Just wanted to get back to everyone with an update. I sold my SP-16 and picked up an LS-26 which I installed on Friday. I'm very pleased with the results. In comparing the two through the linestage only the LS-26 is simply cleaner, more detailed, relaxed, natural and focused. Basically it comes down to distortion--less of it allowing the music to come through without editorializing. Next step is to add a PH-5 or PH-7 if I can raise the funds. For those concerned that the LS-26 represents the "new" ARC sound and is somehow more clinical than past equipment, in my experience so far the LS-26 retains the body and naturalness of the SP-16 but adds dynamics, resolution, spatial cues and focus. Yeah, it's not as fat sounding as the SP-16 but fat isn't accurate and the LS-26 manages to pair accurate and natural in a way that is simply more believable.