Well... I have a new pre-amp and it meets virtually none of my requirements!
I was bored today and started looking through my local craigslist and came across a Cary SLP-98L for sale about 5 minutes from me. I knew what was going to happen at that point.
I've been considering one as a budget option to hold me over until I found
what I REALLY wanted (and could justify the price) since it has been so highly recommended.
I was not prepared for how good this little pre is.
It definetly leans slightly on the tube side of things rather than the clinical
side, which is just what I was after.
After spending the last 4 hours listening to every disk I own I can conclude that
it just flat makes music - good music.
It has layer upon layer of texture and does magical things to vocals (KD Lang is on right now) as well as strings. It kicks out a wide and deep soundstage filled with details
should you want to look for them - I find that I don't however, because they're all
woven together in a fabric of music that is better taken as a whole.
If I had to fault it, the bottom end isn't quite as tight as I would like it to be, but that was simply cured with some tweaking of my sub.
I truly feel sorry for those of you without tubes in your rig... or worse... those of you who use a HT processor as a preamp.. sacrelege (shakes head).
This is an absoute steal on the used market even at A-gon pricing - not to mention Craigslist pricing!!
Isn't she beautiful??