ARC Reference 6 or Cary SLP 05 with upgrade?

Yeah, it's me again. The Voyager has settled in nicely and I think I would benefit from a better preamp. A friendly local dealer dropped by today with a ARC LS28. That was headed in the right direction but was not close to a $12,000 improvement. I could probably swing a used ARC Reference 6, but somehow the Cary SLP 05 has caught my attention. Everything I read about it is very positive but I don't know if it would lend more of a full sound than increased transparency. Has anyone been able to compare these two directly? 

Currently: Bricasti M3 > Rogue RP-7 > LSA Voyager > Fyne F1-8

One of the things that appeals to me about the Cary, aside from cost, is it uses 6sn7 tubes which are now being manufactured by Lin Lai and have a reputation for great sonics.

Anyway, I await your wisdom. 


If you are looking for a fuller sound I suspect that your problem is your speakers rather than the amps. I have found that Fyne go overboard on transparency on most of their speakers. For a fuller sound I would suggest for starters Sonus Faber, Vienna Acoustics or Dynaudio, but I am sure that in the USA there a host of speakers that would do the job, speakers I've never had the opportunity to hear in Australia or even heard of.


I’m not looking for a fuller sound. The F1-8s are amazing with the Voyager amp. I have some minor concerns that it might be too full with the 05. But my much larger concern is too much gain. The 05 is a high gain preamp and I’m already restraining 350 watts > 91db speaker. 

Does anyone know what the gain is on the ARC LS28 and Reference 6? I think the Cary 05 is 17db.


why not use the two input level controls instead of the Rockwells? Or are they in the line from your DAC so your phono is not attenuated?