which preamp would you choose?

Hi all,ive been thinking about trying a tube preamp that would warm my system up abit.Was looking into either the Dehavilland ultra verve or the BAT3iX.Both seem to have great reviews and are just about at the same price point.I dont really have dealers here to listen to either.Would be matched to a Bryston 4BST.Which would be your choice?
Hi Antmo,

The choice between those two preamps I think would depend on what kind of sound you're trying to sculpt.

I own or have owned preamp/amp combos similar to what you're considering and I've found that different tube preamps will exert their sonic characteristics on a solid state amp.

At one time, I owned the BAT VK3i and paired it with my BAT VK200. I found this to be a very smooth and dynamic combination, but it lacked the midrange realism I was hoping for compared to my long time Blue Circle BC21 when paired with the same amp. The BC21 uses two 6SN7 tubes which DeHavilland characterizes as having that "big tube sound" similar to their preamps like the Ultra Verve.

I also own an older Bryston 4B which I tried pairing with my Blue Circle preamp this past weekend. I felt the bass of the 4B was amazingly powerful, tight, extended and had great tone, but on the whole was my least favorite among my amps when it came to midrange reproduction. For this reason, I'd say that if midrange is important to you a BAT/Bryston combo might not be the best. I think a fuller sounding DeHavilland matched with the Bryston would definitely be better. My feeling is that they would balance each other out.

I've never heard any DeHavilland preamps, but I would imagine they would have a similar balance to the Blue Circle and eXemplar Exception II preamps I own, but probably with a slightly different tone.

Currently, I alternate between the BAT VK200 and a Bel Canto SET40 tube amp with either the Blue Circle or eXemplar. Both present a midrange and overall balance I prefer to having the Bryston in the chain. But one thing to consider is that this is an older Bryston which I assume is much less refined than your 4BST, and the other amps can't match the beautiful bass of the Bryston.

Good luck!