If there was an award for most musical sounding tube hybrid preamp for under $1,000, the SP-9 MKII would win it hands down. The SP-9 preamp has had a long production run with a good dose of industry respect thrown in. In this MKII guise, it continues to retain that sought after “halo” amongst many audiophiles who are seeking the best bang for their bucks. It may not have modern amenities like a remote control or XLR inputs/outputs but in a well put together system, the SP-9 MKII can easily set the bar for audio nirvana on a budget. In fact, in our SP-9 MKII, Simaudio Equinox CD player, Red Rose Music Model 2 tube amp and Spendor SP-1 system, we thought we were listening to a $10,000 system when the entire setup cost way under $5,000. The SP-9 MKII was able to produce a magical, “floating” soundstage in our auditioning room. There was good depth and width with an almost “live” like imaging of the singers when we listening to vocals. Phono input is compatible with both MM/MC cartridges. Tube complements are a pair of Audio Research 6DJ8 tubes.
Cosmetically, the preamp looks good. Minor scuff marks here and there and a few scuff marks along the edges. We have the original manual but no original box. Unit will be securely packed for safe shipping.