WTB: good pre-amp

mkbtammkbtam Posts: 18
edited January 2005 in Wanted (WTB) Classifieds
I just purchased a Sony SCD-XA9000ES SACD player and a Balanced Audio Technology VK-200 power amp. Both components are supposed to be hi end. I have a home theater system consist of a Sony 7.1 receiver and Lsi7 fronts, Csi3 center, Rti6 rear surrounds and. I am planning to listen to two channel stereo with my Lsi7s and my new components. I am looking for a good entry level hi end pre-amp to match my new components. Please send me a PM if anyone has one available.
Post edited by mkbtam on

Comments

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,692
    edited January 2005
    You'll need a pre amp with balanced outputs to connect to the amp which only has balanced inputs unless you use RCA adaptors which really defeats the purpose of balanced connectors. Have you looked at BAT pre amps?
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • mkbtammkbtam Posts: 18
    edited January 2005
    I know a lot of hi end components have both balanced and single ended inputs/outputs but BAT only makes components with balance inputs/outputs. This will be ideal to match my new amp to a BAT pre-amp but BAT pre-amps are hard to find in the used market and new ones are very expensive. Another factor is that the Sony SACD player has only single ended outputs and thus need a pre-amp with these inputs. I don't care about features on the pre-amp, I just want it to sound good and provide a good match to my system. The previous owner of the BAT amp provided me with a set of Cardas XLR/RCA adapters.

    On an another thought, I am thinking to just solder a pair of resistors to my interconnects and connect the CD player directly to the power amp. This will sound like a purist approach. Please give me some comments on that.
  • danger boydanger boy Posts: 15,888
    edited January 2005
    Found this on ebay. with both blanced and unbalanced inputs.

    i have no idea what it sounds like. but maybe it's what you're looking for.

    Belles OCM 88 balanced preamp
    PolkFest 2012, who's going>?
    Vancouver, Canada Sept 30th, 2012 - Madonna concert :cheesygrin:
  • danger boydanger boy Posts: 15,888
    edited January 2005
    PolkFest 2012, who's going>?
    Vancouver, Canada Sept 30th, 2012 - Madonna concert :cheesygrin:
  • danger boydanger boy Posts: 15,888
    edited January 2005
    BAT VK-31SE tube preamp balanced


    that's what you're looking for right?

    enjoy
    PolkFest 2012, who's going>?
    Vancouver, Canada Sept 30th, 2012 - Madonna concert :cheesygrin:
  • danger boydanger boy Posts: 15,888
    edited January 2005
    PolkFest 2012, who's going>?
    Vancouver, Canada Sept 30th, 2012 - Madonna concert :cheesygrin:
  • mkbtammkbtam Posts: 18
    edited January 2005
    Thanks to all Polk buddies;
    It is hard to choose. Belle has the best price but a bit aged. The Audio Excellence is in HK and I am not very sure if I will purchase expensive equipment overseas; it is difficult to trace if problem arises and equipment may not compaitable with 120V. BAT is the best fit but so expensive. The BAT VK30 is second top of the line and may overshadow my power amp.
    Those are all good suggestions and I am really seriously considering the Belle but I am still looking for a better choice if there is any.
  • danger boydanger boy Posts: 15,888
    edited January 2005
    i don't know if age has that much to do with the sound of a preamp. If it was well made.. then it should sound good still no matter it's age. look at Dynaco.. it's "old" school stuff.. that still sounds great 30+ years later.
    PolkFest 2012, who's going>?
    Vancouver, Canada Sept 30th, 2012 - Madonna concert :cheesygrin:
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,692
    edited January 2005
    As DB has pointed out, shop Audiogon for a good deal on a used pre amp. The VK30 would be perfect and IMO the pre amp will make a bigger difference in SQ than the amp, so having a pre amp "better" than the amp isn't a bad idea.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,692
    edited January 2005
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,692
    edited January 2005
    I forgot to comment on your idea to use the Sony direct to the amp, IMO that's not the best idea especially with the Sony. A nice tube pre amp will help mellow out the highs and add body to the dry sound of the Sony.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • mkbtammkbtam Posts: 18
    edited January 2005
    That is the first time I heard someone said that the SCD-XA9000ES has a dry sound. I have listened to it in a showroom and found it open and a lot of fine details. Also, the sound stage is auite large and thAt is the reason I bought it instead of a Krell. The Krell was discounted to same price as Sony due to the company decision to discontinue the model.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,692
    edited January 2005
    I use to own the XA777ES, on SACD it was pretty good, redbook was another matter all together. Sony cdp's in general are known to be on the bright/dry side, but with the right gear and cables can be respectable. To each their own and as long as you enjoy it, that's all that matters. What gear did you demo the Sony with?

    Krell had a lot of problems with the transport in their "Standard" model, other than that, a respectable player as I recall from demoing it.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • mkbtammkbtam Posts: 18
    edited January 2005
    I just found this at eBay. Any one knows anything about it. It looks like a bargain and the ad has a lot of links to reviews. I just like to know anyone has any opinions with this product. Thanks.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,692
    edited January 2005
    Linky please
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • mkbtammkbtam Posts: 18
    edited January 2005
    I remembered the system that demoed the Sony consisted of a pair of Krell multichannel pre-amp and power amp. The system was playing through a pair of Martin Logans and the interconnects between the Sony and the pre-amp are AQ ics. At the time I auditioned it, the red book performance was not as dramatic as SACD but no doubt is excellent. Besides not as detailed or focused. It also missed some airness on the vocals and instrucments compared to the SACD. The sound stage is wider than SACD. I have listened to quite a few CD players such as Krell, Accuphase, Classe, Marantz and an Esoteric. I also owned an older Sony flagship. I found the XA-9000ES has outperformed most of them in red book CD except for the Classe SACD which costs almost three time as much. I found the Sony to be very excellent value. I have read in some forums that some one complained about the red book performance of the XA777ES but became one of the most satisfied owner after changed the power cable to a better one. I forgot which one he has changed.
    Therefore, your problem may be cured by simply switch a power cable. One thing I can complain about Sony or in general, Japanese manufacturer, is the interconnect cables and the power cable inclued with the component are cheapo stuffs even with a three grand player.
  • mkbtammkbtam Posts: 18
    edited January 2005
    This is another model from the same company. The model is Audio Experience CONCERTO PLUS Tube Phono Preamp.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=67807&item=5743459754&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,692
    edited January 2005
    Fellow forum member Russman owned the Symphonies at one point in time, perhaps he'll chime in or send him a PM about it. I'm sure he'll give you his honest opinion.

    It looks as though you've checked out a number of other good players and as I stated, as long as you're happy with it is all that matters. I still believe running it though a tubed pre amp that matches the quality of your amp is the way to go. If you do run it straight with the amp, post back your thoughts, I'm always curious.

    I did upgrade the power cord on my old XA777ES to a PS Audio Statement and while it did help I still found it too bright and dry, so did the guy I sold it to. Oh well, it's a subjective hobby and we all hear things differently.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • mkbtammkbtam Posts: 18
    edited January 2005
    Thanks F1Nuts. Nice to talk to you.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,692
    edited January 2005
    A pleasure indeed.

    Was the BAT VK-3i out of your price range? Nice pre amp there.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • mkbtammkbtam Posts: 18
    edited January 2005
    Thanks. The BAT VK3i is very good choice. I have sent a message to the seller. This is so nice to have some forum buddies.
  • mkbtammkbtam Posts: 18
    edited January 2005
    Hi F1Nut,
    I found one of the posting on how a good power cord can change the sound of XA9000ES. Enjoy.
    http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?rcabl&1103942987&read&keyw&zzxa9000es+
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,692
    edited January 2005
    Thanks. I've never heard of that company, but always glad to check out something new. Are you getting one?
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • mkbtammkbtam Posts: 18
    edited January 2005
    I will do some research on this power cord and check for the price. The prices of some power cords are so outrages that a slight amount of improvement doesn't justify for the cost. I will try a few others to see what differences they will make.
  • mkbtammkbtam Posts: 18
    edited January 2005
    I have just searched Audiogon for the BMI Orga MkII cable and there is one for sale $3000 new. Even the MkI is $2000 new but there is one for sale for $625. It sounds a little too deep for my pockets for a power cord. I will listen to some that cost not more than $200.
  • RuSsMaNRuSsMaN Posts: 17,995
    edited January 2005
    The Audio Experience Music MKII was the model I owned. It is essentially the 'middle' model. There is one lower and one higher. Truth be known, the power supply in the Music model is actually the quietest of the bunch, that's why I chose it over the top model.

    It's a great sounding line stage amplifier. It uses three 12AX7 tubes, 1 for line in, 1 for line amp, and 1 for line out (using 1 triode in each 12ax7 for each channel).

    If you do get one, I suggest you find an older 5Y3 'coke bottle' rectifier to replace the stock rect tube. The 5Y3(g) has a built in 'soft start' which will only let filament voltage pass to the driver tubes for about a minute, before it sends full B+. This allows the cathode in the tubes to stabalize, before the rush of electrons on the plate, thus extending tube life substantially.

    If you can't find a coke bottle (RCA / Mazda etc) 5Y3G, let me know and I will sell you one.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
  • mkbtammkbtam Posts: 18
    edited January 2005
    Hi Russman,
    How is the Audio Experience compare to the other brands-Balanced Audio, CJ or Mcintosh? Form their ad, looks like they use good parts on their products and they use point to point wiring but that doesn't gaurantee performance. I have just purchased a Balanced audio VK-200 power amp and a Sony SCD-XA9000ES and I want to find a pre-amp to match them best as possible.
  • RuSsMaNRuSsMaN Posts: 17,995
    edited January 2005
    I think the AE offers a good value for the money. Even though I have experience with the other brands you mention, I have never done a direct comparison of them, with the AE, so I can't really comment.

    I think what it's going to boil down to, is you 'buying smart', and trying a couple different things out. Finding your sonic nirvana usually takes some time.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
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