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Old 06-17-2008   #1
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Default Two-channel pre-amp recommendations please

Guys -

I am in the market for a 2-channel preamp and am looking for recommendations.

The rest of my system is comprised of an Esoteric DV-50 source, NuForce Ref9V2 SE mono amps, Aerial 10T speakers, Audio Magic silver wiring throughout.

Here's what my ideal preamp would have:

1. XLR in and out
2. Musical and detailed - if I had to lean in one direction over the other I would lean musical.
3. Cannot be sloppy in the bass department or the Aerials will bloat like crazy.
4. REMOTE!! I would prefer a full function but could live with volume only if I had to.
5. My absolute upper limit is about $5k on the used market.

I really like tubes in my system as it nicely balances the detail of the Esoteric and the speed of the NuForce's. I've used an ARC LS26 and while it was very good I felt I wanted more of the tube magic.

Here are a few contenders I'm looking at.

Levinson 326S
Cary SLP-05
ARC REF3
Aesthetix Calypso - but it's a long way back due to noise issues and it's appetite for tubes

What else should I consider?

Pass X1 was a consideration but is out of the running due to the excessively large volume jumps (3dB per click!!) - what was Nelson thinking?!?!?!

TIA,
Jim
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Old 06-18-2008   #2
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Default Re: Two-channel pre-amp recommendations please

Anyone????
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Old 06-19-2008   #3
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Default Re: Two-channel pre-amp recommendations please

I too want something like this, but add in HT passthrough as it will likely integrate into my main rig.... Just can't decide if I need a MC analog pre for MC Audio as well, is this format alive enough for me to invest in it this substantially?
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Old 06-19-2008   #4
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Default Re: Two-channel pre-amp recommendations please

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyt View Post
I too want something like this, but add in HT passthrough as it will likely integrate into my main rig.... Just can't decide if I need a MC analog pre for MC Audio as well, is this format alive enough for me to invest in it this substantially?
I'm waiting on you to find the best pre and let me know so I don't have to do this legwork!!
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Old 06-19-2008   #5
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Default Re: Two-channel pre-amp recommendations please

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Originally Posted by Silver Supra View Post
I'm waiting on you to find the best pre and let me know so I don't have to do this legwork!!
I'm not sure if your above amps are going to be less than 5k in the used market. I will be auditioning the ref 3 soon. I've heard the ML 320s (not 326s) and was quite dissappointed. Have you heard the Krell preamps - I was quite impressed although its more money. However, I'd still say you have to do the audition yourself and preferably with the right equipment.
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Old 06-19-2008   #6
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Default Re: Two-channel pre-amp recommendations please

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Originally Posted by pfslai View Post
I'm not sure if your above amps are going to be less than 5k in the used market.
I know, and I might need a new roof on my house so I haven't started to piece this together yet!
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