Why not ask your buddy if you can try the Manley in your system? Never too many tubes! BTW,why do you need a SUT with the high output DV ?
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I have a Classic and have demoed the Chinook. The Chinook should have a more convincing "realistic" presentation over the SS Cube.
This of course is subjective. I have an all tube system. Phono amp, linestage and amp. Used Chinooks are showing up in listings around $1500.
Unless you you plan on using a super low MC-less than .2-3mv, the 60db gain is sufficient. You can lose the step up .