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  1. #1

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    Default Just about time to get a new preamp... suggestions?

    I've made a ton of improvements on my system over the past 6 months and i'm now ready to begin looking at a new preamp. This will be added to my combined HT/2-channel system, so i'm looking for a pre-amp with an HT bypass (unity gain) in order to integrate it with my existing system. I'll probably purchase this in about a month.

    I'm looking to spend between $700-1000. When I started building this system I had an Adcom GFP-750 in the back of my mind because of a lot of good things i'd heard about it. But I don't know if it'd be good enough or if I need to go a bit better?

    My current thought (which seems to change daily) is to first get a good 2-channel pre-amp to integrate with my system in order to improve CD's, and then sometime afterwards upgrade my AVR with a good pre/pro.

    If anyone has any good arguments for instead replacing my pre/pro first, i'd like to hear them. My first priority though is improving the sound of 2-channel CD's. HT sounds just fine right now to me. I *do* play some SACD's as well, and they of course would not benefit from a 2-channel pre. But they sound pretty good as-is so my first priority is still CD's.

    So anyone have any specific models that I should be looking at?

    Thanks a bunch.

    tim
    Speakers: Polk LSi15
    Pre: Adcom GFP-750 with HT Bypass
    Amp: Pass Labs X-150
    CD/DVD Player: Classe CDP-10
    Interconnects: MIT Shortgun S3 Pro XLR
    Speaker cables: MIT MH-750 bi-wire
    TT:Micro Seiki DD-35
    Cartridge:Denon DL-160
    Phono Pre:PS Audio GCPH

  2. #2

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    Default

    You might consider a B&K Ref 50s2 pre/pro. I've been pretty impressed with the pre section in my B&K AVR 507s2 for music. You might be able to get away with one pre/pro for both music and HT. It would mate well with your B&K amp.
    DKG999
    -----------------------------------------
    HT System: LSi9, LSiCx2, LSiFX, LSi7, SVS 20-39 PC+, B&K 507.s2 AVR, B&K Ref 125.2, Tripplite LCR-2400, Cambridge 650BD, Signal Cable PC/SC, BJC IC, Samsung 55" LED

    Music System: Magnepan 1.6QR, SVS SB12+, ARC pre, Parasound HCA1500 vertically bi-amped, Jolida CDP, Pro-Ject RM5.1SE TT, Pro-Ject TubeBox SE phono pre, SBT, PS Audio DLIII DAC

  3. #3

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    Default

    Thanks for the suggestion. I have considering going with a B&K Ref 50 as well and just wasn't sure if it'd be good enough for 2-channel. What i'm concerned about is getting a new pre/pro and finding that it is lacking for my CD playback. Since i'm likely to be limited to 1 purchase over the next 6 months I want to make sure I make the right decision.
    Speakers: Polk LSi15
    Pre: Adcom GFP-750 with HT Bypass
    Amp: Pass Labs X-150
    CD/DVD Player: Classe CDP-10
    Interconnects: MIT Shortgun S3 Pro XLR
    Speaker cables: MIT MH-750 bi-wire
    TT:Micro Seiki DD-35
    Cartridge:Denon DL-160
    Phono Pre:PS Audio GCPH

  4. #4

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    Default

    I *do* play some SACD's as well, and they of course would not benefit from a 2-channel pre.
    Excuse me, but yes they will.
    '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."

  5. #5

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    what F1 said, I'm not sure why you would think that.

    In terms of a preamp, the Adcom is a highly regarded piece. A preamp that I would look at (but may be out of your price range) is Conrad Johnson PV-14, as the HT pass through seems to be a deal breaker.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

  6. #6

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    well, I am hedging on selling the Dodd MLP as it just does not see much duty, has what you need and then some but its a bit out of your price range.

    RT1
    REEL TIME THEATRE
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    OppO BDP-83
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    Subs-Twin Polk CSW200
    HTS5000


    RABBIT HOLE RIG
    BAT VK-31SE
    VTL MB-450 Signature monoblock
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    Musical Fidelity kW SACD
    Rega P25/RB600/Clearaudio Aurum Beta
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    Sound Lab Millenium ELS
    BillyBags Rack
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    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Excuse me, but yes they will.
    I should have qualified that I meant multi-channel SACD's (5.1), which would not go through the 2-channel pre because i'd have it in HT bypass at that point.

    An SACD in stereo would benefit from the pre. Do I have that logic correct?
    Speakers: Polk LSi15
    Pre: Adcom GFP-750 with HT Bypass
    Amp: Pass Labs X-150
    CD/DVD Player: Classe CDP-10
    Interconnects: MIT Shortgun S3 Pro XLR
    Speaker cables: MIT MH-750 bi-wire
    TT:Micro Seiki DD-35
    Cartridge:Denon DL-160
    Phono Pre:PS Audio GCPH

  8. #8

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    A better pre will help all channels it sends a signal to.

    Most of the super duper pre's we covet are two channel so I can see where you would think that.

    RT1
    REEL TIME THEATRE
    Onkyo-TX-NR5007
    B&K 7270 amplifier
    Polk SWA-500 Subwoofer amplifier
    OppO BDP-83
    Pioneer Elite 50"
    Polk LCi-RTS-105;LCi-RTS-C;LCi-RTSFx;LCi80Fx
    Subs-Twin Polk CSW200
    HTS5000


    RABBIT HOLE RIG
    BAT VK-31SE
    VTL MB-450 Signature monoblock
    Wolcott Presence monoblock
    Musical Fidelity kW SACD
    Rega P25/RB600/Clearaudio Aurum Beta
    Acoustech Phono-Pre
    Sound Lab Millenium ELS
    BillyBags Rack
    MIT S1/3 cables
    Shunyata/PS Audio/Virtual Dynamics Power Cords


    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

  9. #9

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    NAD c162 is one of the best performance for your money 2 channel pres out there.

    They also have some pre/pros if you are willing to spend more, but for music, it is hard to beat the c162. Adcom may be a good performer, but their components can sound kindof harsh, to me anyway, or at least... they tend to have a less pleasing sound. Both NAD and Adcom preamps are class A gain stages, adcom has cheaper ones that are not, but in a preamp, I would not consider one with gain that is not pure class A. The power level that a pre deals with, it is not like having a pure class A gain stage is going to be power hungry, hot, or otherwise hard to build. The preamp is where you need to treat your signal with the most care. Some people use the preamp of their choice and then a strong neutral poweramp to back it up. A tube preamp and a strong, clean, SS poweramp can convey what some people enjoy about tubes right though to the speakers. I don't know if this is totally true, but it is worth consideration, when understanding how important your preamp is within your entire system.

    Many people actually build a solid 2 channel system, and then buy a cheap 5.1 or 7.1 receiver and just use it as a processor. That is one way to look at building the system, 2 channel first and then HT. It doesn't work as well visa versa.

  10. #10

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    The dilemma I keep coming back to is that if I upgrade to a pre/pro such as the B&K Ref 50 that'll improve my 5.1 SACD's as well as my CD playback. If I add a 2-channel pre with HT bypass and keep my existing AVR, then my 5.1 SACD's will sound *exactly* the same as they do now (because it'll be bypassing the 2-channel pre). But I'll likely get a big improvement in my CD playback.

    So the question remains to me, if I can only upgrade one or the other, which should I do? I'm leaning towards adding a 2-channel pre, but that's mainly because i'm afraid that a new pre/pro will not be good enough for CD's.

    I'm not in a position to be able to try both (mainly because of the WAF and my current purchase sprees).

    Thanks for all the input thus far.

    tim
    Speakers: Polk LSi15
    Pre: Adcom GFP-750 with HT Bypass
    Amp: Pass Labs X-150
    CD/DVD Player: Classe CDP-10
    Interconnects: MIT Shortgun S3 Pro XLR
    Speaker cables: MIT MH-750 bi-wire
    TT:Micro Seiki DD-35
    Cartridge:Denon DL-160
    Phono Pre:PS Audio GCPH

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