Audio Research SP9 MKII


Hello
Found two ARC SP9's for sale.  The first is the MKII with 6h23p-eb Russian 6922 tubes
the second was a SP9 that was sent back to ARC and upgraded to the MKII, it has 2-6922 Sovtek Tubes installed .

Question,  given they are both about the same price should which one would be the best one to purchase?
torchlake99
IMHO, it's always better to get the factory original version, whether it's a MKI or MKII or MKIII.  Upgraded/updated ones might not be "exactly" the same as the factory original.

BTW, I have a SP9MKII (factory original) and love it.  One of my favorite all-time preamps.  I know there are some on here that don't like it, but I've owned 8 or 9 different ones and find it to be an excellent performer.  I seem to always go back to this model for awhile.
Thanks!  Looking forward to bring it home.
One cool thing about the SP9 is the mode control ARC was still including in their pre-amps back then. I wish they still did; I have kept my LS1, the last ARC pre to include the control I believe (the LS2 doesn’t have it), for that very reason. When playing 60’s LP’s which were made with fake stereo simulation, or the early stereo LP’s with hard left-right panning (Beatles and Dylan, for instance), I send the output from one set of RCA jacks on my main pre to the LS-1, to which is connected my headphone amplifier. I can use the control to chose between stereo, stereo reverse, mono, left only, or right only, hearing the clear difference on headphones. It’s fun to listen to just harmony vocals and guitar overdubs on Beatles albums, without the full band. Or just Dylan’s guitar or harmonica, by themselves. One thing to be aware of is that the mode control is located after the tape out jacks in the amp’s circuit, so it’s effects are heard only through the main outputs.
Interesting, thanks!  I have a couple early Beatles and will try it.
I have owned both the MK II and the MK III.  If you like the MK II you'll love the MK III.

Bill
This is strictly personal taste, but I’ve owned all three versions and my favorite is the MKII. If you want remote, the MKIII was the only way to get it as an option.
Thanks folks, I am going to get the MKII and run it for some time then decide if it is worth sending in for the III upgrade.
I don’t think that ARC does the MKIII upgrade any longer to that unit. Actually I think it’s been quite awhile since they’ve done any upgrades to the SP9 series. They will, of course, still work on them, but not upgrade them.

I could be wrong...
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The SP9 MK2 was my first ARC preamp and didn't like it.  

I've had 5 ARC preamps since then and I have loved every one of them!
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what was the favorite and what was it about the 9 MKII that did not hit the mark?
I've heard the SP-9 a number of times in a friends system. I owned the SP-14 for many years. If you can afford it, go with the SP-14. Its a much better sounding unit. I'll bet you can pick one up at a very reasonable price these days. I sold mine for $1000. years ago when I bought my new REF-3.  
Thanks, will look and see what is out there.
Having owned both the SP-9 mkII & SP-14, I have to agree with oregonpapa.  Both were good performers, when equipped with the Siemens, early 60's, grey shield, CCa, but- the 14 did have better presentation than the 9.     I handed my 14 down to my son.   Whichever you settle on, install an IEC C14 connector(ie: http://www.partsconnexion.com/ac_furutech_plug_inlet.html) and upgrade the PC.  It's an easy project, given the aluminum chassis, and well worth the effort.
Thanks all!
Buy the original MK.11 with the the russian tubes. If you have a good tech. get it upraded to Mk.111 spec. Then get him to put in dual volume pots, IEC socket for audiophile Power cable, beef up the Power supply 5 times put in russian milspec OTK tubes and you will have a killer pre.