ARC Tube preamp suggestions


Hi guys,

I have an ARC VT-100 amp that I need to find a preamp for. Alas my budget does not allow for a new Ref5 or LS26/27, so I need to go to the 2nd hand market.

I like the lush, warm tube sound with all the pros and cons. I have a pair of Wilson Cubs with a 12" sub attached.

I am looking at the LS2, LS5, LS8 or maybe LS16 preamps.
Please let me hear your suggestions - there maybe some preamps I have overseen.

My music is contemporary, jazz, blues and rock.

Thanks
Henrik
plafitracer
I like the lush, warm tube sound with all the pros and cons. I have a pair of Wilson Cubs with a 12" sub attached.

I certainly would not recommend the LS16 if that's the wish. I have not heard the others, so can't comment on them.
You should maybe go back further to the Sp11 mk2 ...That might fit your sonic wishes .......
Conrad Johnson. ANY Conrad Johnson preamp...
It is hard to guess what others might consider lush and warm, but, in my experience, none of the Audio Research linestages short of the Ref. 3 fit that description.

What kind of price range are you looking at, what are your other requirements (e.g., remote control, type of inputs and output (balanced/unbalanced), built in phono), etc.
Conrad Johnson, Cary, Manley may be just the ticket.
LS 25 i liked also a lot , a bit more precise and luxurios sounding than the LS 8 and SP 6 B which i owned for 2 respectively 4 years .
LS7 is very lush.
none of the Audio Research linestages short of the Ref. 3 fit that description.
WRONG! The LS5 is way beyond the other line stages here when it comes to lush and warmth. The LS2 and LS16 are sterile as h*ll. The LS7/LS8 are good performers but were part of ARC's "budget" series. And no, not the SP-11. This was the beginning of ARC to move toward a sterile sound until the LS5 came alone.
I own an LS 25 and - as one more data point - would never put it in the "lush" sounding camp. In fact, all of the ARC gear that I've ever heard (though, admittedly, this list isn't all inclusive) falls toward the more neutral end of the tube spectrum.

Marty
I have a ls16mk2 and audiovalve challanger 180 monoblocks
combo driving soundlab m2's and the results are stellar;interconnects are mogami neglex balanced and transparent music wave super;maybe the mk2 version is better than the standard as a few have mentioned to stay away;but I would say listen to one if you can.
My listening tastes are close to yours and pink floyd even visits now and then.
Investigate a REF 3 pre-amp. A good SP-11 retubed is very good also.

enjoy
A CJ PV-12 is a preamp made for jazz. NOS tubes makes it even better.