2-channel preamp needed - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-03-2012, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi. I'm looking for a good, quiet, transparent preamp for 2-channel setup. Source is MacBook Pro > musical Fidelity V-Link > Peachtree Dacit > Margules ADE-24. I want a preamp that has at least 2 preamp outs to drive McCormack amp and a tape out to hook up a headphone amp. For budget I'd like to stay below $500 and I'm willing to buy used. Any recommendations?

Thanks.

Marty
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-03-2012, 09:57 AM
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It is pretty hard to find good preamps used, and that is a pretty low price for anything decent.

One new preamp that is an outstanding value is the Vincent SA-31, which is only $650. It is the best-sounding preamp I know of for under $2000.

Another thing you might consider is buying a Cambridge Audio 550A integrated amplifier, which is now only $399 (was $599), and use it as a preamp. It will do what you want.




Quote:
Originally Posted by nymartyk View Post

Hi. I'm looking for a good, quiet, transparent preamp for 2-channel setup. Source is MacBook Pro > musical Fidelity V-Link > Peachtree Dacit > Margules ADE-24. I want a preamp that has at least 2 preamp outs to drive McCormack amp and a tape out to hook up a headphone amp. For budget I'd like to stay below $500 and I'm willing to buy used. Any recommendations?

Thanks.

Marty

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post #3 of 9 Old 04-03-2012, 10:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

One new preamp that is an outstanding value is the Vincent SA-31, which is only $650. It is the best-sounding preamp I know of for under $2000.

Another thing you might consider is buying a Cambridge Audio 550A integrated amplifier, which is now only $399 (was $599), and use it as a preamp. It will do what you want.

Are you trying to shill for some online av retailer? You keep mentioning the models and their prices so I'm wondering...
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-03-2012, 05:44 PM
 
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Uh, maybe if he mentioned an online retailer by name? Although I've done that myself on occasion and am only an enthusiast.

I agree that you do not have many options in your budget. The Emotiva USP-1 is an option, also the Parasound 2100 if on sale. Other than that, I'd research some recent models to find some suitable options then see if they pop up on Audiogon.
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-03-2012, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nymartyk View Post

Hi. I'm looking for a good, quiet, transparent preamp for 2-channel setup. Source is MacBook Pro > musical Fidelity V-Link > Peachtree Dacit > Margules ADE-24. I want a preamp that has at least 2 preamp outs to drive McCormack amp and a tape out to hook up a headphone amp. For budget I'd like to stay below $500 and I'm willing to buy used. Any recommendations?

Thanks.

Marty

Since you like Mickie-C in the power section, I'd recommend an RLD-1. I tried one...and even though I've moved way up in price since, I thought it was a helluva unit for the money.

CD

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-03-2012, 10:11 PM
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The Parasound Zpre2 is a quality small form factor preamp. You can get one new within your price range. Otherwise, I would look at used or an integrated amp.

"Guns for show, knives for a pro..."
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-04-2012, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nymartyk View Post

Hi. I'm looking for a good, quiet, transparent preamp for 2-channel setup. Source is MacBook Pro > musical Fidelity V-Link > Peachtree Dacit > Margules ADE-24. I want a preamp that has at least 2 preamp outs to drive McCormack amp and a tape out to hook up a headphone amp. For budget I'd like to stay below $500 and I'm willing to buy used. Any recommendations?

Since all inputs are line level, you really don't need a preamp, it would appear that all you really need an input selector switch, a volume control, and perhaps a buffer in a box.

Most preamps with 2 outputs whose circuits I've reviewed simply put the output jacks in parallel, so that need could be satisfied with a pair of Y-cables.

You may find that it is more economical to trade up to a DAC with a volume control.

Hope this helps.
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-06-2012, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Since all inputs are line level, you really don't need a preamp, it would appear that all you really need an input selector switch, a volume control, and perhaps a buffer in a box.

Thanks. Are you recommending passive preamp or something more like NHT PC which is basically a single input/output with a volume control?

As to full preamps, appreciate the recommendations. Would you get a new Emotiva USP-1 or a used Acurus or Rotel, etc. ? In looking at bottom tier high end brand preamps that are 20 years old going for $400 - $600 on eBay and wondering if they could really be that much better than the Emotiva.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-06-2012, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nymartyk View Post

Thanks. Are you recommending passive preamp or something more like NHT PC which is basically a single input/output with a volume control?

Passive controllers, of which I own including 2 NHT PVCs plus at least one home made unit with two inputs and two volume controls, a number are special purpose devices. If you have a basically solid state system, and cable lengths are under a couple of meters, they can work.

Quote:


As to full preamps, appreciate the recommendations. Would you get a new Emotiva USP-1 or a used Acurus or Rotel, etc. ? In looking at bottom tier high end brand preamps that are 20 years old going for $400 - $600 on eBay and wondering if they could really be that much better than the Emotiva.

I already own a number of legacy tubed and SS preamps including a CJ, a Dyna, and a Holman, so I'm not going to be buying any more soon!

The Emotiva USP-1 preamp might fit your needs.

As far as legacy preamps, I see a number of Adcom, NAD, Rotel, etc. items that I might find attractive for under about $200.
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