Want to upgrade my Sonic Frontiers Line2

What should I look at to improve on the SFL2? Under $5k used
Hi Abruce, My I suggest you try to audition a BAT VK50se in your system. You should be able to find a used one for around that price, maybe even a demo from a dealer for a little more. I don't think you'll be thinking about the money when you hear it. It really is special! Best of luck, Tom
I'm totally biased since I have one for sale, but I'd pick up a used VK-30, then upgrade it at BAT to VK-30SE. If you do so, you'd get 95% of the sound of the VK-50SE (yes I've heard both) at about 60% of the cost. And as a bonus, the VK-30 has both single-ended and balanced inputs and outputs, no adaptors necessary! The VK-50/50SE have only balanced inputs and outputs.
Take the free-trial offer on a Placette buffered pre, and you will discover resolution you never achieved with the Line 2 (it beats the Line 3 also). The BAT sound is an entirely different kettle of fish - both from the Line2 and the Placette. You may very well prefer the BAT to the Placette, but to my ears, that would only be so if you hated the Placette's ergonomics or looks (quite understandable), or if you like a preamp to add its own character to the sound. Having said that, I would probably prefer to live with the BAT's romanticisation than the Line 2's sterility. But why bother when the Placette can be had for less than either, and suffers none of their colourations.
i am partial to the melos music director - the best of tubes *and* solid-state. but, if ya like the s-f sound, why not a line-3? they're practically giving these things away now - retail $5k, for sale new from dealers for ~$2800... doug. ps - i haven't heard, but i've heard good things about the ayre k1 & k1-x - mite be worth a listen...
I'm sorry after reading your 'super-mod' upgrade to your theta processor (new internal wiring, black gate caps) and the so called "wow" factor afterwards - all I can say is your full of sh*t. Some people should just never talk about audio.
Jwest; A harsh comment about Redkiwi. IMO he is a gentleman and is highly knowledgeable about audio components. Did you know that he has been involved in several audio ventures including manufacturing and marketing of a tube pre-amp? (see his post on Who R U). Do you have that kind of knowledge/experience? He also gave me a lot of help when I put in a dedicated AC and ground system, and I consider him a friend. However Redkiwi, I don't agree with your above statement that the SF Line 2 is "sterile" (we need system context, or something, for that kind of condemning statement). I have used this pre-amp for 2+ years and consider it very neutral. Some say it is a bit lean or dry, and I can see that in some systems, but in MY system with the Line 2, music is timbrally rich and involving. Note: I have a McCormack DNA-2DX amp (read sweet) and Vandersteen 3Asig. spkrs. (read warm and forgiving). In a system that already tends toward lean or analytical the Line 2 would not be a good choice IMHO. Cheers. Craig.
I agree with Redkiwi. Try the Placette. It was the best pre-amp I've ever owned. It's very transparent, and hard to beat for the money. It will let any deficiencies in your system shine through, though. I like transparency in a pre-amp, and then get warmth, bloom, or whatever else you're lacking from other components in the chain. It's industrial looking, but you have a 30 day free trial period if you don't like it.
I am currently using a line 3 in my system. If you don't like the line 2 then you probably won't like the line 3. Perhaps you should try changing the tubes in the line 2. I would recommend calling Sonic Frontiers. When I talked to them last, they mentioned that they stock other tubes besides the Sovteks. These other tubes supposedly don't sound as neutral as the Sovteks. I like the stock neutral sound so I did not try this.