Your opinions/reviews of AR Ref-1

I can't locate any reviews for the Audio Research Reference 1 preamp. So all you audiophiles who own/owned one, I would appreciate your reviews/opinions. I currently have a Audio Research LS-16 preamp, Meridian 508.24 CDP, Plinius SA100MKII Amp, and Dynaudio Contour 3.3 speakers. Using Nordost SPM XLR (on the Meridian) and NBS Monitor IV XLR interconnects with NBS Monitor III speaker cables. Yes, I'm considering upgrading to the Ref-1.
I have auditioned both the Ref 1 and LS-25, but never the LS-16. I can tell you that the Ref 1, in my opinion, was much better than the LS-25. I found it to be significantly more open and detailed. If you want other opinions, check out There are quite a few reviews of the Ref 1 on that site. Hope this helps.
I had my friend's Ref 1 here for a month. It was a tad better than the SP-11 I owned at the time, soundstage was deeper and imaging was rock-solid. However, I auditioned and purchased a BAT VK50SE which, IMHO made the Ref 1 a non-contender. I have nothing but respect for ARC, but they have their own sound, to me a bit spitty and harsh up top, with an upper midrange sheen. Your mileage may vary! Paul