Anyone, experience of the Octave Hp-500SE?

Searching for some info of the German brand Octave.
Been looking at their preamps, HP-500SE/HP-500 mk3.
But it seems this brand isn't known around as much
as it might deserve!?
Anyone out there actually heard the Octave line of preamps?
Especially the HP-500SE.
Seems interesting as it is, (when driven through xlr), DC coupled and free from any DC offset.
Lately i've seen most BAT, CAT, ARC, ASL,..aso

All answers & inputs are widely appreciated!

For Your info,
I use Krell FPB 600C & Teac P-70 & D-70.
Speakers are unknown, but they are sonically alike
Avalon & Kharma.

Thanks for looking!

Maybe my answer is coming too late...
I listened to the SE version of this tube driven preamp. It was once constructed as special edition (SE) model limited to 100 units on the occasion of a 25 year anniversary of a Germany hi-fi magazine.
I was looking for an amp to drive my transistor power amp (GamuT D100) and not to produce typical euphonic (thus colored) valve sound. Finally, I bought a HP 500SE.

Let's come to the point:
The sound is crystal clear, there is really no noise floor (-103 dB/XLR), one can "walk around the musicians". It provides a deep and a bit "moved back" soundstage. The amp does sound fast, its dynamic is tremendous (cp. noise floor ;-). Even though this description may implies that the HP 500 SE is an analytic "tool" this is definitely not the case: it sounds neither bright nor warm but just right in a sense that voices and instruments sound as they really sound: very authentic and natural. The electronic is completely faded away and the presentation of music is always in the focus. There is lots of (defined) bass energy really down the low frequency end, an agile mid-range and an unstrained high frequency rendering.
The XLR output of the HP 500 SE was necessary to drive my power amp adequately (as it sounds a bit lifeless via RCA inputs).

You should give it a try!

Best regards
I have serial number 50 from this very unit and as Michael said, it is great in all regards. I just recently put the HP500SE against the Einstein the Tube Preamp and the top of the line Octave Jubilee reference preamp, I still own the HP500SE. A testament to the quality and sound of this preamp. The soundstage with the Octave HP500SE is a little further back then the Einstein, the Einstein is more in your face in the soundstage, however, I find the sounstage perfect for listening and I feel as if I am still right there during the performance.

For analog, SACD and CD, this preamp plays all back very well, convincinlgy, lively, realism and spaciousness to the music as it was recorded. In fact, I think this preamp in mhy system has allowed me not to worry about line amplification issues at all. There are two line level outs for up to 4 mono amps, or 2 subs and 2 mono amps. I use the balanced out to the Octave MRE130 140 tube watt mono amps with Super Black Box with B&W N800's with great results.

Let me tell you this, when I was on the kick to upgrade my preamp, I was really ready, and after pitting the top of the line Octave and Einstein, I feel I am listening to the music and nothing else.

My next goal is to compare the Aesthetix Callisto against the Octave HP500SE.

Ineteresting tid bit of information, last year we had an innaugeral meeting at Octave's company headquarters and we had workshop's involving all of the different equipment Mr. Hoffman makes. It was a great experience, and to see how each upgrade made a difference, was nice. Each power supply is hand wound in shop, point to point wiring, voltage set at the factory for either 120 (Japan)/240 (Europe). I asked about selling these in the states, and Mr. Hoffman said that the costs and markup in the states would be too high, probably coming at a price around the same as the Einstein, The Tube. I am not sure if he would have any problems getting past the UL approval in the states or not, he does have EU and CE approval for his equipment.

I would love for someone in the states to test this device, it was voted best preamp of the year in Japan and they sell very well in Japan as well by serious analog listeners. Maybe one day it will get a UL stamp and be sold in the states.

I forget to add that the website has reviews posted about this preamp. I was stunned to find that in Japan they did a test against the Mark Levinson 326S, Halcro DM10 and Accuphase C2800 and it ranked among those, acheiving a best buy award in Japan's Stereo magazine.

In addition, the original HP500 has been around the market in Europe since 1987, so there is a lot of history behind this preamp. I do have the version with the integrated phono stage, in which case it took me over two years before I found something that was better than the integrated phono stage, the Aesthetix IO Signature.

Links to the various awards and writeups of Octave:

This is the link to the Octave HP500SE in English:

This link provides information about the company history