Can you name a preamp with the .......... - Page 9
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  1. #81
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    Re: Can you name a preamp with the ..........

    Last year I spoke to Don Sachs about buying one of his preamps with XLR, Duelund Caps and all the bells and whistles. I almost pulled the trigger but with not being able to actually hear one in person I decided not to. I have not read a bad review on his preamps and all the reviews seem similar about the sound quality.

    They use quality parts including expensive Khozmo volume pots.

    http://www.khozmo.com/
    My Gear- Mains System-Pass X250 amp, BAT VK-51se preamp, Luxman DA-06 DAC, Magnepan 1.6's, Thorens TD-145 TT, Dual Martin Logan Subs, Vintage Luxman T-110 Tuner, Other systems- Parasound A21 amp,Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid tube DAC and Preamp, Magnepan MMG's, Monitor Audio S1's, PSB B6's, Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000's, Velodyne sub, Adcom GFR-700 AVR, Music Hall 25.2 modified CDP, Cables by Cardas Parsec, AQ Columbia DBS 72v, Wire World.

  2. #82
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    Re: Can you name a preamp with the ..........

    Quote Originally Posted by CGabriel View Post
    I owned and borrowed many preamplifiers.
    There is one that stands alone if sound quality is your priority including the aspects you mention above.

    It does not have XLR connections, only RCA and it does not have a remote.
    A single tube gain stage and massive external power supplies with hand soldered attenuators.

    And you have probably never heard of it. It is made in the US by an artisan, one at a time - special order only. If you are looking for the best, this should be on your audition list.

    Emmanuel Go
    First Sound

    http://www.firstsoundaudio.com
    I agree, I once heard a First Sound Pre-Amp. It was among the very best I've every heard. It's was nut very compact or user friendly. No remote, two power supplies.
    Pre amp: Ocatve Phono Module Power amps: Octave MRE130 Turntable: SAC Girati Grande. Tonearm: Dynavector 507mkII Cartridge: Dynavector Ikeda 9TT Streamer: Aurender A10 Power Distributor: Anzus Mains D8 Speakers: Raidho X-3 Speaker Cables: AudioQuest Rocket 88 XLR Interlink: Ansuz A2, XLR Interlink: Purist Audio Design - Venustas Phono interlink: Cammino Serie 1.0 - PH 1.0s Power cables: Anzus Mains Ceramic, two Pom, Aluminium, X series Audio Rack: Rack of Silence 4 and 2.

  3. #83
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    Re: Can you name a preamp with the ..........

    I heard and read many great things about First Sound gear but I absolutely want a remote control. The convenience is too important for me to ignore. I sometimes adjust the volume during a song anticipating loud and soft passages. I know I'm not the only one but I'm sure purists will not agree with that technique.

    I have a killer SS preamp. I guess I'm looking for that killer tube preamp. I've had several, miss some of them and I'm torn about looking back or moving forward. This is looking like it will not happen for a while as I sort out what's important to me.

    I do love my PS Audio BHK preamp but will admit that it is a little quirky in some respects. The sound is phenomenal, especially for its price but depending on amp and particular setup, I sometimes get little tiny pops during volume changes through the speakers. I have not been able to figure out why. I've tried different setups, rca vs xlr, etc. I'm perplexed but the sound is definitely Class A rated.
    Joe

    Wharfedale Linton w/ stands, Avantgarde Duo XD, Klipsch RB-75, Klipsch RP-160M.

    Job INTegrated, Naim Supernait 2 w/ HiCap-DR.

    Conrad Johnson GAT2, Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2, Misho Myronov Wooden pre.

    Misho Myronov Wooden amp, First Watt SIT-3, Job 250 Monos, Valvet E2se, NuForce STA200, AkitikA GT-102 amp, ASL Wave monos, Dennis Had 45 monos.

    Lumin U1 mini, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES, Audio Mirror Tubadour III NOS R2R Tube Dac w/ upgrades.

    Burmester 948, McIntosh MCLK12, Kimber Kable, Siltech, Cardas, Avanti Audio cables.

  4. #84
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    Re: Can you name a preamp with the ..........

    Wow, that's a catch all "ask" for sure! I don't know, there's a number of great pres out there. Here's what I had and loved:

    Marantz SC7S2 (Current)
    Pass X-1
    Bent Audio TAP-X

    All were great and serve their purpose and unfortunately, we change not because we didn't like them, but because we wanted something "new"!
    Only System: ANALOGUE: VPI accessories (JMW 12.7 arm, Rim Drive, Periphery Ring, Stainless Steel Delrin Clamp and HRX Super Platter). Custom solid steel plinth and Stainless Steel armpod. Shelter 7000 Cartridge with DIY Pass XONO Phono. DIGITAL: Marantz SA11S3. AMP/PRE: Marantz PM11S3. CABLES: DIY Cables called "sweet spot reveals". SPEAKERS: DIY 2.5 way Scanspeak 97000 tweeter, 18W8545K midrange and 22W8555 Woofer. Called GeerS eVe II, a Tony Gee and Edgar Beers design.

  5. #85
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    Re: Can you name a preamp with the ..........

    Another vote for my present preamp ARC 40th Anniversary line stage. Absolutely stunning in my system.

  6. Likes Melbguy1 liked this post
  7. #86
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    Re: Can you name a preamp with the ..........

    Joe, and all,

    The most amazing soundstage that I've ever heard from a preamp was produced by the famed Conrad Johnson Art 2. I was within minutes of buying one, with low hours and in mint condition, about a year ago. The only reason I held off was a warning from a friend/CJ Dealer that due to the extreme complexity of that preamps circuitry and design, given it's age, it would be due soon for a major refurb by CJ that would have added far too much to what it was already going to cost me just to buy the unit.

    While I regretted not having bought the Act 2 for a time, it may have worked out for the best after all. I recently purchased a virtually unknown preamp, which, despite being completely unassuming in appearance, is the most purely musical preamp that I've ever heard, regardless of price. That preamp is the Linear Tube Audio Micro ZOTL MZ2-S, designed by the renowned David Berning and coming in only a bit over $2k. My curiosity first begun after reading this remarkable review of the unit by a noted reviewer, Terry London

    http://hometheaterreview.com/linear-...fier-reviewed/

    In the review, he compares to preamps in the in $20-30k range, and finds it superior(Concert Fidelity and Purity Audio). Following that, I met an old audiophile friend, and sometimes reviewer, at Axpona, this past April. He that told me he had recently been loaned a Micro ZOTL unit, and that it simply blew him away. He further added that it was now his reference preamp, in his primary system, and that it was literally so good that he was selling off two very highly rated $20k+ preamps as a result.

    This preamp just continues to amaze me with it's musicality, first and foremost. That and the purity and openness and sheer realism of it's sound. You don't even think about it being warm, or lean, it's just what it should be. And, every few moments, a note, or a single guitar string just seems to appear magically out of nowhere and you just sit back and say wow. I was listening to a favorite acoustic guitar piece earlier, and all of a sudden, the sweep of his fingers on the guitar strings of one chord just seemed to suddenly be there in the middle of my listening room. There is such an ease of presentation and incredible naturalness to the sound of this preamp. You suddenly realize that everything you are listening to is portrayed perfectly, and exactly as it should be. It's as though anything that was preventing the music from sounding exactly pristine and natural has been stripped away. It's even like any excess weight or tone or even complexity within the sound, as you have always heard it previously with preamps, even very good ones, has been removed and what is left has this purity that you know you have not heard before, but realize is simply "right".

    About a week ago, I attended a concert at a nearby outdoor venue. We had exceptional seats, dead center, and no more than perhaps 200 feet from the stage. The middle act
    was Todd Rundgren, aka Runt, aka The Hermit Of Mink Hollow. While aware of his history as a musician, songwriter, and noted producer, the only thing I recalled in terms of hits were the multi decades ago "Hello It's Me", and the somewhat more recent "I just Want To Bang On A Drum All Day". I had no real idea what to expect musically for his hour and fifteen minute set. I certainly was not expecting what I got. From the time the entire band walked out in full suits and ties, joined by two dancers/occasional backup singers, the massively energetic performance and sound was somewhere between Bryan Ferry and Robert Palmer with some New Wave thrown in. The performance was, for the most part quite riveting and the sound quality was exceptional.

    The next night, I fired up his most recent recording, from late last year, that comprised the majority of his set from the night before. A
    n unbelievable amount of that same energy, performance and sound came through my speakers. I sat there just grinning like that cat that found a bowl of milk! I don't think I will likely ever need another preamp after this shockingly good unit. For me, it bests anything I've heard, and that includes three or four Conrad Johnson pre's, The ARC REF3, 4,5, 5SE, and REF6, as well as preamps from PrimaLuna, Mark Levinson, Lamm, BAT, Simaudio, PS Audio and others.

    JC

  8. #87
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    Re: Can you name a preamp with the ..........



    Jeff, I am so happy for you. I wanted to buy one many times. I never read any bad words about this little gem. It must be a special piece.
    Joe

    Wharfedale Linton w/ stands, Avantgarde Duo XD, Klipsch RB-75, Klipsch RP-160M.

    Job INTegrated, Naim Supernait 2 w/ HiCap-DR.

    Conrad Johnson GAT2, Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2, Misho Myronov Wooden pre.

    Misho Myronov Wooden amp, First Watt SIT-3, Job 250 Monos, Valvet E2se, NuForce STA200, AkitikA GT-102 amp, ASL Wave monos, Dennis Had 45 monos.

    Lumin U1 mini, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES, Audio Mirror Tubadour III NOS R2R Tube Dac w/ upgrades.

    Burmester 948, McIntosh MCLK12, Kimber Kable, Siltech, Cardas, Avanti Audio cables.

  9. #88
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    Re: Can you name a preamp with the ..........

    Thanks Joe, it is indeed special. The other real benefit that I forgot to mention is that they give you a fifteen day, in home trial, to let you try it out in your own system. Not only is that invaluable, but you have the option of returning at at no charge if it doesn't meet your needs. Of course, after experiencing the performance of the preamp, I can't imagine anyone returning one!

    JC

  10. #89
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    Re: Can you name a preamp with the ..........

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinid View Post
    Ha!

    I understand. I miss my GAT. I should have upgraded to GAT II, although it wasn't the quietest preamp, it was pretty awesome. My Ayre has spoiled me, it's stellar and dead quiet.
    Hi Joe,
    I just read that.
    At my place the GAT is dead quiet.
    You may have a problem with your AC.
    Shindo, Nagra, Electrocompaniet, Harbeth, AMR, Mc Intosh, Auditorium 23, Rega, DeVore, JC Verdier, WireWorld, Kimber

  11. #90
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    Re: Can you name a preamp with the ..........

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinid View Post
    I do love my PS Audio BHK preamp but will admit that it is a little quirky in some respects. The sound is phenomenal, especially for its price but depending on amp and particular setup, I sometimes get little tiny pops during volume changes through the speakers. I have not been able to figure out why. I've tried different setups, rca vs xlr, etc. I'm perplexed but the sound is definitely Class A rated.
    Sounds like an impedance mismatch. Does the BHK preamp have a gain switch? I recall when I first connected my modded Ayon CD-5s to my Classe Cap-2100 integrated running pre-out (via xlr's), on high gain I heard worrying popping sounds through the speakers before the Classe's protection circuitry shut the amp down. As soon as I switched to the low gain setting, the problem was solved.

 

 
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