So I've had this preamp for about two years. It is clean and accurate. I wouldn't say it imparts any major "sound". It just seems to take an accurate snapshot of what you're recording. But, I don't usually drive it very hard. Where this preamp really excels, IMO, it at the extremes of the spectrum. It gets the highs really well. And it has the best bass DI i have ever heard. It is tight an punchy and I record most bass players with a DI box directly into the 428. Some preamps tend to smear the low end a little bit. But, while the 428 loses nothing in the way of body, it never lacks definition in the low end. Its no slouch in the mid range either, but it is exceptional in the highs and lows. What is best about this preamp is all the features you get. Multiple impedince setting. High pass filter. Tons of gain etc. etc. It's like a commuter car. It may not be the most expensive car on the road. But it wins because it always gets you where you need to be. Good buy.