My new to me Herron VTPH-2A - First impressions

Ok, so if you followed my other topic, you know I bought a used Herron VTPH-2A.  It came Monday night, and I've been listening for the past couple of days..

Being used, it didn't really need a break in, but I let it warm up for a couple hours just to be safe.

Ok, so there has been a lot of hype for this phono stage here on the forum.  I have one question.  Is it hype if it lives up to just about everything good that's been said about it?

Just comparing it to my current setup (CJ PV10a with phono stage and a SUT), running thru the CJ, it's a huge improvement.  I'll just talk in terms of musical timbre and extension here, acoustic instruments sound so much more right, and both bass and treble extension is much better.  No only is there more bass, but it's way better.  But the overall sound was still a bit soft.  Ok, so that was the CJ.

I switched over to the Bel Canto I recently got.  Sound was much better, but a little bit sterile, and the upper end was a bit harder than the CJ (not unexpected).

So I got a crazy idea.  I thought I'd see what the Herron would sound like piped directly into my power amp.  I did a little math, and some measuring of the Herron output to make sure it wouldn't overdrive or underdrive the amp's inputs, and it looked like a reasonable match.  Turns out it worked out great, it was at a very reasonable listening level.

Ok,  No upper range hardness, no softness, excellent, controlled extended bass.

Ok, so I think I have to rethink my preamp now.  Luckily, I can send back the Bel Canto (still during the trial period) and I guess I'll be looking at a new preamp.

I'll be bringing it over to a friend's house this weekend, where we'll compare it to a couple of different phono preamps he owns.
Be patient and wait for the Herron linestage. Borrow a pre from your friend for a few months if possible. 

Congrats.  You might also want to try your SUT into the Herron's MM tube stage (bypassing the Herron's FET stage).
I have a VTPH-2A and use NOS Telefunken's and they made a nice improvement through out the audio spectrum. 

I received my VTPH-2A from Keith Herron about a month ago. I also have a JC3+. Both are nice sounding phono stages, but the Herron, IMO, requires a preamp that can pass the signal to the amp without doing any harm. The VTPH-2A is more transparent, dimensional, and livelier, compared to the JC3+, which sounds a little warmer and flatter. My preamp is an Emotive Audio Epifania.