Review: Audio Research SP-6b Tube preamp

Category: Preamps

Most of my listening is rock and jazz.With one of my
of my all time favorite CD's being the Donald Fagen Nightfly
and Steely Dan's Aja.I like to listen for the subtle part's
to the music-background percussion,etc.When I listen I want
to hear what was actually recorded or get a sense of what the actual recording session sounded like.
Dynamics like how hard or soft a drum is struck is very important.
The beauty for me is in the details.With the SP6b you get the details in spades.It makes every other component sound better.If you hook up a low priced amp it makes it sound like a mid-priced amp,and so on.But when coupled with a decent amp like a Linn,B&K,or Audio Research D52b this pre-amp really shows it's stuff. The vocals are smooth and precise,lifelike,begging you for a volume increase.The low's and bass are excellant also,especially with a great low end amp like the B&K.
There are no treble,bass,or other un-necessary adjustments.
Just volume,source,and balance.This pre-amp never masks
the sound,what you hear is pretty close to what was recorded.
My only complaint would be the warm-up stage if you have a need to turn it off and it does have a tad bit of hiss with my very large altec lansing horn loaded speakers.But boy does it make those horns sing.I would love to throw a ultra high end amp at this thing such as another Audio Research VT series amp or VTL tube amp.
I have not tried a tube amp in my setup yet,but I can
think the sound would only be better.Even if I could afford
a better or more expensive pre-amp I don't think I would
buy it.I have used this pre-amp for almost 10 years and I
have had only 1 minor problem-the warm up timer had to be
replaced.That's it.Highly recommended.

Associated gear
Linn LK100 amplifier.
B&K ST2140 amplifier.
B&K ST202 amplifier.
Audio Research D52-b amplifier.
AudioSource amp two amplifier.

Similar products
Mod Squad passive pre-amp.
Hafler Iris pre-amp.
How do you like your D53 Audio Research amp? I am considering buying one and I would be curious to know your impressions.