Serious thoughts about Audio Research LS 27

Hello, I'm considering to buy a second hand  LS 27, but unfortunately I cannot listen to it until I will go to pick it up, 300 km from home. Is there anybody here who is able to describe its sound maybe comparing it with the LS 22, LS 25 mk1, LS 25 mk2, Ref 1 and Ref 3?

Thank you very much!

Kindest regards

Mario - Venice, Italy
I had the LS25 Mkii and never really could love it. Maybe I was looking for tube warmth and this one doesn’t have it, the analytical description is apt. Of the ones you mentioned, I would go for the REF3
If the LS 27 doesn’t work out I think the Ref3 suggestion is a good one. I’ve have/had an LS25 Mk1, Ref 2 Mk 1, LS 26 and now a Ref 5. Parts quality is pretty good on all of them and the LS line stages are incredibly versatile, even more so than the Ref series. There’s not even that much compromise on the preamp stages themselves.

What the Ref series brings to the table over the LS series are big no/low compromise power supplies. Since the Ref 2 they’ve all been vacuum tube regulated with a lot of decoupling and bypassing and storage. There’s no way to put that much power supply into the LS form factor. My experience has been despite marketing hype it’s pretty hard to get an LS to beat a Ref. They’re probably creating the sound of the line stages with the power supply.

I will also say that the 6H30 based line stages are consistently quieter than the 6922 ones (my sample size is the 4 listed above). That would pretty much put the 27 ahead of the 25 Mk1. I don’t know how much difference there is between the Mk2 and the 27. I know quiet isn’t everything but it sure helps. Good 6922s are getting harder to find.

If the 27 is like the 26 it’s still going to be a really good preamp.