Manley 300B or Manley Steelhead


I just received my Manly Neo-Classic SE/PP 300B amps. Love them. Clearly a step up from my previous Rega Elicit integrated.

I am planning to purchase my preamp later this month. I am thinking of either a Manley 300B pre or a Manley Steelhead. I do listen to some vinyl but the majority of my listening is digital.

I guess I am asking: How good is the linestage of the Steelhead versus the 300b?

PMB
pmburnett
I can comment on the steelhead and tell you this is really a phono preamp with an extra line input and no tape loop.

Great sounding and one of the very best preamps regardless of price
I just got a Steelhead and I am impressed with it as a pre amp as I am as a phono stage.

If you need more inputs buy a skip jack,luckily the phono and line suits my needs completely.
The steelhead does have nice reputation for being one of the finest phono stages on its price range.
Dynamics and soundstage are its strengths.
Just breaking in my new Steelhead and loving it more by the day! But I prefer my Mac C2300 as a preamp into my MC501 amps. More open and refined. But, of course, its a synergy thing.
The line input is one of my favorite features of the Steelhead. I'm running a Weiss DAC1 directly into the line stage which renders some of the most seductive digital audio I've ever heard. As if it didn't already have enough variations for the phono stage, if you run the phono fixed out into the line in, you get a bump up in transparency and low end slam. The difference compared to the variable output is not small and I suspect the var-out has greater hi/low roll off. This creates an entirely different set of variables depending on the cables you use.

But to answer your question, the line stage is spectacular.
The line input is one of my favorite features of the Steelhead. I'm running a Weiss DAC1 directly into the line stage which renders some of the most seductive digital audio I've ever heard. As if it didn't already have enough variations for the phono stage, if you run the phono fixed out into the line in, you get a bump up in transparency and low end slam. The difference compared to the variable output is not small and I suspect the vari-out has greater hi/low roll off. This creates an entirely different set of variables depending on the cables you use.

But to answer your question, the line stage is spectacular.
I have wondered how the Manley 300b preamp would sound with my Neoclassic 300b amps too. Seems like it would be a wonderful pairing. Be sure to give us your thoughts on whatever you end up purchasing!
I ended up buying a Steelhead. It should ship out in the next day or so. I had ordered a 300B but decided I was going to have to buy a phono stage anyway, and so put the extra cash down for the Steelhead.

I will post an update once I get the unit. Should be fun to have $17K MSRP of preamp/amps with an $800 source (Debut III with Speedbox II, Acryl-It platter, and Ortofon Salsa cart).

I think we all know that a TT upgrade will be forthcoming.

PMB
The first thing I ran through mine was a cheap Pioneer DVDA player that has always sounded harsh. It sounded pretty sweet through the Steelhead, your Debut III probably will too. Enjoy.