The Viva Linea F tube line stage preamp is among the best preamps in the World. Built around two chassis with a separate power supply that utilizes 2A3 tubes, this preamp has all the beauty of tubes with the pace of a solid state. The “control” unit features short signal paths with top class materials used inside. It is incredibly fast where musical notes simply “jump” out at you. Dynamics were first class with beautifully layered imaging and transparency was stunning to say the least. In comparison with Cary Audio’s SLP-05 (their reference preamp), the Viva sounded more organic and lively. Even with Audio Research’s Reference 3 preamp, the Viva simply drove circles around it. Both were good and the Audio Research’s Reference 3 was just as quick but it just lacked a little on the intimacy and naturalness of the Viva. The Viva has a true Italian flair behind it. It is stunning to look at and unlike many of its competitors has the sound to match its physical beauty. This is a later production version that uses the 2A3 tubes (like the current model) instead of 300B tubes in the power supply unit. Owners who have listened to both types all hail the 2A3 as the better sounding version. Input tubes are two 6N1P, two 6C45, one 12AX7 and one 6922 tubes
Finish is a metallic gloss black which is a visual treat under the lighting. The umbilical cord is fairly long so you can keep the power supply unit further away and thus keeping the electrical interference away from the control unit. But we didn’t any noticeable difference placing it 12 inches away versus 3 feet away. It also has a very interesting feature where it has a dedicated subwoofer output volume control. Remote control option is installed on this unit so you can sit back and adjust the volume level without having to get up each time you want to make some adjustments. Without a doubt, this is one of the best preamps in the World. Period. See our other listing for the matching Aurora 845 tube monoblocks.