i think if you got any of these it would be the weak link in your system. If i were you I would get a sonic frontiers line 2, and if you wanted to upgrade down the line partsconnexion has a SE+ mod for standard line 2s which brings it into the reference realm
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You gotta love it right - you've narrowed your choice to three pieces, ask your esteemed colleagues for a ranking of the pieces that you've agonized over, and get told to consider something else.
Maybe he has a reason he wants to consider these pieces like features, price, asthetics, availability, resale, brand loyalty, personal preference, or maybe something more obscure, and would like a ranking of the three he's decided on - just like he asks.
It could happen, no?
I'd say the SFL-1.
Rare at Audiogon: http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?preatube&1128872377
I use one with my Krell Ksa-250 and Apogee Duetta Signature speakers...just add some good NOS tubes. No remote and single ended in case that matters.
P.S. I do not know the seller
I replaced a Sonic Frontiers Line 1 with an Eastern Electric Minimax (dealer modified) and am thrilled with the upgrade. The SF, even with the expensive NOS Siemens I had in there sounds sterile compared to the minimax.
Using the stock chineese driver tubes and a $20 Haltron blackglass 6x4 rectifier, the minimax was so far beyond my line one as to be laughable. Macro dynamics are ridiculously explosive, micro dynamics are very naturally presented (making for much more accurate/obvious voice inflections) soundstaging and imaging are significantly better and, most importantly to me, its more accurate/realistic tonally.
In my rig the SF was really botlenecking emotional communicativness of my gear and the minimax was just the solution I needed. I can't comment on the stock unit, but based on the buzz it has generated I suspect it is quite the value.
Check out my systems profile for details on teh accompanying gear.