Audio Research LS2B MKll vs Emotiva XSP-1

Does any one have experience with the Audio Research LS2B MKll and the Emotiva XSP-1 preamps.

What are the sonic differences and sonic advantages of both.

I don't own any Audio Research gear, but have always wanted to get into it and continue to wait for when the time is right. I do, however, sort of keep up with Audio Research gear through my local high end shop. The owner is a big fan of Audio Research.

As for your question, it's sort of like asking which is more fun, flying a biplane or a modern jet. It really depends on what you enjoy.

The LS2B is OLD. Mid nineties, I believe. I'd characterize the sound a being relatively laid back. I'd say that the rig I listened to was somewhat lacking in detail, but very pleasant to listen to. The Emotiva, on the other hand, had more detail and was sharper, although I have to add that the speakers being used were some flavor of Klipsh with horns. The highs were more extended and the lows hit a bit harder.

If I had to choose between the two, I think I'd opt for the LS2B, but this call may have more to do with the speakers that I heard the Emotiva through.

Still, the Emotiva is a much more modern device. It provides for room correction, which I'm not adverse to, since not many people have a perfect listening room. The Emotiva also provides for bass management.

With the Audio Research, you can hook it all up to your system and what you hear is pretty much what you'll have. With the Emotiva, you can do more tweaking.
I don't believe the XSP has room correction, though it can be integrated into a theater system. I was following the XSP prior to its release but upon reading that the USP-1 was somewhat bright sounding, and upon discovering bright characteristics from my XPA Emotiva amp, became doubtful about Emotiva's house sound, although it would depend on one's speakers.

Parasound will be releasing a 2 channel pre-amp in September that is in their Halo line at around the same price as the XSP price. I've got my eye on that one these days.
Hi Tonyangel and Runnin;

Our Audio Research LS@B MKll was modded by Steve Huntley at Great Northern sound Company and taken to the full Reference Level Mod.

I am thinking about a dual-monaural preamp. The Modded ARC is pretty fantastic and brought tears to my eyes when I got it back from Steve. I was so moved that I left him a phone message and was crying like a baby in the middle of the message.