Cygnus_859, Check out the Exemplar XP-2 preamp. I have never owned a preamp that even comes close to this unit.
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Cyngus 859, IF you heard a correctly set up CAT SL1 you should have heard a MAJOR MAJOR jump in SQ over your SP6C. I had an SP8 in my system and I can tell you the CAT is in a whole different league. To really hear what the CAT can do, you have to have upstream gear that can let the CAT shine. I also believe to get the last few ounces out of the CAT, tube rolling is recommended.
The SP10 Mk2 is also a very good preamp, BUT still not quite up to a CAT, IMHO.
The SP-6C is good, the SP-3C is better if you like a warm tube sound. The 3C has a recently updated FET regulated power supply. The SP-8 is a better sounding preamp than the SP-6C.and sounded a lot like the SP-6E as they both had tube regulators. I owned an SP-6B for many years and found it to be a bit lumpy in the bass.