Estimate time frame to start this tour is early November.
Circa 2010 is a long thread I started stating audible superiority of the pure analog line stage preamp (eight channels) within Pioneer's 2003-2004 model VSX-D912 HT receiver. Even in stock form the 912 line stage sounded indistinguishable to unbalanced input/output of a particular $7500 preamp by one of the high-end's most celebrated amplifier designers (inventor of the full dual-differential full-complementary circuit, I owned the preamp at the time).
A friend purchased two such receivers, one for backup. I'm offering, for fun and edification, to send one 912 on tour for users to compare in their own Ncore-based systems.
If there is interest, tour starts after I perform the following mods:
Install IEC receptacle
Remove fixed mains cord
Insert shorting plugs in every unused RCA input
Include high-quality IEC mains cable (Stan Warren recipe)
Damp top cover, top/chassis mating surface, and loose parts such as antenna spring terminals
Unplug/defeat noisy power amp cooling fan (users must agree not to use/test power amp section...fan activates with source-input voltage and with volume set beyond a certain threshold. Using preamp only and no power amps: with gain set beyond a certain threshold, when music stops you hear ugly fan buzz, then 912 senses no input voltage, then 1.5 seconds later the fan shuts off)
Comparisons might be entertaining, eye-opening, and shake common SS/tube perceptions. I'm familiar with the musical presentation of preamps up to about $20k and doubt the 912 will be embarrassed regardless what it is compared to.
Over many decades I noticed how easily I identified preamp signatures/thumbprints, then noticed the indelible mark on every source, and quickly tired of it. After several years I still perceive no 912 line preamp signature/thumbprint of any kind.
Net weight is 23 lbs, add for packing, so consider shipping cost to the next person and eventual return to me.
For my Trinaural-based system, eight line channels is particularly useful: inserted between the Trinaural processor and three Ncore mono blocks, the 912 allows remote on-the-fly level adjustment (1.0 dB steps) for bass (80 Hz active Trinaural crossover) and center channel (all channels algebraically processed including center, center is not L+R summed mono).
Stereo users will of course use only L/R unbalanced inputs/outputs, ignoring the six remaining line channels.
Do most Ncore users with unbalanced sources employ Bruno's ideal quasi-balanced interconnect?