I recently purchased a Line 3 on the used market and coudn't be happier with its performance. It has all the features that you might need. Runs on the hot side so needs good ventilation. I don't know anything about the BAT VK-5i preamp. Actually, I am curious how the Line 3 stacks up against a good solid state unit like the Bryston 25. I suspect that the solid state units have lower noise floors than their tube counter parts. Does this come at the price of a 'harsher sound'? Wish I new the answer. Back to your question. I don't think that there is any tube preamp with an audible better sound then the line 3. Maybe equal but not better.
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