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Thread: Recommend me a preamp please?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: London N2

    Posts: 390
    I'm Edward.

    Default Recommend me a preamp please?

    So a friend has lent me an Azur 840e preamp and I'm blown away. Really opened up the sound, increased dynamics, fluid, fast, natural, accurate, 3d etc.

    Source is digital (mainly redbook FLAC) to a NOS DAC and power amp is newly built Radford Revival STA25s driving PMC LB1 Signatures.

    The band is playing in front of me in my sitting room!

    I need to return the Azur 840e at some point and don't fancy going back to the passive preamp I was using (nice that it is).

    So what to get?

    Only need 2 or 3 line level inputs (I already have a dedicated phono stage), ideally with remote control for volume. As good as or better than the Azur 840e.

    Budget - variable - lets say up to 1k. New or preloved.

    cheers
    Last edited by Edwardlon; 17-04-2017 at 20:23. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2017

    Location: Sussex

    Posts: 324
    I'm Simon.

    Default

    Obvious one is a newer Cambridge audio pre if you get good results with CA. I spotted this one for you, 300 off.
    http://www.richersounds.com/product/.../camb-851d-blk

    Then if you are spending a grand, the cyrus pre 2 dac is good, for a detailed and dynamic fast paced sound. Some are above this price but with a dealer discount you'd get it for 1k I reckon. I use cyrus with pmc to good effect.

    Or naim, you'd get a nice warm sound . Something like this might be achievable at a grand

    http://www.audiot.co.uk/products/nai...ifier-210.aspx

    It's regrettable that lots of good makes don't do pre amps at certain prices, or any pre amps at all, but I think Cambridge audio, cyrus and naim are pretty flexible to offer different price pre amps.

    I'd reckon Cambridge audio are closer to the cyrus sound than naim. But it looks like that richer sounds amp could be a bargain particularly as it's likely to sound better than the older model you tried.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: London N2

    Posts: 390
    I'm Edward.

    Default

    Thanks Simon. Plenty of food for thought.

    Indeed getting a newer CA Azur is one my possible options. The self same friend has a 851N (the streamer dac) which is essentially like the 851D you mentioned. Wonderful unit. But of course only digital inputs. Getting the dedicated preamp on top of that (the 851E) becomes rather expensive

    One idea is to get the 851n and dispense with my current DAC and live without any analogue inputs.

    The Naim and Cyrus ideas are good. I need to research more on that. One other idea is to go down the Croft route.

    I have also been considering the RME ADI2-Pro which gives lots of functions with first class sound, but sadly no remote control. Also would be paying for ADC function which realistically I would not use much.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 424
    I'm Dennis.

    Default

    I have an AVI S2000 to sell, my having changed it for an ATC SCA2. (At great expense)

    The figures are stunning and in fact better than the ATC, as is the build quality surprisingly. It is a relatively recent one and I have fitted a new larger Alps pot, it also has an excellent phono stage.

    Judging by the names mentioned I think it may not be your cup of tea, being SS.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: London N2

    Posts: 390
    I'm Edward.

    Default

    Thanks Dennis

    I know the AVI name but never heard their equipment. Please could you give me some more details. If you have a price in mind feel free to speak up (or send me a PM if you prefer).

    Is the Alps pot remote controlled?

    Except for the Croft all the other names are SS so I don't see that as an issue.

    cheers

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 29,984
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharos View Post
    I have an AVI S2000 to sell,
    I had one of those twenty years or so ago.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: Cheltenham

    Posts: 719
    I'm Charlie.

    Default

    If you can stretch to 1500 notes, there is a serviced TRON Seven line stage for sale on PFM. That's a truly high end pre amp for an excellent price. Build quality is dare I say it, even better than the Radford (I have an original Radford STA15/3 as well as TRON gear for comparison). You won't need to upgrade your preamp ever after that.
    Charlie

  8. #8
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Central Virginia

    Posts: 655
    I'm Russell.

    Default

    When you've made your selection, I'd love to hear your impressions of it, a full review. I too am shopping for a preamp. My present is a Parasound Halo 3. Lots of inputs, the internal phono sounds good, although I don't use it, balanced outs. Remote control! I hate to say that is my number one requirement. I have no use for a none remote unit. But it's not up to the rest of my gear, and I am completely overwhelmed at choosing a replacement. I've heard that a nice tube preamp can add much life to a solid state rig. I may venture in that direction next?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 424
    I'm Dennis.

    Default

    Ok Edwardion, S2000MP preamp specs.

    I/P sens. line 150mV
    I/P impedance 20k
    Distortion (THD+IMD) -120dB
    O/P level 1.0V
    O/P impedance 1 ohm
    Tape O/P 150mV
    Frequency response (-3dB) 1.5Hz and 500kHz.
    Six I/Ps, one with switchable MM/MC board installed
    Remote controlled
    Independent tape source selection.
    All connections unbalanced ccts, which actually produce less distortion than balanced ccts which are preferred by professionals because they allow the very long lengths of interconnects often needed in studios.
    Standby consumption 14W, when on 15W
    Serial No 97422

    Compared with the ATC it is 'just a little different', and very difficult to describe usefully.
    450.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: London N2

    Posts: 390
    I'm Edward.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by topoxforddoc View Post
    If you can stretch to 1500 notes, there is a serviced TRON Seven line stage for sale on PFM. That's a truly high end pre amp for an excellent price. Build quality is dare I say it, even better than the Radford (I have an original Radford STA15/3 as well as TRON gear for comparison). You won't need to upgrade your preamp ever after that.
    Charlie
    Indeed the GT Tron preamp seems to be lovingly built and I have nothing but good on the excellent sound Graham Tricker is able to achieve. However it seems to me that I would be paying lots for a phono stage whcih I don't need and the Tron premap does not have a volume remote (purists of course would scoff at the idea of having a remote on a Tron of course).

    Quote Originally Posted by alphaGT View Post
    When you've made your selection, I'd love to hear your impressions of it, a full review. I too am shopping for a preamp. My present is a Parasound Halo 3. Lots of inputs, the internal phono sounds good, although I don't use it, balanced outs. Remote control! I hate to say that is my number one requirement. I have no use for a none remote unit. But it's not up to the rest of my gear, and I am completely overwhelmed at choosing a replacement. I've heard that a nice tube preamp can add much life to a solid state rig. I may venture in that direction next?
    Certainly will do - but I tend to be slow in making decisions. Your Parasound looks great.

    I already have valves in my audio path (the Radford STA25), I'm not so sure adding another valve item in my audio path will enhance things much.

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