Whatever occurred, these are a sweet preamp and ideal for a home studio with limited budge, essentially a solid state preamp on one side and a tube preamp on the other with a dirty big knob in the middle which enables you to infinitely blend amounts of either.
I have owned a number of cheaper starved-plate valve preamps where the valve really does not receive full voltage and appears to be more of a marketing ploy than actual attempt to create a tube preamp. This amp uses the full noise, and in mine the valve has been upgraded to a sweet mullard unit that provides great tonality.
The preamp also contains a number of useful features such as phantom power, pads, phase reversal, low cut and of course a sexy VU meter. Overall a great unit, of course the Universal Audio version ain't bad either ;)