When I received the Eastern Electric per-amp. I wasn't thrilled. I thought that my AVA T-8+ blew it away in clarity, depth of soundstage, and quietness. When I learned that the pre-amp's sound purportedly improved when balanced inputs and outputs were used, I promptly out it back in it's box and re-connected the T-8+. Although some of you may call me a fan-boy, although not to my face, in-person, mano v. mano (iust kidding), except Zybar, one of the most generous people that I have met, and I must mention Wayner, Dennis Murphy, the Salks, Frank Van Alstine, OgOgilby, TJ Hub, Armand, Mike G., Jeff Bagby, Gordy (R.I.P), Ed Kramer, et al., I think that Frank has developed small (line) electric components, particularly, to an art form. No one does it better. However, I read of review or the Art Audio Clean box, and decided to give one a whirl, fearful of introducing noise into the system. Low and behold, connected to the output stage, and facilitated full use of the driver tubes, there was a vast improvement. I haven't detected any additional noise in the system, but I recently moved and am waiting to (3) 20 amp dedicated circuits installed. I would ordinarily do it myself, but this was previously a commercial building, and there isn't a basement or crawl space (or building wiring schematic). Since there was improvement, I purchased a second Clean Box for the inputs. These units convert RCA to XLR and vice-versa. With both the XLR inputs and outputs used, the pre-amp provides a much fuller sound.
Regarding the low frequency response, the T-8+ blows it away. The T-8+ was best of show; no easy feat.
I like the EE Avant. Some will like it better than any AVA offerings. Side-by-side comparisons are difficult. Maybe a NEAR G2G @ my new home for more comparison?
Notwithstanding, Bill provides excellent products and outstanding customer service, in addition to being a kind and decent man. He has my utmost respect and admiration.