Hornshoppe "the Truth" preamp - any opinions?

"The Truth" changes the paradigm in Reference Line Stages, literally. Its existence has even forced me to remove a "Direct Connection" in "Class A", because such a choice no longer makes any rational sense to me. In the end, "The Truth" is effectively a "direct connection" with no sonic downsides, and with the ability to drive any amplifier load and/or length of cable, while allowing any source to be heard at its very best. With the exception of extra gain, an audiophile can't ask for more than that. I realize that this may all sound "too good to be true", but it isn't. 

-- Arthur Salvatore  http://www.high-endaudio.com/RC-Linestages.html

This is high praise indeed, he likes it better than Coincident's Line Stage which is saying something, was wondering if someone else has heard it and compared it to other active line stages (am a big believer in active, though currently using AMR DP-777 DAC as my pre)
About the time this post was listed, I was in search of a line stage. Based on Arthur's review along with all positive responses with whatever I could find, I took advantage of the Hornshoppe's money back guarantee if not satisfied. I was fully prepared to return it if it was not a really good match for my system. I mean $1000 for a potentially great line stage? Where could my down side be?
First let me say that even though I have been involved with audio since about 1967, and an audiophile (I like to think) starting about 5 years after that, I've never been technically knowledgeable and am not much use in that department. However, I believe I know what music sounds like when properly performed.
With that being said for reference I happened to have owned and in-home auditioned more preamps than any other piece of the art by a good margin. With an earlier system I owned a Kenwood 700c , McIntosh 26, AGI, Audio Research SP6-A, Mark Levinson ML-1, and a Moore Franklin Luminescence. I also auditioned a Berning 10 (I can't remember the letters for the Berning model).
With my current system I have a Counterpoint SA-5, Doge 8LP, and now for the past about 90 days have the Truth line stage. I also had a Superphon Revelation Basic and auditioned a DeHavilland UltraVerve, and an Eastern Electric Avant.
The Truth is easily the most complete preamp I have ever experienced, meaning I cannot after 90 days find any weakness with the audio performance of this product. In fact the improvement at least in my system was so pronounced that it seemed to me to be greater than I would expect from one component. 
It is a solid state device which needs to be left on all the time, and takes about 72 hours to reach it's capabilities. When it arrived new I let it warm up 24 hours before my first listening session and immediately knew something special was here, but it was a little bit solid state sounding which is not my preference for preamps. The tube like quality for lack of a better description was evident after about 20 or so hours of listening with being connected for well over 72 hours.
2 caveats should be observed by anyone considering this line-stage. First if you need a gorgeous audio piece to complete your environment you better look elsewhere. If I saw this thing dusty at a garage sale, I wouldn't give you $10 for it. For this there is a solution. Ed Schilling will put it in any fancy box that fits the small size requirement that you may want "if you want to throw away your money" he had said to me during one of our conversations. The only thing I hate is the volume control, which is part of this unique design. It goes from about 3 o'clock to about 1:30. Until about 9:00 you hear nothing, then at about 12:00 would be for say a dinner party ambience. Everything happens between 12:30 and 1:30 which is very touchy. But there is a saying that every diamond has a flaw.
If you talk to Ed, he sounds very down to earth and not high tech at all. Or maybe he just knew I have no clue about the ins and outs of his invention. 
With the cost of this thing and a no risk guarantee you might want do yourself a huge favor and check out this line stage. 
I have my last preamp.

Best Wishes,
LP, Thank you for the detailed report of your experience witht "the truth". I am placing an order for one, and will report over this thread how it goes.

Hi essrand, I recommend (if you can hold off) waiting 48 hours for warm up to begin listening. I look forward to your opinion.

Good luck,
Hi essrand,
I use the Coincident Statement Line Stage matched with the Frankenstein amplifier and this combination has been a sublime experience the past 7 years. I look forward to reading your listening impressiion with the Truth line stage paired with your Coincident Dragon amplifiers. 
Best of luck to you. 
I've owned my Truth for a little over 3 1/2 years. Via modifications to my turntable/turntable's isolation the sound of my system has steadily improved to the point where it is much better than when I first got The Truth.
I really cannot tell you what The Truth sounds like. The entire system responds chameleon-like to every change in the front end. My Truth feeds a pair of KRK expose E8B monitors and between the two of them they seem to have very little character of their own. Both superb mind you but both seemingly a mirror to what is fed into them. If you own either, you need to have your front-end components thoroughly sorted-out.
The Truth preamp has recently come to my attention so I am researching all I can find.
This started off as a great thread in regards to just that but as in many cases it came to an abrupt stop.
I would like to hear from "essrand" with his experience beyond his last post.
Also an update from "lpretiring", who started this thread, regarding his current feelings on the subject.
Others who would like to respond to the subject at hand will also be considered as helpful. 
I too replaced my Coincident Line stage with the "TRUTH" based on the review by Arthur and favorable comments made by two others who replaced expensive active pre amps with the TRUTH.Also my first foray into passive.I've not spent a lot of time in listening sessions too provide a detailed account but I am impressed with what I'm hearing.Is it better than the Statement,not necessarily,but there is zero concern about expensive re tubing.It's sure not pretty but that doesn't bother me.Enhancements include a Mark Tunis pc,still point footers,7lb weight on top plate.
I understand that Ed Schilling is now offering dual power supplies at a modest cost.Let the truth set you free.PM me if you want to discuss further.
I could never live with this unit as it looks like total crap buy one enjoy!!
@ebm You can have one built in any designer cabinet eye candy you desire for an up charge so you can benefit too.

@len067  Hi Len, first a small correction. I actually did not start this thread, it was Essrand. I just answered his inquiry. 

As time has past my impressions have not changed much on the performance of this line stage. I had mine built with just a single input and output, use a Triode Wire Labs 10+ PC, Herbie's footers, Herbie's cable dampeners, and now just like Markwatkiss have 7lbs of weight on top that also has Herbie's grungebuster dots.

This unit has the best see into quality of any pre-amp I've had in house. This just gets me closer to the "you are there" that most of us strive for. Now I hesitate to say this but it's where I'm at. I recently purchased Tekton Electrons, along with a new amp and am working with them now. The Electrons sound excellent except I'm having problems with the upper bass down through the mid bass it seems. Tunefully wrong and hollowed out to boot. The speakers are too close to the front wall and partially to a side wall. I never had this kind of problem with my Spendors. I'm guessing it could be due to the Spendors being front port and the Electrons having large rear ports. The speakers need to stay in this location for a while longer.

With that being said, I listened with my Doge because I needed additional gain, and found 1 musical reference point that under the circumstances I described above preferred the Doge over the Truth. It was with piano reproduction. It could be because the Doge is a little bass heavy IMHO, or the set up problem with the Electrons or that it is a better performer in this regard or something else that IDK.

As other people have stated, without attention to a lot of detail in your play back system it could come off too revealing and possibly display some warts. In this regard I feel it's a great barometer. If I needed a line stage I would buy it again in a heartbeat.


I bought one of these several years ago and started this thread about it:


That being said mine now needs to find a good home.
I would be remiss if I did not do a follow up in reference to my last post here.
After seemingly endless time on the musical merry-go-round, I'm finally back in a very good place. Changes, add-ons, and or adjustments included, upgraded the Electrons to the Double Impacts, Had Inspire SEP amp, power cable, speaker cables, additional speaker decoupling, along with room acoustic and internal speaker tweaking. 
Going from a 4 corner, to a 6 point location for speaker decoupling cleaned up the low end tuning and lack of control that was being exhibited with both the Electrons and the D.I.'s.(I had previously feared that it might be a room set up problem.)
Somewhat surprising to me was the significant improvement of the Achilles heel I have had with the Truth line stage. The problem with piano simply not sounding like one was frustrating to me because otherwise the Truth is IMHO simply outstanding. By simply changing from the Western Electric speaker cable to the Duelund DCA  has brought the piano in line with the rest of the  musical performance.


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