Any comments on the deHavilland UltraVerve preamp?

I am thinking about replacing my Audible Illusions Modulus 3 (not a 3A) with a new deHavilland UltraVerve preamp. Has anyone had any experience with the UltraVerve? The reviews have been great, but I would rather have comments from people who actually own one.


Yeah, I can recommend it whole-heartedly. A great pre! Smooth, easy on the ears, dead quiet, responds well to tube rolling. It isn't overly lush, but quite detailed with a somewhat warm presentation, depending on what tube you are running, and your other components. I had some significantly more expensive preamps in my system that I was auditioning (current retail up to $7000, sell for $3-4k used) and none of them were outclassed by the Dehavilland. Slightly more detailed, deeper soundstage yes, but the differences weren't what you would expect, considering the big price difference.

It will be hard to find a bad word about the Ultraverve. Given what they go for, I doubt you can do better.
Thank you Dawgcatching. I really appreciate your comments. Have you heard the BAT VK 3ix, Audio Research LS17, or the Parasound JC2? If so, how do you think they compare with the UltraVerve?


No, I haven't heard any of those. What I did have in my system over the past 2 months were the ARC LS26, Classe CP-700, Herron VTSP-1a/166, and the Ultraverve. The LS26 is probably the comparison you are interested in: the LS26 was a little less warm in the midrange (with a Tung-Sol black glass in the UV), a bit more clarity, perhaps a tad deeper soundstage. For example, percussion in orchestral music came across clearer with the LS26, and sounded a bit more vibrant and real (also with piano). I thought the low end was similar on each preamp. Overall, I preferred the LS26. The ARC is at least 3x more expensive on the used market and definitely was no where near 3x better. Maybe like 3-4% in my system: the UV2, if the sound is what you are looking for, is well along the curve of diminishing returns. Still, I wouldn't mind owning the LS26!
Hi Mastro:
I used to have an UltraVerve & thought it was everything those reviews say. The only reason I got rid of mine was I went to equipment with all balanced inputs.

I now have a BAT VK-3IX which I think is a great preamp for the price (probably similar in price to the Ultraverve.) I couldn't compare them now as it's been @ 3 years since I've heard the UltraVerve.

I could be mistaken but I think DeHavilland has a 30 day return policy. I think highly of both companies for their product & customer service. I feel I'm staying with BAT for the long term.

I think both of these preamps offer a very good value. Good luck!
i auditioned the ultra verve , in preparation for a review. i returned the preamp without reviewing it.

if you favor a tube preamp that sounds more like solid state, you may prefer this preamp.

i replaced the tubes, but still noticed an unforgiving, overly focused,sound, bordering on an analytic presentation.
Mr. Tennis, why would you possibly return the preamp because it didn't suit your listening taste. That's what reviews are for; to tell us lemmings what you liked or disliked about a certain piece of equipment and why. By describing it for the rest of us who may not have an opportunity to listen to the selected piece of equipment, you could at least give us one person's interpretation of the scenery.

On the other hand, if you are afraid to write a negative piece due to the possibility of not getting future equipment to review, then that explains your decision to return the preamp without review. If that's the case, it's another sad example of the cancer in this industry.
>>01-26-09: Fiddler
Mr. Tennis, why would you possibly return the preamp because<<

A better question is, why would anybody read his reviews?

Thank you Dawgcatching and Classical1 for your thoughts. It sounds like the deHavilland UltraVerve will be really hard to beat for the money. It is good to know that the UltraVerve is competitive with the Audio Research LS26. Wow, that says a lot! I know that the AR LS26 is very good, but if the UltraVerve comes that close in sound, it is a steal at the price.

It is impossible to listen to all preamps in this price range so that is why I appreciate everyone's comments. I do not replace preamps often so I want to make sure I am not making a mistake. If anyone else has any comments on the deHavilland UltraVerve I would really love to hear them.

Thank you.

i don't review products whose reviews would be very critical. i chose what to review, and what not to review.

i suggest that anyone desiring to read my reviews, visit the website
Mr T said:
if you favor a tube preamp that sounds more like solid state, you may prefer this preamp.

This surprises me as the UltraVerve was the 1st tube preamp I ever bought. I had previously been using three SS pre's: a Quad, Adcom GFP-750 and Pass Labs preamps. My UltraVerve sounded nothing like those solid state products. In fact the Ultra Verve was what really had me think I'd probably never go back to solid state.

I don't claim to have read everything written about the Ultra verve, but I don't recall it ever being described as like a SS preamp.. and that was not my experience.
That's his opinion.

Do a search on his other posts. You'll find his views, ideas, and opinions contrary to the mainstream.

Ignore him.
I owned the UV for several months. It is a great preamp for the money but I thought the presentation was in line with the speakers or slightly in front of the speakers. I like my music a little forward. Also, I was looking for more speed and bass slam. Please don't take this like the UV does not have speed and bass slam, it does have both qualities but not at the level that i had before.
I had the UV for well over a year and just recently sold it in favor of a Sonic Euphoria PLC. The dehavilland is a great tube pre and bested many other preamps in my system. The SE has better bass depth and articulation and is slightly more transparent. In my system it is the better preamp, but if you need gain, the UV is an excellent choice.