This is the line only version of the CPA-1 tube preamp which has one of the finest sounding phono stages in any preamps. But if you don’t have a turntable in your system and want to replicate the excellent soulful sound of tubes that the CPA-1 offers via its phono input but through your line inputs, then the CLA-1 is the ONE. The line inputs on the CLA-1 gives all your line inputs a level of emotion and organic presentation that you could almost hear and feel its life like presence in your listening room. The preamp runs on two 12AX7 and two 12AU7 tubes (the CPA-1 runs on ten tubes due to its phono stage). Tube rollers will find this preamp a delight to use as access to its tube sockets is as easy as replacing a light bulb on your lamps. As a under $2,000 preamp now, it rivals some offerings from Audio Research with a warmer, less sterile sound and costing hundreds lesser. We would also pick this over any sub-$2,000 offerings from Conrad Johnson.
Cosmetically, the VAC is in nice shape. Minor scuff marks here and there and the common oxidation of the brass plates but nothing major. We don’t have the tube cage. Manual is available online on VAC’S website. Preamp will be securely packed for safe shipping.