The Perseus tube (12AU7 tubes) preamp is a minimalist preamp for the audiophile who doesn’t want an over complicated preamp. Even the remote control only has two buttons – volume up and volume down. Its a stark contrast to our current favorite, the McIntosh C2300. Layout is straightforward and “direct”. Just plug in your components, select them from the front and set your volume level. At just under $1,000 now, it compares favorably with our other sub-$1,000 tube preamp, Audio Research’s LS-2B. The Audio Research is a full balance design but is not remote controllable. The Perseus in that sense, has a trade off – balanced inputs/outputs for remote control function. Another plus (a big one in our opinion) for the Perseus is its phono input (MM & MC) which you can adjust the cartridge loading and gain internally. Musically, the Perseus is warmer sounding. Soundstage was a tad bigger and sharper than the Audio Research. Its a bit more colored but in a good way and made music listening a “richer overtone” experience.
Cosmetically, the preamp looks really good Minor scuff marks here and there common with use but nothing major. We have the original box, manual and remote and will be double box for extra safety.