Line Stage Preamps that blew you away $2500 Edition

Passive, tubes, solid state, jewel encrusted moon rocks, whatever. 

tell us what line stages blew you Away in the $2500 ish price catagory.


The EAR-Yoshino 834 is not a line stage amp, it is a phono stage. But speaking of EAR, the 868L IS a line stage pre-amp (a real good one), available used for around $3k. The 868PL is the same line stage with a phono stage, which go used for around a grand more.


Don Sachs here.  On the post above, the preamps will sound pretty good in 10-20 hours.  I would say at about 50 hours, the tubes are run in and the preamp gives you most of the final sound.  They really don't completely settle down for over 100 hours because the output caps will subtly change and the manufacturer of the tubes I provide claim 100+ hours for burn in.  Again, my experience is it all sounds pretty nice at 10-20 hours, but subtly improves for another week or two or three.  I would not run any tube equipment 24/7, just play music all day or evening and then turn it off.  The on / off cycles actually help the signal caps run in according to the manufacturer.   You don't want to cycle tubes 10 times a day, but a few times a day won't hurt them.   My system is constantly going on and off to install gear for testing and my power amp tubes are going strong after a few years with no issue.

Also, on the X series speakers by Clayton Shaw... as has been noted many places, they take 200+ hours to really fully develop.  They sound quite good in 50-100 hours, but after a few weeks they sound better.  Well better is an understatement.  The Spatial Audio X series is a stunning speaker.   My advice is to install a system and live with it for a few weeks and then evaluate it.   People get in a hurry and post impressions before their systems are run in.  Happy holidays to everyone!

The Hornshoppe "Truth". 

$2500 would buy 2 of them with change left over.

Priced too low for many to take seriously.