I agree. There is absolutely nothing wrong with esoteric gear if you can afford to waste money. I miss my blueish McIntosh back lights. There are a few here that have some less than positive thoughts on their amps with autoformers. I personally liked the couple I had.\n\nSo far the x3400, that is the preamp in a Salk 2.x system, performs above what was expected, and is an incredibly great value.\n\nI'm also a huge fan of the Outlaw Audio preamps for being function more than form.\n\nI have to say this again, that the X3400H is incredible, a total surprise. It convinced me to settle for a X4400H to replace my Marnatz prepro in order to do 11.1.4. It has also convinced me I no longer need my class A Cambridge audio preamp, Bryston and Halo power amps, but so far I have only sold one and plan on keeping the others just to feel good to have some two channel separates (real ones.).