This is a stunner! J-E made a customized, apparently one-off version of the LA-100 mkIII, mounting all the tubes atop the chassis, for Déjà vu Audio (S/N #121). 4 unbalanced inputs including tape. Rated 8 for age of unit.
The preamp was brought up to spec by the Service Department of Bridgeport, CN which is the authorized service representative for Joule-Electra. The two small OA2 tubes were snipped and replaced with solid state Zener regulation for improved long term reliability. Steven at the Service Dept recommends not removing the OA2 tubes. (In addition, removing them would detract from the appearance of the chassis.) The original volume pot was replaced with a GoldpointV24 stepped attenuator. Everything is in excellent operating and cosmetic condition.
The LA-100 mkIII uses a “MU follower” circuit with a gain stage optimized for a 5751 tube and the cathode follower stage utilizing a 6350. Since the J-E inverts phase, you simply flip the speaker cable leads at the speaker connections. The tubes are operated at very low stress levels for a long life span and can remain in the “standby” position when the pre is not in use. You will not need to change tubes for a long time unless you wish to tube roll. Extra 5751 tubes ( a NOS JAN Philips and a NOS GE) will be included if you meet my price.
Sonically, the treble is clean and open with no glare and the mid-range is rich tonally and spacious but not “tubey” by any means. Imaging of instruments is distinct and the soundstage is broad and deep. All in all, a very musical preamp which is the hallmark of J-E.