I have had several good preamps (some older models, some newer): HK Citation 25, Luxman C-02, an Adcom GTP-555, Hafler 915, a Mission Cyrus PRE, a Bryston .5B, and a Classe CP-35. I used the HK, Lux, Adcom, and Hafler w/an Adcom power amp. I never got excited about the "sound" or lack thereof from these pre's. I finally upgraded my power amp and pre's eventually. I used a Counterpoint Solid 1 and a Linn AV5105 with the Bryston and the Classe. All of these pre's (possibly because of speakers and the amp) were a little on the bright, brittle side. The Classe was the most beautiful of the lot. It had top-notch build quality, thick aluminum faceplate, etc. and a simple remote. With the Counterpoint especially, I found it a great match-a little analog sounding, but w/no true sonic signature. I used these with some Platinum Audio Solos and an Audio Refinement Complete CD. I have heard nothing about reliability problems w/the Classe. This is an older model that is easily obtainable for under $500 on Audiogon or Ebay. I'm not sure about recent Classe models, but I assume build quality is still there.