Yup, The only other audiophile I know in the area was kind enough to let me listen to his and I also had recent experience with the Hovland. I have absolutly no interest in owning a tube pre as I have an AyreK1x and tube amps. But I do have strong oppinions on many of the around 5K+ tube preamps and I must say that the SupraTek IS the one I would buy with Thor and BlueCircle the only others that compete at the same level(probably Wytek also but never heard). I have not listened to over 10K pre's. In other words, it is way better than the Hovland. I would say in every department there is also. First Sound/Cary is the way to go for less than the SupraTek. But the bend below this 5K level drops off steap and fast in my oppinion.