The LS-2B preamp is a truly exceptional preamp. It may not be a fully “tube” based preamp but its single 6922 tube does work its magic into the music. Which is why for many owners of the LS-2B, it is their preamp of choice. Period. With a pair of balanced input (which was not available on the LS-2), the LS-2B was more “useful” to the user who wants a fully balanced in and out system. Tube rolling may not be a big event here (since it has only one tube) but audible changes/taste can still be had with different brand of tubes used. Compared to some similarly priced and age Conrad Johnson preamps, the LS-2B is the star winner here. It has more sparkle, a fuller midrange and a more upfront soundstage. If you want to get started with an Audio Research unit, this is a great unit to start with, affordable and a truly great sounding unit. Having said that, it will not turn a $100 amp, $30 CD player and $80 speaker you get from Best Buy into a $10,000 sounding system. You still need to make some careful choices but assembling a top notch system for under $3,000 is not out of the picture if you start with the LS-2B.
Cosmetically, the unit is in very nice shape. Minor scuff marks and tiny knicks along the edges but nothing major. We don’t have the original box but will securely pack this for safe shipping. Original manual included.