Mystere CA 21 Preamp

As far as i know, i think that i'm the first owner of this new preamp. It took me a while to get it, because the company decided to upgrade their already exellent volume potentiometer. Well, to sum it in a few words, this 1850 Euro preamp smashed, YES, smashed everything i tried before with my superb SS amp (basically a Naim amp, that was totally upgraded by Tedy Perdo). I tried around 10 preamps - SS and tubes - between 2000$-6000$, and the Mystere is simply in another league, in a much higher league! For example, It is much more transparent, detailed and dynamic than the VAC Standard MKII, with a more accurate, neutral, and ultimately, more involving sound - and let's remember that the VAC costs almost 3 times more than the Mystere! Most of the preamps that i tried sounded either as decent volume potentiometers or as a blocks between the source and the amp. The Mystere CA 21 makes you to understand, once and for all, what a crucial link is an active preamp. With this preamp in my system (Loudspeakers: Bosendorfer VC 7; Source: Michell Orbe SE; Amp: as mentioned before) the music flows from the speakers with mighty dynamics, rich colors, and low level details, in a huge, but very clear and organized, soundstage, and a very very low noise floor. The music is simply on the verge of a realistic experience! I just can't understand how they priced this so beautiful and heavy (20 kg.) music machine. I think that if the logo on the front of this preamp was "LAMM", you would'nt be surprised.
I'd be interested in hearing more...can you send some details on this pre-amp via email? Thanks!
Does this preamp include a remote?

I notice that it has 19dB of gain. Really? That seems like way, way too much for any system I've ever had. And with only 24 steps on the volume control, it could be a nightmare to use, but I'd like to hear what owners have to say.
i had the same question when i have seen the reviews---any remote?
No remote. Still, I want to try one.
All the reviews have been positive. Please keep us updated on how you like it. I even ordered the 7N7 to 6SN7 adapters in case I want to tube roll if I decide to get one for fun.

"I just can't understand how they priced this so beautiful and heavy (20 kg.) music machine."

Chinese production!
Any comparisons between this and the less-expensive preamp in the Mystere line? They look to be very similar to me.
I was on the verge of buying the Conrad Johnson ET-3 pre-amp with remote ($2500 retail)when a AG member suggested audtioning the Mystere 21. I don't have that option, and don't want to use it on trial at Uncle Kevvy's discretion

I think not offering a remote is a stupid oversight on this company or any company. At least offer one as an option!!!
Do they offer such an option??

What makes the sound of this pre-amp so special?? I am sure it is system dependent, requiring careful matching of amp speakers and cables.

Lastly, has anyone owned or auditioned an Audible Illusions M3A pre-amp which has a staggering amount of positive testimonials on AG, and several excellent mag reviews.

Has anyone compared the Mystere CA-21 to an Audible Illusion M3A or the newer M3B pre-amps?? Thank you, Jim
I think it uses stepped resistor-based attenuators, not the regular pot. All highend stepped atten. do not have remote, and they're supposedly way better than any pot (be it Alps).
I just got the Mystere CA-21 and am very impressed. Excellent build quality and finish. I went from a high-end Luxman solid state preamp I've had for 35 years to this preamp. Music flows very naturally, soundstage is very deep and wide, natural and musical sound, very quiet unit.
The ca21 is a great preamp. I used to own an Aesthetix Calypso. Side by side, the Mystere has a wider soundstage and deeper, better quality bass than the Calypso. The Mystere matches the mid-range of the Calypso, the Calpyso's strongest attribute. Yep, manufactured in China and no remote. If you can live with that, the Mystere is a very fine preamp. I have also tweaked it with some NOS tubes that raise the performance to an even higher level, although the stock tubes sound pretty darn good.
Also, I purchased mine from Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio. Not sure why anyone has a problem with him. He seems like a straight shooter. He offers a return privilege on the Mystere. With most dealers of most other preamps, you own it once they run your credit card. Speaking from personal experience, that can be a painful experience. I have purchased more than one component new that got great reviews and sounded really good in the dealer's listening room...and then is completely underwhelming in my own system. Having no return privilege means selling it used and taking a 40-50% haircut in the process. Not sure that is more appealing than putting in a call to Kevin Deal to get your money back.