Sonic Frontiers Line 2 SE upgrade

This is a a review or FYI or IMO thread. A couple of weeks ago I got my Line 2 pre-amp back from Sonic Frontiers up-grade to Signature Edition (SE). It cost $999. U.S. plus shipping. Including 3 day UPS Select each way, it took about 5 weeks for the whole process. Although the SF web site says they put Siemens and Brimar tubes in the SE, they're totally out of Seimens and mine came back with 6 NOS Brimars (a British tube made in the 1970s).

The Brimars are a somewhat warm and soft tube, and with them in all six positions, music was too soft, almost to the point of dull-- definitely relaxed! So, after a week or so I left a pair of Brimars in the V1 and LV1 positions (the rearmost (gain) positions), and put 4 new Sovtek 6922s in the other four positions (cathode followers I'm told).

Well, that did it for me. The Brimars plus upgraded parts of the SE added some welcome warmth and body to music while the four Sovtek 6922s provided good dynamics and better PRT (better than all Brimars). Conclusion: I like it-- this is a better sounding pre-amp than the stock Line1 or 2!

And except for occasional sideways "excursions", I consider my system to be complete (famous last words as I'm already considering going to Syn Res. active shielded spkr cables). But I do believe all the major components are in place.

While the Line 2 was gone I used a Line 1 out of my HT system and it worked/sounded good. And BTW, the stock Line 1 sounds much like the stock Line 2, IMO, but the SE version with tubes as I've described is a nice and worthwhile improvement, but I wouldn't call the change dramatic. Any comments or questions are welcome, but please note that I'm NOT a tube expert. Cheers. Craig
Hi Garfish, Thanks for sharing the info.I just purchased a Line 3.I listened awhile with the stock tubes and then installed a set of Telfunken 6u8/ecf82 tubes in positions V2 & V1 and a set of Tele's CCA in LV1 & V2 and what an improvement. The original owner of pre tried some Mullard,Siemens,JAN Phillips and finally the Tele's which worked the best.The dynamics improved and the Tele's are quieter.I plan on update for my line 3 to SE in future and will let you know my opinion. Happy listening Don
Hi Garfish
I experimented with tubes in my line 2 and configured my original system similiar to yours. I would like to know your opinion of the se upgrade with all 6 sovtek tubes back in, can you tell if there is a difference in sound. Secondly the siemens tubes you didn't get sell for $500 for 3 pairs and the brimars sell for $150 new nos, ouch! Hopefully you are happy with the deal but I am curious.

Thanks, BG Dave