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Preamp comparisons

Hi all,
I am currently using the rogue 66 with a chipamp, b&w cm4 speakers, clearaudio TT with Lehmann Black cube...The retail products I have auditioned include the Hovland HP100 (my favorite, and one which i can get a really good deal on), the ARC SP10, Marantz 7m (really nice with Brimar tubes!), McIntosh C220 and a few others (including the FI Y).
I really like the presentation of the hovland - warm, liquid mids, extended and natural highs and tuneful, strong bass. These qualities are really quite imprtant to me.
However, I have also thought about trying a DIY effort. The bottlehead foreplay i supposed to be decent witha large following but I doubt it's in the same league, and have wondered about the AudioNote kits...have any of you heard the L3 or L2 pre's from Audionote? Or any other high-end designs (Vacuumstate, etc)? Maybe even Franks preamp? Just not sure how some of the 'higher-end' DIY pre's would measure up to the Hovland.
Thanks for any help/suggestions.
Byron
 
Hi Byron,

I have been asking similar questions over the past few weeks because there are so many and I would like to narrow the field a little. Do a search here for much more details than I responded with.

Here's one that got a few high praises: http://www.transcendentsound.com/preampkit.htm

Here is one that is supposed to be the "Bomb" but is unavailable as a kit. The designer/manufacturer is a DIY Mod guy too. http://www.modwright.com/products/index.php?product_id=20

Here is the same one WITH the Phono Stage built in, both of these have tube rectified power supplies. I don't know if this is a real benefit or marketing but the sound reviews say this sounds outstanding: http://www.modwright.com/products/index.php?product_id=25

And then, as a few here have pointed out too, the Pumpkin Preamp kit available here at DIY (support included and you will be able to be involved in future mods and upgrades). This is however, Solid State. Look into it as well before you make any decisions: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=110424

It would be great if you could audition all of these! Modwright might have a trial program similar to the Upscale Audio Ah! Njoe Tjoeb in home demo's.

I hope this helps and you get enough input to really help establish a "list" in order of best choices that I can use too! I will be watching!

Good luck!

Regards//Keith