McIntosh C1000 T Pre-Amp.......your thoughts?

I'm finding it very difficult to find very much info on this pre-amp. Although I've have heard it a couple of times at a dealer, it was without an A/B comparison to anything else (of equal performance). I'm wanting someone who has experience with Audio Research's Ref 3 pre, to drop some knowledge as to how these two great pieces of gear stack up to one another. It has been asked on this forum before with nothing more than arguments following. Please help. I want to pull the trigger on one of these but am torn right down the middle. I should mention I own a pair of Vandersteen 5A's and am looking for a neutral involving sound. Thank you so much! =)