Manley Wave VS. Cary SLP-05

Has anyone compared the two? Has anyone heard the Manley? Looks interesting. I really don't need the dac...
If you don't need the DAC, $4k is a big price to pay for the line stage vs. all the progress made in line stages the last 8-10 years.

I own the Manley Ref DAC which preceded the Wave. The Ref DAC is outstanding in its portrayal of the mids; piano music especially is extraordinary. This was THE state of the art in DACs in the mid 90s. And today, its musicality allows it to hold its own because of the incredible performance of the UltraAnalog D/A chips. It simply lacks the resolution and top-end detail of the newer products.

With updates to the audio section and then later the power supply section with Black Gate caps, by GNSC, my Manley DAC now has extension at both frequency extremes like never before. And the magic in the mids was never affected by this.

I suspect that other than different D/A chips between the Wave and Ref DAC, the rest of the DAC section in the Wave is likely to be nearly particular, the analog tube output stage. Because of this, the Wave would be a killer performer for someone who wanted the DAC section as well, but otherwise you're likely better off with a later model Manley line stage if you are after a Manley product.

I haven't heard the Manley but...

All I can say is that the Cary SLP-05 was THE best sounding preamp I have ever owned. Unlike many lesser tube preamps the Cary has no compromises.

The Cary excelled at what tubes do best with a nice harmonic richness and slight warmth. It also excels where many other tube preamps start to fall apart and that includes incredible dynamics, transparency (not at all veiled), big soundstage, and wide bandwidth.

In other words, it wasn't rolled off or soft in the bass and the treble was fully extended without being annoying. The Cary is also smooth with no loss of detail. It's a very "clear" sounding preamp.

I had mine coupled to a nice Pass Labs solid-state amp for the best of both worlds - tubes and solid-state.

No, it doesn't have a DAC. Just my 2-cents worth but why put the potential for "digital noise" in a nice all analog vacuum tube preamp?