Bemopti123, have you found any info about your original question? I am considering a First Sound pre and would opt for the hotrodded version if it yielded an even better sound than the standard multi-input version.
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Just spoke to Emmanuel. First of all, there is no price difference between the standard products and the hotrod versions. This is because internally both the standard versions and the hotrod versions are essentially identical. That is all parts are installed, regardless of the version. In hotrod products though only a single input and two outputs are available.
Furthermore, the input selector, tape loop, and mute button circuitry is bypassed and disconnected.
This means that if a customer later decides to convert a hotrodded device to standard configuration, this can be performed at minimal cost. This also makes the resale of hotrodded devices much easier.
Emmanuel said that the convenience of extra inputs, selectors, mute, etc. . . are tradeoffs agains musical purity. The sound of hotrod devices is in his opinion slightly superior to standard configuration First Sound preamps.
I have been working with Emmanuel and have just had a 4 chassis Presence Deluxe MK2 hot-rodded version upgraded to Paramount Plus and the Vishay Attenuator package. I also had him reconfigure to the standard version w/ multiple inputs.
I had the regular Presence Deluxe MK2 before this. My impressions are as follows:
1. Even the "lowly" Presence Deluxe MK2 is superior to anything near it 4k price range. It is quiet, smooth and does everything a preamp should do - accurately preamplify the music signal while adding no signature of its own.
2. The 4 chassis hot rod version goes a number of steps beyond. You get all of the above and more. Channel separation of course is primo. There is an immediacy and closeness to the music that really helps emotionally connect one to the music. It is one of the best preamps out there at any price. Because of the inconvenience of the single input I was going to sell it. I found nothing that bested it. I found a couple for 10k and above that came close.
3. Instead of selling it I decided to make this my last preamp. I contacted Emmanuel and he worked with me and upgraded the preamp as well as converting it to multiple sources. I read in Guidocorona's post that there are tradeoffs between the Hot Rod (more musical purity)and regular version, and I must agree. However I was totally unprepared for the sound revelation I had when I listen to the Paramount Plus and Vishay attenuators. I won't go on and on here, but suffice it to say that this has got to be on a short list of the world's BEST preamps. I was not prepared because I could not imagine the sound becoming that much better than what I already had. But it did.
I have no affiliation w/ Emmanuel BUT that being said I cannot say enough about his customer service, almost fanatical dedication to MUSIC (I mean that IS why we're here right?) and his products.
I would be happy to expand on my experiences concerning these preamps. email me and I would be happy to give you my number and chat.