I just got my Saga in, running it into my custom amp featured in here: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/hmfs-mysterious-custom-2a3-amp.3834 The immediate impression is very positive in terms of the feel of the product, with the recent nicer finish on the chassis and a splendid knob for the relays. The startup is a bit unfamiliar, but I do long listening sessions and won't switch it on/off more than twice a day so its not a big deal. I also ran it into my T3 for testing purposes, but that test immediately revealed that the T3 isn't really resolving enough to notice the differences between the passive/active modes, so I it is excluded from this post. I've also listened to the Saga in a few setups at the NY meet and on Marv's speaker rig with the Vidar at the LA meet. At the meets, I was not able to make out any significant difference between the active and passive modes, using the stock tubes. With that said, at home with tracks familiar to me and headphones, I actually noticed a pretty non-subtle penalty in clarity and bass bloat using the active mode. I was wondering if this was inherent to the circuit or if it was the tube, so I rolled in a RCA smoke glass VT-231 in. Bam! Those complaints went away almost immediately. Chuck the stock tube in the trash, I'm fairly sure most variants of NOS 6SN7 will comfortably beat it. I forgot to take my Sylvania 6SN7GTBs with me to test, but having used them in other applications I've no doubt they would be a better fit than the stock tube. In conclusion, if you're looking for a single-ended pre, you really can't go wrong with this, as long as you roll out the tube if you intend to use the active mode.