Review: Audio Research LS-7 Tube preamp

Category: Preamps

I am new to tubes, and replacing my LS3 was a hard decision to come to. I had a chance to listen to a LS7 at a friends house and was impressed. His equipment is completely different, but I was hooked.
I happen to like the utilitarian look of the LS3 and LS7 (mine is black), the knobs have a solid feel, and the build is first class. My only complaint on the build is that it has a permanant power cord. This preamp does have a phono section, but this is not a problem since I have moved to digital.
The standard Sovtek 6922 tubes are fine. They give good soundstage and reasonable depth. Bass is a little lean compared to the LS3 but I expected that.
I changed the tubes to Amperex Bugle Boys and it changed the whole package! Stage depth was the largest improvement. The bass is slightly better, but the focus is outstanding.
I can recommend this preamp to anyone that is looking for a good tube preamp at a reasonable price.

Associated gear
Theta Data Basic II
Marchand XM9 Active Crossover
Threshold S150 II, S300 II
Celestion A1's (Heavily Modified)

Similar products
Audio Research LS3
I too have an LS7. Upgraded from an Adcom GFP 565. The difference was amazing. Sound stage, bloom, no electronic haze or grain. Better bass. But if I could have afforded it at the time I would have gone for the LS-2 Slightly better. Longer decay on the music a hair sweeter and airier. But overall love the preamp Have original tubes, want to try NOS Mullard or Bugleboys. Solid State amp B&K ex 442 and B&W Matrix 802s3 speakers.
I did have a LS-7 and the biggest inprovement you can do is to change the coupling caps. I had a pair of jensen paper in oil installed and it changed the whole sonic picture for the better. You can get the caps at Welborne labs. They take a while to burn in but well worth the wait. Good listening!
Hads anyone try ARC LS7 vs. CJ PV10?
I'm interested in both.

kindly suggest replacement valve for ls7
The combination LS-7, SE-40 Golden Tube, Spica-TC 50 and Velodyne subwoofer is a killer in a medium to small room.
There is bloom, detail, naturalness, big soundstage and image, tridimensional presence.
Has anybody ever tried this combination?
I also had a LS7 completely upgraded new diode's in the main power better tubes better cap's (auricap) and sold it .... now i have a LS25MKII but i dont know what to say .. my ears do like the LS7 more ...... am i crazy ???
Yes this pre is the best deal for the money, if you can live without a remote!!