First Sound Presence mk11 vs Audio Research L.S.25

I am in the process of changing pre-amps, from a Audio Research L.S.25 MK1 to a First Sound Presence Deluxe MK11.
I have not had the chance to demo a First Sound pre yet.
How would you compare the two? Sound quality, noise etc.
My power amp is a Bryston 4BST, VPI SCOUT with Dynovector dv20xh mc cartridge, Audio Research phono pre PH5, Ohm 300 MK11 speakers
Thanks for the advice.
Dealer advice and reviews are the 2nd and 3rd best options after the guys here on the Gon IMHO.But you know that and pulled the trigger,so....that is a fine system you have.You would think the new sound would be different[of course],but also quite subtle even with available upgrades as they are both excellent units.I am a little surprised why you changed,but should'nt be as I do it alot also.What was your intent?Thanks,Bob...Artg has and likes his F.S.,hopefully he will stop by...
USBLUES THANKS FOR YOUR POST I am just looking for something different, First Sounds may be it. With vinyl a lower noise floor may be noticable have to wait and see.
When you say lower floor,do you mean you are getting a low hissing from the speakers?Or something else?Thanks,Bob
Good choice! The FS has NO noise. Amazingly silent. Don't know the AR gear, but the FS (just got one a month or so ago) is amazingly good. The reviews are true. Enjoy it.
You are losing balanced operation aren't U?? That could factor in, if in fact, your AR is bal.
No I do not have a audiable hiss, but exposure to different equipment will reveal small differences in noise, etc that we grow use to. The A.R.C. L.S.25 I have had for a while, is a very nice line stage. Now for something different. The audiogon members who own these pre's seem to love them. Hopefully so will I!!
Yes I am giving uo balanced outs but It is a very short run to my power amp and none of my source equipment uses them at this point.
I can't directly comment on the LS 25 versus the Presence Deluxe Mk II, however I have owned the ARC LS15 in the past and currently own the Presence Deluxe Mk II. I would not consider looking back at all, balanced or not. The First Sound Presence Deluxe Mk II bested the ARC LS15 in all areas, IMHO... Keep us posted how it works out for you.
I'd go with the First Sound. It is a very good sounding pre-amp, designed by Paul at TRL. If the TRL wasn't available, the First Sound would be my next choice.

Best wishes,
The FS is dead quiet (not a hint of tube rush or hum with gain up to 1:30 using a low output MC cart, step-up and tube phono stage) in my system and remarkably clear, detailed w/o being etched or analytical. I have not heard an LS 25.
Which iteration of the First Sound preamps did Paul design?
Based on what Emmanuel has explained to me, this is what I understand to be

Emmanuel commissioned Paul Weitzel for a schematic of a tube preamp
circuit--a very basic class A triode with a tube regulator on the B+.
Emmanuel, in collaboration with several others (not including Paul) designed
the First Sound preamp in 1991. The first unit was sold in the fall of 1991.

Since then, there has been a tremendous amount of R & D to raise the
performance of the preamp to its current level. Credit for that, and for voicing
of the preamp, belongs solely to Emmanuel Go.

If this is the case, I think it is a bit misleading to give Paul Weitzel credit for
the "design" of the First Sound.
I auditioned the ARC Ref 1 MkII for three days in my system right next to my First Sound 4.0 (it is now upgraded to the 4.0 with Paramount Plus upgrade). I have heard that the LS-25 and Ref 1 are quite similar.

Both the FS and ARC pre-amps are very good. Aside from the ARC's features like a remote control, balanced connections, and a phase switch, etc., the sound stage is slightly larger with the ARC, and the ARC's midrange and upper mid's seem slightly more prominent compared the First Sound 4.0. The idle state noise floor (no music playing) is noticeably higher with the ARC, and the noise floor with music playing is also higher with the ARC. It is as if the ARC preamp has to amplify the signal to get the music to propagate above a subtle electronic haze. You get good music but is seems processed by comparison to the FS.

With the First Sound 4.0 (which is considerably cheaper than the ARC Ref 1), the signal just seems to be allowed to flow out with less electronic interference. The music does not need to be amplified above an ambient noise floor. The noise floor is already kept low. The listener gets the "picture" of the forest glade, for example, with less ground mist from which everything emerges. You "see" the trees and their trunks, etc. fairly clearly through the First Sound. With the ARC, under the same analogy, it is as if the trees have to be made taller and their branches bigger in order to present the same picture above greater ground mist.

Now, the FS 4.0 with the Paramount Plus upgrade is a much closer contender to the Ref 1 in terms of price. The sound stage is larger and more fleshed out with the P Plus upgrade compared to the straight FS 4.0. Since I have not revisited the Ref 1 since the P Plus upgrade, I can't comment any further on differences.

Hope this helps. I you can at all swing moving up from the Presence Deluxe Mk II to at least the 4.0 or higher, you will be rewarded with more of the same First Sound strengths.

Of course, you can run super long interconnects to power amps with the ARC---which may be tricky with the FS (don't know, maybe we should ask Emmanuel Go about thisÂ…), and you can use XLR anywhere you want and you get a remote control. Both pre's are musical and enjoyable. Hope this helps.
Huge caveat I forgot to mention: I did all of my listening to the ARC Ref 1 with RCA/unbalanced connections. I have been assured that the Ref 1's performance is much better through XLR/balanced cables than unbalanced ones.

I did not check the Ref 1 using XLR up against a FS 4.0 using RCA cables. It would be interesting to find out, though....
Drubin: There may be more to the story than what you have been told ...

Never the less, the First Sound is quite good and would be my first choice if the wonderful TRL GTP-3 or GTP-4 wasn't available.

Jack Seaton
Jes45, your last post in which you state, "There may be more to the story than what you have been told ..." is the kind of statement that requires specific facts to back it up. You cannot contribute to an intelligent debate if you do not offer the requisite facts. Otherwise, what you offer is nonsense. Please don't be so circumspect. If you are going to refute Emmanuel Go's explanation of the history of the First Sound design, then offer more than "There may be more to the story...".

If you have information to legitimize your claim, then please present it, otherwise you're comments carry no weight and should be disregarded by readers of these threads as innuendo.
TVAD: I'd feel the same as you, if the situation were reversed. I understand how Noel has made improvements that were not included in the original design, such as embelical cords and separate transformers, EMF shielding, etc.

You can feel free to call me or my statement anything you wish.

My source asked me kindly to drop it. I will respect his wishes ...

Best wishes,
That's fine, Jack, and probably best. I'm sure you understand the point I'm making, as does your source.

Who's Noel?
Tvad: I really didn't wish to interrupt a perfectly fine thread, in fact I thought I was helping it, given my explanation as to who actually designed the circuit. (The man has a fairly decent reputation ...).

Like yourself, I hate it when pissing matches take over the topic of the thread. In this regard, I recommend the First Sound, not as my first choice, mind you, but I did add that my 2 favorites were designed by the same guy.

Who is Noel? Please ask Emmanual ...
Noel is short for Emmanuel