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  1. #1

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    Default Your Thoughts on PreAmp Upgrade: SS Pass Labs X1 Or tubes Audio Research LS17 . . .

    I've been toying with these 2 Pre-Amp options. The used market seems to be in the lower 2K range for each

    I've got the itch and I'm not sure where this will take me but, any other suggestion will be helpful. I'd appreciate your input.

    Tubes or SS ????

    TY

    G

    ps pairing will be with moded SRS 2s and Adcom 5802 w/ Furman power conditioner SP 15 PF i
    Mains Polk SDA SRS 2 (modified) Sub M&K MX-100
    Power Pass Aleph 30 & Adcom GFA 5802
    Power Conditioner Furman Elite 15 PF i
    Rears Definitive Technology BP-2
    Center Definitive Technology C-1
    Pre/Pro Integra DHC 40.1
    LCD Samsung LN46B750
    Source Oppo 105
    Wires MIT S3.3

  2. #2

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    Default

    Never heard the Pass, but I'm currently running an ARC LS-15. When I upgraded to the tubed LS-15 from a SS Parasound PLD-2000 (Parasound's top of the line preamp from the HCA days, retailed for about 2k), it was a HUGE step up. That change had a bigger impact on my sound quality than changing out DACs or power amps.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  3. #3

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    Default

    Adding a tube pre amp is always a good idea, IMO. The LS17 would be an excellent choice. Also in your price range look at the Joule LA-100 MkIII. For less money, the VTL 2.5 performs much higher than it's price tag.
    Last edited by F1nut; 09-02-2012 at 02:54 AM.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  4. #4

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    Default

    If you want to stick with ARC but need a phono input, look at the SP-16.

    Also look at BAT. I've never heard their pres, but I've been thrilled with my power amp, and lots people looovvve their preamps.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  5. #5

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    Thanks Fi and Falcon,

    I'll do some more research. With the amount of views this thread has had, I expected a little more input from the gang . . . Gotta go get my learn on

    Happy Labor Day!

    G
    Mains Polk SDA SRS 2 (modified) Sub M&K MX-100
    Power Pass Aleph 30 & Adcom GFA 5802
    Power Conditioner Furman Elite 15 PF i
    Rears Definitive Technology BP-2
    Center Definitive Technology C-1
    Pre/Pro Integra DHC 40.1
    LCD Samsung LN46B750
    Source Oppo 105
    Wires MIT S3.3

  6. #6

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    Default

    Since you have a SS amp, I'd say the tubed pre. Plus it will give you more options to taylor the sound with tube rolling. Just my .02

  7. #7

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    Default

    I can second the comment regarding the Audio Research SP-16. I own one and have used with the same amp you have (Adcom GFA 5802). I drove Yamaha NS-1000M and Sony SS-M7 speakers with this combination. It sounded nice with both sets of speakers.

  8. #8

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    um....I think tubes....that is all.
    Speakers:SDA2a, sub:Atlantic Technologies 172 PBM
    Pre:B&K PRO-10MC(2ch)
    Amps:Parasound HCA 1000a
    SourcesOppo DV-970HD, Xbox360, Kenwood KT-5300
    Cables:Philips/RCA/Monster

    Life's short, Listen to SDA's
    Life is short live Sui Juris
    Where did SOPA go?

  9. #9

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    I own a VTL 2.5 and have listened to a few ARC tubed pre's. The 2.5 is a stunner in it's price range, don't disregard it. . The LS15 and 25 were nice, really nice. The 25 outperformed my 2.5 in some ways, and in other ways it did not. I was convinced that a repair job had had ill effects on it's sound. The LS 26 bested it and the 2.5 in every way. I love ARC tubed gear. In my opinion, you could not go wrong with a VTL 2.5 or an ARC LS17. Tube preamps are the only way to to go!
    Last edited by vc69; 09-03-2012 at 12:15 PM.
    -Kevin
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    HT: Philips 52PFL7432D 52" LCD 1080p / Onkyo TX-SR 606 / Oppo BDP-83 SE / Comcast cable. (all HDMI)

    Polk LS 90's - Front
    Polk CS350 LS - Center
    Polk Monitor 50's - Rear
    JBL Northridge E150P - Sub

    2 Channel:
    Oppo BDP-83 SE
    Muscial Fidelity M1 DAC
    VTL 2.5
    McIntosh 2205 (refurbed)
    Polk LS90's (spiked & tweeked)
    Cardas IC's
    Cardas Bi-Wire

  10. #10

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    well if you need a VTL 2.5 here is one on the gon but he's selling with a VTL amp as well.

    http://app.audiogon.com/listings/pow...tube-preamp-wi

    BAT is good, I own one. I like it. ARC is good stuff as well however never ran anything of theirs in my system but what I've heard was nice. From what I know they have good customer service.

    BAT is great customer service as well. VTL eh is a little more rough around the edges IMO.
    2 Channel-
    Soundlab M3PX
    BAT VK-31
    Wyred SX1000 monos
    Esoteric DV50
    Dynavector p75 modded phono stage
    Rega P25 modded-Denon 103R Cart
    Squeezebox Touch
    Modded Music Hall DAC Burson op amps
    Richard Grey 600S
    MIT Shotgun IC's and SC

  11. #11

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    Guys & Dolls, (just don't know who's who here)

    I appreciate your input. I lost the bid on the Pass X1, but I think I'm all the better for it . . .Drum roll, please . . . I went with a "Sweet Little Pre" the SLP 98

    This is a very nice unit. I'll post later as I can't pull myself away from my "new" system. EVERYTHING sounds better from Toni Childs to Rush to Teena Marie to The Cure to Alan Parson to Rosanne Cash to The Kinleys to Stanley Clark . . . . .

    Any input on these vintage tubes would be appreciated, Thanks!

    G


    Click image for larger version

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    an incredible amount of BS uploading to this site from a Mac, pixs coming soon, I hope!

    Edit: Must be a file size issue

    Click image for larger version

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    Must be file size issue
    Last edited by GlennDog; 09-24-2012 at 11:37 PM.
    Mains Polk SDA SRS 2 (modified) Sub M&K MX-100
    Power Pass Aleph 30 & Adcom GFA 5802
    Power Conditioner Furman Elite 15 PF i
    Rears Definitive Technology BP-2
    Center Definitive Technology C-1
    Pre/Pro Integra DHC 40.1
    LCD Samsung LN46B750
    Source Oppo 105
    Wires MIT S3.3

  12. #12
    Audiophile
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    Congrats! I've heard great things about Cary. Enjoy the music and the tube rolling.

  13. #13

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    Default

    Very nice bro, congrats. Maybe expand a touch on the SQ differences compared to other pre's you had. Cary makes some nice sounding units for sure. Enjoy.

  14. #14

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    DO THE TUBE! FEEL THE TUBE! YOU WONT BE SORRY! made all the diff in the world.
    Main Rig:
    Krell KAV 250a
    McIntosh MC 2120 bi-amped
    Into JBL L123 drivers
    Rane external crossover.
    MIT exp 1 ic's
    Perreaux SA33 class A preamp
    AQ kingcobra ic's
    ADCOM GDA 700 DAC ( MODDED)
    YAMMY CDC-665
    Marantz 6100 tt w/pickering XV-15/625E cart.
    Monster HTS 3600 power conditioner
    POLK RTA-12C'S W/ RDO194 TWEETS, clarity ESA caps mills risistors (full mod)
    MIT exps2 speaker cable

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Very nice bro, congrats. Maybe expand a touch on the SQ differences compared to other pre's you had. Cary makes some nice sounding units for sure. Enjoy.
    Will do. I need to break-in these (never used) EH tubes first. I'll report after about 100 hours. The "sweet little pre" came with, and I quote the seller . . .
    "coin-base Sylvanias are from WWII (1942) and I bought them NOS new-in-the-box from DaNang, Vietnam. The Tungsol Round Plates are NOS new-in-the-box (1951) from Romania"

    Seller sez they sound fantastic, and I believe him cuz the stock tubes do! (and not even broken-in). IMHO, the unit is nearly flawless, sonically and physically

    G
    Mains Polk SDA SRS 2 (modified) Sub M&K MX-100
    Power Pass Aleph 30 & Adcom GFA 5802
    Power Conditioner Furman Elite 15 PF i
    Rears Definitive Technology BP-2
    Center Definitive Technology C-1
    Pre/Pro Integra DHC 40.1
    LCD Samsung LN46B750
    Source Oppo 105
    Wires MIT S3.3

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