Which BAT preamp?

I got enough advice from a fair number of Audiogoners, and I'm getting ready to buy a BAT pre-amp, hopefully used or demo at an attractive price. Sold one of my amps, put my AR SP14, Audio Refinement Complete integrated, Townshend Seismic Sink, and Hitachi tuner up for sale here on Audiogon. That should raise enough cash to get a BAT preamp. I went to BAT's website, had a little trouble figuring out which model(s) I should be looking for. I want a tubed preamp, with a phono section, and perhaps a remote control. Not sure which models fit the bill, and what they'll likely cost me. Any inputs would be much appreciated, thanks for taking the time. Jeff
I don't know about their solid state models, but in their tubed line, you can get a phono stage in the 3 series or the 30 series. The 5 and 50 series will require that you buy an external phono stage. The 30SE and 50SE's are is a supertube versions of the 30 and 50. I have heard that you should audition both SE and non SE. The 30 series is more euphonic, and the 30SE more accurate. I've only heard the 30SE and it's the best preamp I've heard. I'm trying to find out myself how good the 30SE phono stage is compared to an outboard one like I have - an arc ph-3. Any opinions out there on preamp integrated phono stages verses external phono stages. I'm already a three racker !....
This might not be of help to you, but I currently own a BAT VK-20 preamp. It is one of their solid-state models. I used to have a Krell KRC-3, but found that the BAT offer a deeper soundstage and seemed a little more transparent. I have heard that the tube preamps from BAT are some of the best on the market. You have made a wise choice on deciding to buy a BAT preamp, sorry I could not be of much help in advising you which model. I know that on any of their solid-state models you can get an inboard phono stage.
Jeff, I own the BAT VK-30. I purchased it about two years ago and listened to a great deal of pre-amps, tube and solid state, in the $1500-$5000 price range before purchasing it. The VK-30 is stellar. Versus CJ and ARC, it offers the warmth of the CJ and the detail of the ARC equipment. I also looked closely at the VK-20. When heard side-by-side, the VK-30 doesn't lose any of the tightness on the bass or crisp high end, and offers the euphonic midrange presence of tubes. Granted I thought the VK-20 is one of the best s.s. pre-amps out there. As for the SE version, I have heard it and do believe it to be ever so slightly more detailed, but I think it is a marginal improvement given the cost to upgrade it.
Jeff- My VK3i tube model was a definate improvement from the SP9 Mk2 I was running. Phono board and remote are available and can be retrofitted at $500/each! I am using single-ended in and out, not the balanced. This model is available used for about $900-$1K, w/o phono or remote. If you go this route, check to see you have a native 3i and not an upgraded 3, unless you are running all balanced in and out (or are willing to use adapters).
I'm running single-ended but could change to balanced, my amp has balanced inputs. I've owned a SP9 Mark II and now have a SP14. Due to the marginally bright nature of my current set up I do need to avoid solid state and get some of that tube warmth goin' for me. From what I can tell, I ought to get a BAT 30 and perhaps an outboard phono stage rather than worry about having an integrated phono stage on the pre. Is the Lehmann Black Cube THAT good? Doesn't look like much, but obviously that has nothing to do with how it sounds. Having a remote doesn't matter, cuz I'll never use it, just thought if someday I decided to sell the pre having a remote would be a good selling feature. Again, thanks guys
I auditioned the BAT 3i v. the Rogue 66 and found them very similar - the BAT having a slightly better low end and an overall darker balance. I chose the Rogue based mostly on price. I then auditioned the same BAT 3i v. the Rogue 99 (next time to the shop). The Rogue was MUCH better. Moral of the story. I wouldn't get the 3i (or the 66), but would investigate the 30, 5i, 50, or Rogue 99 as I believe the law of diminishing returns has not set in on the 3i or 66. Don't get me wrong, I still think the 3i and 66 are good, but there is significant improvement for another grand. I myself have not heard the higher-end BAT's so am unable to offer any evaluations there. Good luck. Mike
On of my friends was shopping for a phono stage. In his system we tried the $600 black cube, a $900 quicksilver tube, and my $1700 audio research ph-3. He has spectral pre, amp, ap tempo III speakers and the gazillion dollar MIT cables. This system is high resolution to the point of pain. We were also using a rega 25 w/exact cart and a crummy MIT mid-grade cable

Anyway, of all three I liked the ph-3 the best. Mainly because I like the big gutsy AR tube sound. Just my taste. The black cube was quite excellent too. Very detailed and not harsh sounding at all. If I wanted a solid state phono stage, I would go with a built-in or a black cube. It had a nice sweet sound, similar to a very neutral tube component. Since the black cube was able to sound good in a spectral system, it should sound good enough to mate well with anything. I also heard the black cube in an all-Naim system and thought it sounded great there too. It's sound is actually the typical detailed, well paced British Sound that you hear in Linn and Naim equipment.