I had an LS2B for a number of years, and enjoyed it very much.
I subsequently upgraded to the LS16 and later to the LS26. Each of those upgrades was an improvement, especially the LS26 (now the LS27), which is awesome. Don't ever listen to the LS27, or you will go home with your credit card smoking... the sound is irresistable...rofl.
One upgrade you can do to the LS2B or LS2 which makes it sound nearly as good as the LS16 is to change the output coupling capacitors to the TRT Dynamicaps, which Audio Research installs in the LS27 and Reference 5 at the factory now.
These make a difference in the sound quality that has to be heard to believe; it is not a small improvement. With the Dynamicaps installed, you may find that the LS2 is on a par with the C46.
I installed the Dynamicaps in the LS2B about a year before I traded it in on the LS16, and what an improvement.
It costs about $120 for the 4 caps to upgrade a balanced unit, but you only need two to upgrade an LS2.
On another subject....
I bought the Ayre C5xe player for $6K about 6 years ago, and it was one of the finest-sounding CD/SACD players ever (and still is), but the new OPPO BDP-95 is even better, for only $1000!!!
IMO the BDP-95 makes every player from $600 to $25,000 totally obsolete! The sound quality is off the charts. Nothing else I have ever heard comes close (except the Ayre...).
Anyone who gives a rat's eyeball about CD sound should own one. The price is a steal.
BTW...virtually ALL power amplifiers operate Class A at low signal levels and then go to class B operation as the signal level rises; that is why they are called Class AB! All of the output transistors conduct with no signal or a small signal, which makes them Class A at that point. Increasing or decreasing the no-signal bias current can change the percentage of the cycle that is Class A or Class B.
Originally Posted by timosmith
Just thought I'd post my impressions of my new toy. I recently upgraded from an Audio Research LS-2 Preamp to a McIntosh C46. My first thought was that it would be a drastic change moving from Tube to solid state. I've enjoyed tube rolling in the LS-2 and have a wide selection of Bugle Boy tubes which sound great in their own way.
I was wrong. The Mcintosh sound is still quite warm...maybe not bloomy but rich and full. As I sat down in my listening position with some favorite music selections I know well, I immediately noticed spacing of the instruments. Everything seemed to have more air and the singers seemed significantly locked dead center. The ARC was no slouch. For a 21 year old Pre, it sounded and still does sound phenomenal. I'm very tempted to keep it to use for my office rather than sell it.
The next sensation that hit me was the extra umph in the bass. It wasn't in a rap style, boomy sense but the bass had much more presence. Certain tracks actually drove shivers down my spine.
For my equipment, I'm using a Cambridge Audio Azur 840C CD player and Azur 840W amplifier. I know the McIntosh-level audio folks are probably rolling their eyes, but it is a startingly great combination. The 840W amp operates in Class A until a certain level (which honestly I can't hear) and then switches to class B. I eventually plan on buying a McIntosh MC402 or 452 if I can hide the difference in cost from my wife but until then, this combination is providing me an incredibly enjoyable listening experience.
One last note...I am in LOVE with the way the McIntosh Pre looks, especially at night. Even my wife thinks it is beautiful.