I sold my Rowland Consonance and got an Adcom GFP 750. I was quite happy till I heard the Pass Aleph P. Nelson Pass designed both. The Aleph amps & pre amp are my favorites now...
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The most nuetral Amp I have had is the Morrison ELAD. Unfortunately, I learned that I preferred a tube preamp that colors the sound a bit. The problem with pure neutral sound is that you ultimately get the sound quality of the recording. And there's a lot of crappy engineering sound out there. A tube preamp imparts some warmth to everything and in my opinion is easier to live with. You can also change sound based on tube swapping. Something you can't do to a SS Preamp.
The Lamm L2 is as neutral as I've heard in an active preamp--having 40 feet of interconnect to my active crossovers rules out passives in my system. I'm in the same camp as Sibelius on this with my preference leaning to my Jadis, for many of the reasons listed in the post above, but I must admit the Lamm is tempting, even though it's virtually solid-state (one tube, in the power supply), as it does possess many of the virtues of all-tube designs in dimensionality, naturalness of sound and truth of timbre; just lacks the bloom you get from the Jadis.
Aleph P. But you don't have to take my word for it.
Here is what a fellow audiophile had to say after attending a front end comparison party at my place:
"Your system is by far the most neutral I've heard in a home. Any change to front end is so immediately noticed that I feel comfortable that the rest of the system is simply getting out of the way."
You might want to listen to the Hovland. It has changed my feeling about tube preamps. I have owned many tube pres and they for the most part have that not unpleasant bump in the middle. Warm, dark, rich whatever. The problem is that even slight adjustments are now not acceptable given good source and good components on the back end. The Hovland does not make Ella seem like she is sitting on your lap or that her head is six feet wide. I found the Hovland to provide much more detail from my source and for good or bad I think you need to hear what the producers intended.