Shindo Auriges vs. Cary SLP98

Hello! I have an opportunity to purchase a Shindo Auriges preamp at a great price, but will have no opportunity to hear it in my system or compare against my existing Cary SLP-98 F1. I have heard great things about the Shindo, so I am tempted to pull the trigger on this deal. Rest of the system is Cary V-12i, Audio Physic Virgos, VPI Scout w/Blackbird, Shanling T-100 CD through modded EAD 7000 DAC, Audience AU24 cabling.
I know this is pretty subjective, but any thoughts?
Slaw3, I auditioned the Shindo Monbrisson and found it just to be OK in the context of my system. When I shared this in a review here on the GON regarding different preamps that I had auditioned the person who imports the Shindo gear got all bent out of shape that I was not a fan and came up with all kind of excuses why the Monbrisson would not sound great in my system. My present preamp is the Audio Valve Eklispe which is a great tube based linestage for a lot less money then the Shindo. So, my opinion is be cautious if you can't audition the Auriges before buying it, unless you get it so inexpensively that if you don't like it, you can get your money back out when you sell it.
I am an owner of an Aurieges and like all things, it is system dependent. They probably sound best with tube amps (though I'm pairing mine with Nuforce Class D's). If you buy it for anything less then $2k you should be able to recoup your money on resale, assuming it's in excellent condition
One thing to keep in mind is the relatively high output impedance of the Auriges of ~5k ohm.
Never heard the Shindo, but I have the same Cary as you, and it's the best preamp I have ever owned.
I have had both units in my system and currently on a Monbrison. the Cary has a more romantic sound (even the F1) than the Shindo's. The Aurieges and the Monbrison excel at providing the tonality and musical flow. I believe the Shindo's are the better product to my ears, but the ultimate decision is yours in that your may like the flavor of the Cary better.
The only reservation I would have with the Shindo is that you should not use and interconnect from it to the amp more than 3 meters, the sound will seriously degrade.
Finally, I found Jonathan Halpern the importer of Shindo to be honest and ethical -- a true gentlemen.

The Blackbird is a 2.5 mv output cart, this will not work so well with the Aurieges. The Aurieges is a MM preamp which means 3mv minimum.
Is your slp-98 direct coupled and have you upgraded the 6sn7 tubes? Coupled with my v-12 r, the system seems more dynamic and detailed than it did stock.
"My present preamp is the Audio Valve Eklispe which is a great tube based linestage for a lot less money then the Shindo. "

The Shindo Monbrison is a full function preamp with an amazing phono stage. There is no comparison in that area to your Chinese line stage. The Shindo should cost more than your line stage because it has one of the world's best and most quiet phono stages not to mention that one is made in Japan and one is made in China!
Thanks all for the great feedback!
Teajay & Tholt, thanks for the advice. Macdadtexas, you've echo'd my thoughts - you know, I really do love the Cary too.
Aronsss, you've brought up an interesting point - in my dedicated room, the ICs are right at 3m, so I would have to be careful with this aspect.
Lars, I have upgraded the tubes, which made a nice improvement - but what do you mean by "direct coupled"??
Vinyljh, I didn't realize the Shindo wouldn't work with the Blackbird, that seals the deal for me - as intrigued as I am with the Shindo, I think for now I'll stay with my Cary.
Vinyljh, IIRC you're somebody who quite knows what he's talking about ;), but I used a Blackbird into the Monbrison's MM input and it was *great*.

The need for gain is obviously system-dependent - if you don't need a ton, and most don't, a 2.5 mV cart into 41 dB of phono gain followed by (IIRC) 16 dB of line gain is *plenty*.
Paul- Imagine if you had at least 3mv:-) Or better yet, a step up transformer with a MC cart for which the MM input is actually intended. The Blackbird, even if you liked it, was definitely not an ideal match even if it played loudly enough. Gain is just a part of the equation.

Slaw3- if you want more info, email me directly at toneimports(at) I'd be more than happy to advise you further. I can also put you in touch with someone that may be able to give you a more direct opinion to your querry.

I just wanted to make a correction for you before Teajay blows a gasket. Audio Valve is a German company that has been around for a long time. They never have gotten much press or attention in the US.

With that said, I must admit that the Auriges holds a special place in my heart. It was the first piece of Shindo gear I went to listen to a few years ago. At the time I needed a new preamp, so I made a list. I had been aware of Shindo for many years because of Shindo's reputation among the DIY crowd. I went to listen to the Shindo first because it was the only preamp I could audition on the day after I made the list (a Sunday). After 15 minutes of listening, I pulled out the checkbook and bought the Auriges on the spot. The sound was quite a revelation and I knew it was for me the 'right' sound. Very natural, effortless, dynamic, and dead quiet. It sounded great in my system but it was not a perfect match with my existing equipment. A week after I received the Auriges, I systematically sold off all of my other equipment and replaced everything with Shindo gear. Three years later, I now have an all Shindo system from top to bottom. I have never looked back nor have had a moment of regret. Although, I do miss that first Auriges. I traded it back in for a Shindo Vosne Romanee. In fact, I rarely go on any audio sites these days. I came onto Audiogon today because I need to sell some GPA 604 drivers. I'm moving up from my Shindo 604 speakers to Shindo Latours this weekend and I need to get rid of the excess 604 drivers. (The 604Es worked better in the Shindo speakers than the GPA 604Hii). For me, Shindo was special enough to dump all of my other gear.

Anyways I'm going to go back to my new hobby, fountain pens, and the Fountain Pen Network.
I'd love to hear an all Shindo system. Must be very magic indeed.
I just sold my heater V12R (loved it) and have just broken in a new Cary 120S amp (102 hours) WOW, what a difference. If you can afford one I'd do that and keep the 98 preamp. I have the SLP98P and just put in some GE 6sn7 tubes just before I bought the new amp. Maybe they need to burn in, because I really didn't hear much difference. All my sources are Linn, but again, the amp is fantastic and only puts out about 1/5 the heat. Good luck.
Are you selling your old speakers?
Polk432..i have a question ?
You just mentioned that you just install GE 6sn7 to you SLP-98..both rear and front.How is the sound compare to the Cary tube stocks.I have the SLP-98 with Syl 6sn7 gtb to the rear and Syl 6sn7wgta to the front and sounded very nice but my favorite ( # 1 )is the Tung-sol 6sn7wgta round plate/brown base /combo w/ Syl 6sn7 gtb ( rear) and sounded more natural and more slam on the bottom end.
Btw,i will try some GE NOS tubes this week.
LOL Plinko, the Audio Valve is made in Germany. Maybe it would be better to do a little reserch before posting next time.
But my main point still stands, how can one compare a ff preamp to a line stage? Especially for someone who obviously listens to vinyl? Makes no sense. A line stage should be cheaper than a FF preamp with a world class phono, no?

yeah, that is LOL funny. i stand corrected and apologies.
Direct coupled means there are no coupling capacitors between the gain stage and the output stage. Stock slp-98s have coupling capacitors to mate with a variety of amplifiers. With the v-12 that's not necessary and the sound is better without them. Yours might be direct coupled; I'm not sure. Another thing: I recently upgrade the power tubes in my v-12 r to Groove
Tubes. I'm very pleased.
Polk432, which one sounds better to you, the V12R or the 120S? Thanks for your comments.
Another thing: Replace the stock input tubes in your v-12-r with 12BZ7s. Outstanding! You really don't need another amp.
Slaw, I assume you're talking about the Aurieges MM which has a built in MM phono stage(the Aurieges L is only a linestage). I think Plinko was suggesting that you can't compare a full function preamp to a line stage?

FWIW, similar to Rchau I also sold off all my other gear to buy Shindo when I first heard the Aurieges. I belong to an audio group here in Toronto and two other members have recently bought Monbrisons after hearing my little Aurieges. As someone previously indicated, Shindo excels in tonality and flow. If you want to be drawn into the music, nothing beats Shindo.