CAT 1990 model - Highs rolled off??

I am demoing a 1990 CAT Reference preamp, and while it sounds very pleasant and musical, I am wondering if it achieves this at the expense of a very slight rolling off in the upper frequency range... There seems to be just a bit of sparkle and liveliness missing on some recordings I am familiar with, and wondered if anyone else has experienced this with the earlier CAT's?
I would doubt it. I have no experience with your particular model of CAT, but I own a CAT Ultimate and have had auditions with CAT's which are older than yours. To me the CAT always is musical and never harsh. The old CATs could be a little on the bright side. The CAT Ultimate, on the other hand, is never bright, but gives up some of the dynamics which the earlier CATs had. It could be that the CAT is less bright than you are used to or find ideal. That doesn't mean it is necessarily rolled off. In fact, I find that all the CAT's I have heard have some of the best low as well as high frequency extension I have ever heard in a preamp. You didn't say anything about the audition conditions. Where you A/B'ing it with any other preamp? What were the other electronics, cables and speakers?
No way! The CAT is a super smooth pre. If by chance you have always used a solid state pre, then maybe it may sound rolled off. But what you are hearing is highs that are what they are and not boosted to so airy or detailed. I had a Classe 5 pre before and after I tried the Cat there was no going back. Cat Sig. Mk. II However you should consider the age of the tubes. They maybe getting tired and slightly dark. Good luck.
Check the tubes, play with other tube brands,at V6 V7 position, and you will be rewarded, I have listened to various incarnation af this CAT, [i have the Signature, which is upgraded to MK 3 now,] and i assure you that frequency roll off is not CAT like..check other parameters first in your system pls. One happy CAT owner, enjoy the music !
Hello, Ken Stevens' reply to the original CAT review in TAS suggests that he'd had trouble with quality control with the capacitor mgf. for his earliest models. I think something past SN 1000 has the better caps. The original review commented on the high frequencies so maybe you listened to an early line production unit?