Two Channel Pre-Amp Suggestions needed

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Evan S, Dec 20, 2001.

  1. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    I know this isn't a home theater question, but I'm going to be setting up a two channel stereo only system in my bedroom shortly and need suggestions on pure 2 channel pre-amps out there. No bells or whistles needed at all, just clean sound. Maximum budget is about $500. Can I get something in this range or am I out of my gord? Will consider used equipment, but I have no idea what to look for. I know about the MC-12's and Ref 30's of the world, but those are surround processors. I want strictly two channel. Thanks! Oh yeah, suggestions are recommended on good 2-channel amps to pair would be nice as well, but that I have a little more knowledge of.
     
  2. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    I'm fond of Adcom's line of smooth, clean, high-current two-channel MOSFET amps in the $2000 and under range. The GFA-5300 and 5200 fall into the area you're looking to spend. For mailorder, I know trustworthy Audioadvisor.com sells them with their generous money-back policy.

    Happy listening!
     
  3. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    If you're willing to solder and put something together from a kit, try www.bottlehead.com and check out the Foreplay tubed preamp. They have an active user forum where several very knowledgable people are always ready to help newbies, and I've read many accounts of people with zero previous soldering experience building this kit. I just got mine 2 days back, I'll attack it during the holidays. Anyway, it costs $150 (more for any upgrades that you might want), and supposedly sounds as good as any $1000 solid state preamp.
    If you're looking at buying something new, I can't really help you there, because I haven't researched that market too much. I hear good things about Parasound, and the usual - Rotel, NAD, etc. Your money will probably go further on the used market. Check www.audioreview.com to get some idea about which preamps are considered good, check www.audioasylum.com for more reviews and opinions, and check www.audiogon.com for used items and current prices.
    Good luck.
     
  4. Mike Witt

    Mike Witt Stunt Coordinator

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    post deleted by Mike Witt
     
  5. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    I finally bought a Parasound 1100D 2-channel preamp used for
     
  6. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    Try and consider the Cambridge Audio C500 pre-amp. It's dirt cheap and unbelievably neutral and not just for the price but at any price.
     
  7. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Marc, are there any online dealers for the Cambridge? Sounds like exactly what I'm looking for, but finding it out there seems to be a challenge.
     
  8. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    Coincidentally, earlier today I spotted the Cambridge preamp in Audioadvisor's (audioadvisor.com) print catalog. It's also on their website, priced at $279.

    Happy Holidays!
     
  9. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    try AudioShop for cambridge stuff. I hear Marc's a great guy to deal with[​IMG]
    You might also try the new Sony TA-P9000ES which is their analog add on to their digital pre amp. Stereophile has a review on it in the last edition and they liked it a lot.
     
  10. Michael Roderiques

    Michael Roderiques Stunt Coordinator

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  11. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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    I have a CITATION 17 Preamp which was favorably compared to the Levinson and the Audio Research of the time. $199

    Also an ONKYO P-303 the ultimate in simplicity $199

    Also a BRYSTON .5B the definition of a "straight wire with gain" $299.

    Also a Paramount P/SP 1000 which is actually an AV processor but has "analog" by pass, which makes it a straight through preamp. $199

    If any of those look attractive.

    The are all simple, understated, classic and quality at a great price.
     
  12. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Of the units that I've tested in my life, my top picks for 2 channel preamp for music are:

    1. Audible Illusions Modulus 3A with John Curl Phono Section ($1250 used)

    2. Parasound PLD-2000 ($500 used)

    3. Classe A CP-60 ($800 used)

    4. B&K PT-3BII ($475)

    YMMV.
     
  13. Mike_Ch

    Mike_Ch Stunt Coordinator

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    If your source has enough gain (ie. a CD player with an output voltage of >2V) then you might want to consider a passive preamp such as the Creek OBH-12. These effectively add nothing to the signal and can be had for around $295. It comes with remote and 2 inputs, as well as a tape loop.
     
  14. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Thanks guys...all great suggestions. I'm building my (new) main system from scratch right now and the leftovers go to the parents, so this bedroom system is a mid to late 2002 project but all these ideas give me plenty of time to searched the used forums and do some research. Thanks!
     
  15. JoshS

    JoshS Stunt Coordinator

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    Evan,

    I too have to been looking into building a two channel system. I have already bought the source: a sony '333es sacd changer. My budget seems to be in step with yours.

    I have been looking at the Antique Sound Labs stuff (tubes). They have a nice tubed preamp for about $300.00, no remote, but very simple and nice looking.

    Check out some of the reviews at audioreview and audioasylum.

    I know that JeffsSoundValues carries this stuff.

    Good luck, and remember, buy what YOU like.

    Josh
     
  16. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Evan: Josh may have something there. I've been messing around with a MG Head DT Headphone amp and there have been a few reports of using the headphone amp as a music preamp with some very good success. A guy named Joe Lau is the chief designer(or at least their over seas engineer) for some of these amps and seems like he knows how to make them sound transparent without losing the sound that makes desirable as tubed amps. I think the regular preamp model is called the AQ2004DT. If you get a tubed amp, you probably are gonna want to do some tube rolling to see what sounds best with your setup.
     
  17. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    Thanks, Andrew, nice of you to say.
    Evan, I'd certainly welcome your business on one if you can't find one locally.
    Please email me at:
    [email protected]
    I don't feel it's right to solict business here. This forum is above that sort of thing, I think. It would be sort of like trying to have sex with a nun[​IMG]
     
  18. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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    The Audible Illusions Modulus were unbeatable when they came out. Even their Modulus 2X were killer preamps, with very simple, yet very high quality design. They could be had for $500 range today.
     
  19. dean_g

    dean_g Agent

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    The Anthem Pre1L by Sonic Frontiers is a tubed unit that works really well with Solid State Amps.
    You can often find a used unit at www.audiogoN.com for $450 or less.
    I have two systems and this unit is in both of them.
    See at www.sonicfrontiers.com
     

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