Have you compared these two preamps?
Go Bat!
Which RCAs are in there? Black base, brown base, GTA, GTA?
They are NOS RCA 6SN7 GTB tubes, as seen in this ebay ad:
I have different RCA NOS in mine. Black base, but older vintage. I may like the more upfront sound of yours, as I find mine more laid back. Perhaps we could work something out. Email me.

In a very rough guess I would say my listening impressions are the same as yours. Yesterday I listened to my friends BAT VK30 and VK200 combo on his B&W N803 speakers It seemed very nice, more liquid and laid back than my Rogue Magnum99 and Plinius SA100 MKIII that we had heard on the same system about 6 weeks ago. I would agree my stuff was more detailed and forward also the bass was punchier.

Again this is a preliminary impression of only a few hours listening and weeks of time between actually hearing the first system.


I find both the Rogue 99 and Bat preamps (not amps) to be very veiled. I prefer the Cary SLP98 to both of them, which seemed more transparent in auditions. It also is a piece of eye jewelry ;)

Of course all 3 colour the sound, which may or may not be your cup of tea.


Do have much experience comparing the SLP 98 to the Rogue 99 Magnum? What other differences did you hear? I had a chance to buy a 98 at a very good price but could not bring it home to audition and could not find much info on it :( so I went with the Rogue which has served me well.

It is a beauty I agree.


peter s

I finally heard the BAT VK30 on my system, I have not had the Rogue 99 Magnum for about 5 weeks but keeping that in mind this is what I heard.

On the plus side the BAT has a quality that is hard to put your finger on but it indeed is nice and musical, the sort of thing that makes you listen to the instruments and forget about the stereo. Also the BAT never sounded bright in the least (but was a little dull for my tastes).

Even though it has a better tone than the Rogue I still prefer the 99 as it is quite a bit more detailed, dynamic and defined and also has a bigger soundstage (one downside for me though with the Rogue was it sometimes 'glared' in the high end, I am convinced that this is my less than ideal room size can not handle the Rogues 'big' dynamics)but the real clincher for me is the bass where the Rogue trounces the BAT (which was meek and ill defined). I really missed the low end definition where you know exactly what is going on down there in the BAT, also the BAT sounded 'murky' in comparison.

Bottom line: I can see where the midrange and high end might be a draw between these 2 depending on musical taste or systems but (in my system) there was no comparison in the bass, where the Rogue is amazing (like one of the mags said, a Gila monster wrestling the woofer to the ground)