I ended up purchasing a Freya to give it a try. I see what you mean by the veiled sound. I put in a pair of Shuguang Treasure Cv181-zs in the gain sockets and the sound is much more resolving. One thing I noticed is the overall sound of the Freya is very noisy on tube gain mode. It picks up rf noise, cable noise, various noises from other components. It has to be the worst for interference of any component I've had in my chain. This contributes a lot to the veiled sound. I've tried a few things to eliminate the noise. I lifted the tubes off of the sockets with socket savers to distance them from the PCB. Also I've isolated the Freya from all other components in my audio chain. And then used the CV-181s in the gain sockets. This has made a huge difference in the fidelity of my Freya. Overall not a bad pre with the tweaks. I just need to decide if I like the sound signature. I'm eyeing a VAC Renaissance pre now that I've tried the Freya. I just need to find a dealer that will let me demo one.