VTL 5.5 or Audible Illusions L2 linestage

Does anyone have any experience comparing these two units? I am looking to get into a tube based preamp and both of these have caught my eye.

never heard a L2 but i have a 5.5 and can't imagine selling it
I haven't heard the VTL 5.5, but I love my AI L2.

I think that either of these preamps can be very remarkable, but you need to carefully choose the right tubes that will compliment your system and sound right to your ears. In VTL's case it's 6 tubes, in the L2, it's just 2 tubes.

Keep that in mind.
This also depends on the sound you're looking for.

The VTL is exciting and has well controlled bass. The L2 is more tubey sound. The L2 is also more on par with the VTL 2.5

I owned a 5.5 before my present pre amp, the Supratek Syrah. I thought that it was a pretty good pre amp at the
time. And you can move the performance up a notch by re-
placeing the stock tubes which are merely adequate. The
largest improvement will come by replaceing the pair of
12AX7's. I found Amperex Bugle Boys to be the most
dynamic improvement.

I would only buy one if the used price is a reach for you.
For the cost of a new one you can order a Supratek Syrah
which is a world class pre amp that is greatly superior to
the 5.5 there is no comparison. For less than the price of
a new 5.5 you can get a pre amp that will bring you performance that you thought you would have to be rich to obtain.

Go to the discussion forum, and look under the Amp-Pre amp
heading. Look for the "Pre amp deal of the century" thread
you cant miss it, it's the only thread with over a thousand
entries. Here you can gain some very valuable info, and insight on the Suprateks.

There is nothing else out there with the interest or the
following these pre amps have. I wanted to share this with
you becouse I went down the VTL road myself. It is very in-
ferrior to the Syrah, and more expensive as well (new price).The Supratek is a very rare item used. I would just like to save you the time and expense if possable.

The thread is very long, but worth the education you will
receive. Spend some time and check it out.

Happy listening.
I have been on the fence on buying the Supratek. I have posted a couple of times on the big Supratek web site. As soon as I think that I am about to order from Mick, someone tells me that I must get the vibe or the First Sound etc. The thing that really attracts me to the Supratek is the phono stage and the legion of supporters on the web site. Is it really that good? I am also close to ordering a Berning zh-270 to go with my Von Schweikert 4.5 (5 year ago model not the upgrade to 5 status). I would love to hear more of your thoughts. Bob
Thanks for you thoughts on this topic and it was good seeing you yesterday. Bob
I cant comment on the phono stage personally as my turn-
table is incomplete, and I have yet to use it with the
Syrah. As to the Berning, I would order one in a heart beat
if I had differant speakers, not a good match for Mani II's
Apparantly tho, it is a superb match with the Supratek pre

I cant comment on the other two pre amps you mentioned from
experiance. But they are definately pre's that stand out
from the others in their class from what I have read.
There are some comparsons of them in the Supratek thread
by past and present owners that I recall reading, you will
have to search them out.

If you enjoy tube rolling and collecting, The Syrah will
be a lot of fun for you in that respect. Plenty of tubes
and combinations to seek out and try, even with the phono
stage their are a few variations as well. The only thing
that I dont love about the Syrah is that I have to seperate
the power supply away from the pre amp to prevent interferance.

One more thing here, The Supratek pre amps, and the Berning
ZH-270 amp, are both rock solid investments in audio gear.
They are all hand made by only two individuals, both geniuses I might add, Mick Malony, and David Berning. Both have to be ordered and hand built for you, plus you buying direct from them, no added on markups. And both are very hard to find used, particularly the ZH-270, and they hold their value second to none.

Mr.Monk, my apologies for hijacking your thread by straying
far off the subject, it's just that the Supratek is hard to
not share about.
Charlee thanks for your thoughts. I am drooling at the thought of both the Supratek and the Berning.