Pre-Amp options?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by leonard smalls, Jun 25, 2004.

  1. leonard smalls

    leonard smalls GufmeisterGeneral

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    T'other day I visited WM Towers and purchased a black snarling beastie called a Bryston 14BSST to replace my Lumley power amps..
    Funny thing is, I was expecting it to become bright and solid state sounding - the funny thing is it sounds less bright than the valve slipper warmers! There's awesome bass control, plus much more detail - you can see why these things are used for serious studios.. Doesn't sound like hifi any more, there's just coherence where before it was bass/mid/treble - taut and fast perhaps?

    Thing is, I don't think my Lumley passive pre is up to the job... So what I'm looking for is something:
    a) That rocks
    b) has a balanced output, plus at least one balanced in ( I've got an EAR 834deluxe phono so line only is fine)
    c) doesn't put out more than 9v (I don't want to completely fry my Dittons with up to 645W RMS/channel)
    d) is as transparent as the power amp, and does give some semblance of soundstage
    e) is a handsome devil - I only just sneaked the Black Beauty past SWMBO so it's got to look good
    f) costs no more than £3k

    And thoughts?
    And I'm not changing the speakers until I've got serious money - perhaps custom PMCs :JPS:
     
    leonard smalls, Jun 25, 2004
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  2. leonard smalls

    Tenson Moderator

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    Congrats on the nice amp ;)

    Next step after the pre-amp is to get another one and bi-amp then get an active crossover... :JOEL:

    I wasn't looking at such a high price range as you, but I found a valve pre-amp really worked wonders for my Bryston and PMC setup. Compared to going straight from the CD player to the amps and adjusting the gain on the amps for volume control (that?s the same as a passive pre really isn?t it?), the valve pre-amp really added a nice sparkle and smoothness to the top end and made the sound-stage much more vivid.
     
    Tenson, Jun 25, 2004
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  3. leonard smalls

    leonard smalls GufmeisterGeneral

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    I'd thought about valve pres... Not completely convinced but open to all options - my speakers are quite "warm" sounding anyway coming from those magical days before digital ;)
    And you're having a giraffe about another 2x600w on my poor venerable Dittons - they're quoted as max amp power 200w (thought they do seem to soak up far more power than I can actually stay in the room to listen to).. If I were to go this way it'd have to be the PMC BB5, in which case it would have to be valves at the front.
    But what does Bryston's own BP25 sound like with the 14BSST? Is it hifi Jim but not as we know it etc? Or what about the Burmester Rondo range - heard good things about them - meant to be very transparent indeed but twice as expensive as the Bryston..
     
    leonard smalls, Jun 25, 2004
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  4. leonard smalls

    Tim F

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    You need to let us know what it is you don't like about your current pre-amp \ system, so we can match the choice correctly...

    Where do you wish to get improvements\ changes? is it just transparency?
     
    Tim F, Jun 25, 2004
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  5. leonard smalls

    leonard smalls GufmeisterGeneral

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    The problem with the passive pre is there is no gain - which means I can't quite go to 11 should I need that little extra push ;) (I've had it right round to half past five, which is pretty loud but where do you go after that)
    I'm also after just more of everything if you na'mean.
    I'm not after ultimate SET-type air'n'space, but believable image, plus tonal correctness, speed and general oomph.
     
    leonard smalls, Jun 25, 2004
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  6. leonard smalls

    Tenson Moderator

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    Indeed the BB5's are very nice ;) I have had the opportunity to mix a few tracks on a pair being driven by two 4BST's. The bass is awesome! I don't know why anyone would want the extra subwoofer sections they sell!
     
    Tenson, Jun 25, 2004
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  7. leonard smalls

    wadia-miester Mighty Rearranger

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    Glad you like the Black Beauty :) , The Bryston is totaly transparent, so a maybe either a Spectral DC12, Tom Evans Groove, Ground Grid Pre (one of the most un valve like valve amps I've heard).
    These are resourcible for the money you wish to spend. Wm
     
    wadia-miester, Jun 25, 2004
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