Should I update an Acurus RL-11 pre or buy new?

Discussion in 'High End Audio' started by Midlant, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. Midlant

    Midlant Guest

    This preamp was a vast improvement with my Adcom 555-II amp, but is dark
    and muddy with the McCormack DNA-125 which I bought to replace the Adcom
    amp. I ask about upgrading it as it is a Class A design according to
    Mondial/Klipsch. Since it's Class A (which I thought only applied to
    amplifiers) shouldn't it work as easily with the McCormack as it did
    with the Adcom?
    A few avenues exist. Replace preamp with another, perhaps a tube preamp
    to experience the supposed magic of tubes (no tube dealers in my area so
    I can't audition them first), buy the matching McCormack RLD preamp in
    hopes that it's a perfect match, try the one or two preamps available
    with the one local dealer, or upgrade the Acurus.
    My turning point is what would be wrong with the Acurus since it's a
    supposed Class A circuitry. It should be as good as it gets
    (theoretically). Would the hold back be poor quality components or poor
    design or something else?

    I run a Rega Planet 200 cd player and Revel M-20 speakers. I was using
    Klipsch LaScala's but have gone back to the Revels as the sound is more
    sophisticated sounding (for lack of a better word). The McCormack does a
    fine job of driving the Revels though they could use more power when
    playing rock. For other styles, the 125w/ch amp is fine. With the
    Klipsch, it was all that was needed with lots of power left over.
    Ideas, suggestions, and advice are all welcome.
    Midlant, Oct 26, 2003
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  2. Midlant

    Lou Guest

    Hi John,

    I have moded several RL-11's, they mod out very nicely, and if you use
    AuriCaps to replace the stock 10uF caps, UF4007 or Stealth diodes, and Black
    Gate caps, you'll have some of the lushest mids I have ever heard. I think
    you might be able to improve upon this mod by by-passing the AuriCaps, and
    Black Gate caps with RTX multicaps.And
    Lou, Oct 27, 2003
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  3. I would be surprised if there is any preamp that isn't class A. All
    that means is that the devices in the amplifier are conducting current

    I would also be surprised if there are poor quality components in the

    One thing you might not notice is that the combination of components
    has the opposite absolute phase that you're used to. Assuming you have
    a normal setup with totally passive speakers using one set of cables,
    reverse the polarity of the speakers cables at EACH speaker and see if
    it sounds better to you.

    Thomas Krueger, Oct 27, 2003
  4. Midlant

    Midlant Guest

    Thank you. I have tried contacting you offline, but your email bounced.
    How have your mods sounded?
    Midlant, Oct 29, 2003
  5. Midlant

    Lou Guest

    Sorry, try lou then the old @ then, I use a false one here to keep
    the spam down... As I said, the RL-11 properly moded rendered the lushest
    mids I have yet to hear in audio gear. The bass is a little weak as compared
    to some other preamps, but on par with most I suppose. If you want a real
    thumper, then I
    would go for a Coda Continuum Window with UF4007 diodes or stealth diodes,
    black gate and nichicon caps, some caps would be too expensive in black
    gates, by-passing the 2 caps nearest the preamp section with RTX Multicaps.
    That is the best sounding preamp I have heard yet, it ties the F-44 Forte
    with mods, but is a LOT easier to mod.... If you e-mail I can give you the
    addresses of a couple of guys who I moded one each for, they can give you
    their impressions. One also has the F-44, but he kept the Acurus because of
    the lush mids, it really is a seductive, sensual sounding preamp with mods.

    Best Regards,

    Lou, Oct 31, 2003
  6. Midlant

    Lou Guest

    I have no idea why you would be surprised, the $2,795 CJ PF-R used both
    1N4007 diodes, and the much better UF4007's, depending upon when it was
    made, and they used less than the best electrolytic caps in it as well.
    Surely a far less expensive as compromised if not more.... Me thinks you
    never worked in manufacturing, and do not understand that if they can shave
    a dollar off the cost of manufacturing per item, it can mean they make an
    extra $100,000.00 on a run of 100,000 items...
    Lou, Oct 31, 2003
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