Leben vs Shindo Preamps

Are the shindo Preamps that much better than the Lebens? The Lebens stop where the Shindo prices start. Has anyone compared the top tier Shindos with the Lebens.

I am looking at the Shindo Aurieges or the Leben RS100. The Shindo is the bottom of a very steep ladder, while the Leben is one of only 2 preamp lineup.I know the higher Shindos incorperate a phono stage, but they are still more expensive than a Leben RS100 with a RQ30 phonostage.

Anyone satisfied with their Leben preamps after hearing higher model Shindo.

Leicachamp, while i have not heard the Leben gear myself, i have been steadily making my way up through the Shindo line without regret. I've gone many different directions before I found Shindo...Ayre, ARC, Counterpoint, Bel Canto, Aesthetix, ASL etc....and never kept any of them for more than 3-6 months before trying something completely different each time.

With Shindo, i've left that madness behind and now just enjoy my listening time...to be honest the only time i'm looking to upgrade is when a used Shindo upgrade finds it's way to the market but even then there is the law of diminishing returns and to be honest, i've gotta be pretty close.

My current setup is Shindo Masseto/Cortese and it is simply sublime. It is more expensive than the Leben gear but the dealer network is highly supportive and some allow very generous trade up offers. I've heard the Leben gear is excellent as well and may suit your listening style perfectly. Many Shindo dealers also sell Leben so there is a similar pedigree. At the end of the day it's what sounds best to you and allows you to stop the hunt and enjoy the music. Cost is largely irrelevant as far as quality is concerned in this hobby...Many folks just like the chase or are consumed by it and will spend countless dollars in pursuit of perfection that is impossible to find...Me...Well i just like to kick back and listen to the music.
I have owned the Leben RS-28CX in the past, and currently own three Shindo preamps in different systems - the Aurieges-L, the Monbrison, and the Masseto. As good as the aforementioned Leben is, and it is very, very good, I feel it is bested by the Aurieges-L. Obviously this is a comment based on my impressions only, and limited in scope to comparing the line level capabilities of the RS-28CX and the Aurieges-L, as the latter does not have a phono stage. Please do as Jonathan suggests - go and listen for yourself! It will be time and money well spent!