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Thread: Pre Amp suggestions !

  1. #1
    Join Date: Sep 2021

    Location: Cardiff

    Posts: 5
    I'm Neil.

    Default Pre Amp suggestions !

    I've always liked a system with sizzle and snap, as a drummer , need snares and cymbals to sound realistic , tight tuneful bass etc.

    Recently I've suffered a car crash that has lead to loss in the upper mids hearing wise.

    My current 2 x Pres no longer seem to be sounding right.

    The Bryston BP17 cubed has always been fast, but lacks the depth and soundstage i need, and the MBL 5011 has the depth , imaging and soundstage , but is a bit rolled off on the top.
    I would prefer balanced outputs too, but not essential.
    Don't want thin and lean, save that for my women :-)

    So any thoughts?
    I'm a Solid State man, but happy to try a valve pre that offers all I'm looking for.

    Suggestions so far have been ARC Ref 3 or 5 , LS 27.
    PS BHK
    Michi P5
    Pass labs.

    Getting hold of decent , not daftly expensive examples to try is difficult.
    Budget is around 5k.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 48,065
    I'm Geoff.


    Hmm. As you've recently suffered your hearing impairment, maybe it's not your system to blame for your dissatisfaction in what you're hearing. I'd suggest going to hear some live music and see how your ears cope with that. Maybe some form of compensation could help, say in the form of a studio quality, multi-band graphic equaliser?
    Conspiracy theories are only perpetuated because people go looking for them!

  3. #3
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 5,830
    I'm Alan.


    That's a healthy budget.

    Frankly though I wouldn't have thought the MBL 5011 would have any problem across the frequency range from looking at the specs.
    Could it be your hearing deficiency that is now leading you to believe there is a problem with your kit?

    Do you have a fellow audiophile friend that can give a second opinion in situ? There are a few around Cardiff, maybe give a shout out on here?
    I love Hendrix for so many reasons. He was so much more than just a blues guitarist - he played damn well any kind of guitar he wanted. In fact I'm not sure if he even played the guitar - he played music. - Stevie Ray Vaughan

  4. #4
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: west mids, UK

    Posts: 3,018
    I'm Phil.


    Ref 5 is very old now , at least 10 years . even the 5se is getting old . 5k might be under budget for one of them . ls27 rarer than rockin horse ... oxford audio have a ls28 they might let you try . they have tried to sell it for months now , one went for 3k though recently on ebay
    I would echo geoffs thoughts too

    you could add a mfa baby ref to your list . thats an amzing pre amp . a few about but often no remote
    When words are many , sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise . prov 10

  5. #5
    Join Date: Sep 2021

    Location: Cardiff

    Posts: 5
    I'm Neil.


    It's been 18 months, and I've been to an audiologist, there's definitely a big drop out in certain frequencies.
    I don't believe there's any deficiency in the system, it's my ear , I know that !
    I've heard the LS28 can be a bit polite, which I don't need ?
    Agreed, a professional equaliser or a pre with tone controls could be the answer.
    I did try an old Accuphase some time ago, had tone controls, was a bit clinical , but was a vintage model.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 32,624
    I'm Martin.


    Get an EQ unit, you won't solve this problem by changing pre-amps. All pre-amps will have a flat response unless they're complete rubbish.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Audiolab 6000CDT* Soncoz SGD-1 * Nelson Pass DCB1 * Krell KSA50s * JM Lab Electra 926 *

  7. #7
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 1,812
    I'm Dennis.


    My view, especially with SS amplifiers, and discussed and confirmed with a friend earlier today, is that they are really a problem solved. Most specs are well beyond audible problems, and he and I focus on speakers as a main variable.

    Your list of what to me are very expensive pres, seem to be in excess of what is needed to me, and to change a pre will not address any hearing change you have had. Hearing is variable, and you may find that it can recover, mine has to an extent.
    Accuphase does a wonderful digital graphic, but at a cost. I was considering one, mainly for room correction.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 26,424
    I'm openingabottleofwine.


    I would agree that the only way to help compensate for the loss "at some frequencies" is to use a graphic equaliser. However most professional graphic equalisers only have a boost/cut range of +/- 12dB at most, which may not be sufficient.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Oct 2008

    Location: Glasgowshire

    Posts: 9,008
    I'm Gary.


    Can't really comment on your hearing loss (Sorry to hear)
    But can vouch for the PS BHK as a 'drummer's amp though.

    Wide open, spooky levels of realism and enough depth and 'in the room' snap to take your head off.
    Had mine just over 3 years I think, love it.

    Depends of course what you hook it up to of course,
    tried different power amps with it, all changed the sound.

    Hope you find what your looking for,
    These things sometimes can come from not where your looking.

    I'd keep an open mind on what the guys are saying about EQ.
    "Whats your vector Victor...?"

  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 48,065
    I'm Geoff.


    Maybe, to get an idea of what can be achieved, invest in a cheap multiband graphic to start with, they are easy to sell on again at little or no loss. Most of the big Japanese brands made decent ones. If the results suit you, you could move on to a more upmarket item later if you felt it was worthwhile.
    Conspiracy theories are only perpetuated because people go looking for them!

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