From the same few listens I have given other SET amps (Woo5, various balanced SET amps, and the like) I liked it a great deal, its a shame nobody on head-fi considers it seriously in the megabuck amp categories. The good news is that unlike any of the head-fi brands Manley is well regarded by in speakervile, and accordingly you can sell the Manley down the road to someone as a preamp.
On the topic of speakers, I also heard it as a preamp at one of the foofiest audiophile shops I have ever been in. Crazytoast foofy. I called to RSVP and told the owner I own DIY speakers and he started up the hype machine on how you cant possibly build a speaker as well as bla-bla-bla...(Ok I do agree on this point. but you can make very good speakers too.) Then I said I mostly listen to headphones and there was all the headphones cant do it right well set you up with a real speaker system... Anyways, I went down with the local audio club to chit chat a bit and maybe find a reason to say his system sucks like 90% of the systems in peoples houses we visit (thanks for hosting, but once you get past the fact that most speakers have better soundstage than headphones, SR-60's sound better than 90% of what I have heard). Anyways, it was in one of perhaps 3 believable speaker systems out of the 2 dozen or so I have heard in the local club for one reason or another. VERY VERY nice. Its probably that the systems we normally listen to have such glaring flaws, but this one sounded legitimately nice. I was impressed by the 3-d soundstage (depth front to back too!) and overall tonal balance. I think a LARGE part of it was the speakers (some huge KEF speakers) but the system as a whole did sound very very good.
I should note after that little slam that another of the nicest systems was one of the least expensive I have heard. The owner is just bent on setting it up well and getting everything to sound nice. that probably counts for 2/3 of most speaker systems, but dont tell anyone when you could just sell them speakers that cost twice as much.
Edited by nikongod - 9/13/10 at 9:13am