Thinking of getting a BAT VK 5I

I'm thinking of getting a BAT VK 5I. I'm aware that they have become absolete in the BAT line. I currently own a VK 3I at the moment and would like to upgrade to the 5I. Does anybody upgraded from the 3I to the 5I ? Is it worth it ?
Some infos would be helpful.
Thank you.

I just purchased a VK-3i ... I had previously heard the VK-5i that a friend had up for sale. The 5i does not have any single ended connections. This means you're either gonna have to use the BAT adapters (at $90 a pair) if any of your gear is single ended. Or, you may have to use balanced ICs throughout. I think there's a tad more resolution in the 5i, but certainly not enough to justify the cost differential, IMO.

Why are you looking to dump the 3i? It's such a wonderful pre-amp ... BTW, I swapped out the stock Sovteks and installed the NOS 6h23-EBs and Visseaux 6v6GTs from Kevin at Upscale Audio. WOW! What a difference! Incredible 3D imaging and powerful bass. I really did the sound. Maybe you should consider swapping tubes before you bag the 3i.
I 2nd Rlb61, I also own a VK-3i w/ a phono stage & remote. I see no need, nor have any future desire to upgrade to a VK-5i. Thanx Rlb61 for the Tube swap info!!!
Thank you for your prompt answers. I would not go as far as calling "dumping" the 3I, that's taking it to personal. If you read my thread carefully, I simply stated that I was thinking of replacing the 3I, and any suggestions would be welcome. Personally, I've always wanted a 5I, and the fact that it does offer more resolution, transparency, detail, bass extension, air, and a better soundstaging, may be the way to go. Improving isn't that what we strive for? As far as single ended connections, it does not pause a problem, because the 3I that I own, is Balanced throughout.
As far as swapping the tubes, I'll give it a try. Thank you for the infos. I welcome any suggestions, and thank you for your helpful inputs.
For nearly the same $, you could get into VK30, et al. A much better interface and design, IMHO.

Yes, the VK30, does present itself as an option. Even the Special Editions, are coming up quite often on Audiogon. As far as the faceplate, I kind of like the look of the original Bat, they represent a unique look, a sort of design that sets itself apart from the rest.
Thank you.
Love the VK-5i !

It's one of the best preamps out there bar none. It is not as transparent as the 30SE and 50SE, but it is warmer and tubier sounding. If your system is a little bright or your tastes run to the more gentle tube side you may actually prefer it.

Put some relatively inexpensive 1960's NOS RCA 6922's tubes in it with some modern day Svetlana 6L6GC's and you are off to the races. The bogey for tubes is considered to be the Tung-sol 5881's and top shelf amperex 7308's. I tried some tung-sol's with NOS Russian 6922's. The Tung/Russian tubes were spankin new compared to the Svet/RCA with 1000 hours on them. I felt the sound was just as good though different so I packaged up the Tungsol/Russians and saved them for later. At 2 5881's and EIGHT 6922's the cost of NOS tubes can get up there.

One thing you should be careful of is this 'unity gain' feature that they have. It is a button on the remote that if pushed twice will turn the currently selected source up to FULL VOLUME. This of course could blow your speakers and ears out quite easily. It happened to me once but I was lucky enough to be playing something quiet at the time. Fortunately this feature is easily removed by calling up BAT and having them walk you through the opening of the remote and clipping the appropriate wires. They will also do it for you free of charge if you mail it in.

You do need to put a converter plug on the bat in order to use single ended sources. The BAT's do sound better than the cheaper $20 generic converters. This is actually not such a bad thing - you can buy the converters for seventy bucks or so and that's the end of it. Even though I don't have the 5i anymore I still kept all of my converter plugs because they are so darn useful.

The 5i does sound markedly better with a balanced source and output. I don't know if it's magic virtures are worth it if you run unbalanced.