Originally Posted by daveoo
I really prefer musical accuracy in a pre-pro also. I have the B&K Ref 50 and agree with your comments. Not so good for music.
I moved out a Chello pre-amp that I found a bit grainy in the treble. So I wanted to ressurrect my music reproduction.
My strategy was to buy a 2 ch pre-amp that I could reference with other pre-pros. A stereo pre-amp that was well regarded. I thought of a SAS 10A but worried about tube warmth, even if minimal. So I went with Sonic Euphoria. Both SAS 10A and the Sonic Euphoria Passive Line Controller compare favorably in the press, with the SE described a little dry vs the SAS's warmth. Both very accurate. I have never head the SAS.
The sonic Euphoria is wonderfully abscent. Accurate and and allowing the other components to do their work. I spent some time with my CD player and turntable hooked directly to my amp. Recording was Bolero. Watch out for amp matching with source, of course. Impedence, I think. Only use this musical piece since it starts quiet. The SE was as if I had no pre-amp in the chain.
I also put back the Chello in the chain and heard some exaggerated soundstage presentations. Dang pre-amp not being faithful to the musical recording scenario.
OK, here is where my quest turned. I stopped and kept the SE passive pre-amp in my music chain. Sources kept hooked up to the SE and left the B&K in for movies. Now I just turn off the amp and switch cables to the amp. Small inconvience. Much less inconvient than cycling thru a few pre-pros. I just felt I was there.
This is not a novel concept, having two pres in a system. However, I felt I should find a well regarded pre-amp for accuracy as a starting place. And a good passive pre-amp should only attenuate the volume so you don't blow your speakers, vs no pre-amp. No coloration or exaggeration of soundstage, etc. It does switching. The SAS was tempting as a trial tho.
I can see how some posters opinions differer re- pre-pros due to system matching of other components and speakers.
Don't hook your CD player directly to your amp unless you research the technique in detail.
So this is one strategy to use when demoing pre-pros for musical accuracy, the purpose of this post.