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. 

markmuse

@mazian 

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.

@jmbumgarner01 

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? 

Both very good amps.

But they have very differing sound characters that arise from implementation of very different design philosophies.

You need to listen to both in your system over a decently long period before you make up your mind.

I'm for the AR as I have a Ref 6 myself, but it's a personal decision.