The Joule Electra LA-1oo MKIII linestage preamp is one of those rare “boutique” brand pieces that doesn’t have the big brand limelight but its a killer when pitch against these brands. This was a LA-100 that was then subsequently upgraded to the MKIII. Whether it is the factory MKIII or the upgraded MKIII, we could hardly tell the difference. This is how well designed the LA-100 preamps have been. In fact, if we had to put value for money into the equation, the LA-100 MKIII would have totally demolish our other “resident” tube preamp – McIntosh’s C2500. Especially when the C2500 cost so much more. The LA-100 MKIII has a surprisingly vibrant sound to it. It was almost “glowing” in comparison to other similarly priced tube preamps from Conrad Johnson and Sonic Frontiers. It wasn’t in the least bit laid back like how some tube preamps may sound and instead offer a very robust soundstage with surprisingly tight and deep bass. Mids were rich and full bodied with clean and detailed highs. Internal circuitry is pure and simple with six tubes in play to produce that magical sound – 1x 5751, 1x 6350, 2x OA2 and 2x 6EM7 tubes (same as the factory original MKIII).
Cosmetically, the unit is in pretty nice shape. Some minor scuff marks here and there but nothing major. No original box but we will securely pack this for safe shipping.