Acoustat Reference Preamp.

Does anyone know the history & qualities of this particular piece?
A friend of mine has one for sale in great shape for $250.00. Is this a good deal or bad?
See if he'll agree to let you try it in your system and then you'll be able to tell if it's worth it to YOU... I mean, since he's a friend and all.

Personally, if I were spending $250 on a preamp I'd buy a used B&K Pro 10. It's an excellent bang-for-the-buck unit.
I don't have an amp yet-- just an integrated. Maybe I'll bring my Snells over. Was it decent in it's time? It seems very well built and has a nice phone section.
I know the Acoustat amp had a very good reputation, but I'm really not familiar with the preamp. Based on Acoustat's reputation I would think it should be a decent sounding piece. Also check for things like heavy-duty gold-plated connectors and possibly a detachable AC cord as those items would make the preamp more desireable.

I have a couple of decent amps floating around my house that I may sell. E-mail me privately if you're interested.
I used to own an Acoustat TNP preamp, my first high-end preamp (sister piece to the TNT amp, trans-nova technology). Is this the unit you're talking about? If so, it was very good in its time, favorably reviewed by J. Gordon Holt in the early 80s, but comparatively noisy compared to current units. The phono stage was its strength, as was the case with the best preamps in the times before line stages became the main source. In any case, you might check for extra noises, when I sold mine it needed to have a number of caps replaced.
Thanks for the input. I belive the caps were replaced a few years ago. I'll ask to listen to it the next time I visit -- he's a few hours away.

The only thing I can recall seeing on it is "Acoustat Reference."
I lifted this from the product review forum in the Acoustat amp. thread for you.

Review: Acoustat TNP
Not that it was worth it, resale is nothing on it, but for the heck of it I decided to mod a TNP preamp. After hearing a plethora of disparaging comments about it, and assuming that it was not such a horrid design after all... Well, I was completely right, the original caps and bypass caps used in the TNP suck, use RT or RTX caps for bypassing, and Black Gates in the signal path, and Nichicon Muse caps in the supply, replace the 1N400(X) cap with UF4007’s and this preamp will hold it’s own against the big dogs, and smoke the later Acoustic preamp, unless you mod it! :-) I did not do the phono section as I just wanted to prove a point, and as I had wasted quite enough money on it. If I was not crazy about remotes, I would use it…
Lou_3rd 12-24-03