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midlife
05-01-2009, 09:50 AM
Looking to buy a pre-amp. My amplifiers are two crown D-150s in mono. Looking for a neutral, straight forward, noticeably good sounding pre. Not looking to break the bank. Comments please.

SEAWOLF97
05-01-2009, 10:04 AM
http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=17659

midlife
05-02-2009, 03:14 PM
And these are the contenders: Adcom 565, Crown staight line two, Mac MX 113, APT Holman? Hope to get some recommendations :bouncy:

richluvsound
05-02-2009, 03:44 PM
anything that Nelson Pass has had his fingers in !

midlife
05-02-2009, 03:54 PM
I will spend somewhat liberally to get a good preamp, still hope to happen upon a good deal. I'm ebayin', so I will probably not have alot of credible info about the items history. Interested in forum members comments about the earlier listed choices. "Need a good preamp" pronto. :bouncy:

SEAWOLF97
05-02-2009, 04:15 PM
After that long thread about preamps, I bought the Apt/Holman series 1 ....it is solidly built and has more features than I can utilize, but it is outstanding and really geared for LP playback... (did not like the slimmed down series 2)
no plastic at all, very solid metal.

the Holman in the name is from Thomlinson Holman who devised THX ...t. holmans experiment (or crossover- depending on source) ....if you read its owners manual, he describes componets down to the switch level and why he speciaifed them in his product ...the manual alone sometimes receives votes in the "alltime best audio products" surveys. :D

thats the only one of the above that I have experience with ..was hot to go look at a MAc C-26 ..and then read the reviews..seems like Mac has a lot of hits AND misses. The glass faceplates seem to break a lot..and sometimes are not replaceable.

midlife
05-02-2009, 04:28 PM
The Holman I found on ebay appears to be the slim line (dark face) I am not familiar with APT Holman, but I have noticed some forum members' endorcements. More comments please on my earlier mentioned choices. :applaud:

pierce
05-02-2009, 04:53 PM
I have a adcom gfp565, and love it. Very -very- clean sounding. Tone controls can be bypassed, yet are very very neutral when enabled. It has one of the sweetest phono sections in a preamp I've ever heard, at least when coupled with the Grado cartridges I've used.

I like the very clean looks too. seperate selectors for recording source and playback, it has inputs for phono, CD, tuner, 2 tape loops, and video/aux.

http://web.spootystuff.com/images/projects/turntable_adcom.jpg
(note, this isn't mine, just a random image I cribbed from the web)

midlife
05-02-2009, 05:58 PM
thanks for the info; What other equip is working with your 565? :bouncy:

pierce
05-02-2009, 06:17 PM
thanks for the info; What other equip is working with your 565? :bouncy:

My stereo stack consists of...


said Adcom GFP-565
Adcom GFT-555-II FM tuner
Denon DP-23F turntable w/ Grado ZC+ cart
Yamaha CDX-393 CD player
Denon DRM-700 cassette deck
Adcom GFA-585 poweramp (currently offline)
Hafler XL-280 power amp (currently on the stack)
JBL L100T speakers (woofers being re-foamed as we speak)

this is all relatively budget stuff, but it sure sounds good :dancin:

midlife
05-02-2009, 07:53 PM
And these are the contenders: Adcom 565, Crown staight line two, Mac MX 113, APT Holman? Hope to get some recommendations :bouncy: bump

Ruediger
05-03-2009, 12:39 PM
Have a look at www.elitestereo.netfirms.com/controlamps.htm (http://www.elitestereo.netfirms.com/controlamps.htm). Look for the models C72 ... C91.

I do own a Yamaha CX1, also a decent piece of engineering.

Ruediger

pierce
05-03-2009, 01:44 PM
did anyone suggest a Parasound, like the PHP-850? A friend of mine had one of these, was a fantastic preamp. he was using it to run some tube monoblocks that in turn biamped a Magnepan.

midlife
05-07-2009, 08:50 PM
And these are the contenders: Adcom 565, Crown staight line two, Mac MX 113, APT Holman? Hope to get some recommendations :bouncy: Looking for some forum feedback on these preamp choices, or any good alternatives. Price and performance info would also be helpful. :)

TonyM
05-11-2009, 10:09 PM
Looking for some forum feedback on these preamp choices, or any good alternatives. Price and performance info would also be helpful. :)

You need tubes in front of those Crowns.

There are a lot of Audio Research preamps on Audiogon going for less than 2k and with preamps like the SP16 going for way less (and, yes, a lot going for more).

I've been using an LS25 for several years that I bought used. I won't ever try to convince anyone it's the most acurate pre out there but it's very listenable. Rolling tubes in these will change the sound around if you want to experiment.

The preamps have a collection of features that make them very system friendly. Of course the features vary by model. The LS25 (now replaced by the 26 which is a step below the Ref) has balanced and single ended ins and outs, a tape loop, processor input for a home theater hook up (has fixed gain) and two preamp outs. In addition to that the gain of each input can be individually set plus a remote. Pretty versatile for a piece of tube gear.

Well anyway it's a thought.

Mannermusic
05-12-2009, 07:33 AM
Looking to buy a pre-amp. My amplifiers are two crown D-150s in mono. Looking for a neutral, straight forward, noticeably good sounding pre. Not looking to break the bank. Comments please.

Have you heard/considered one of the Quicksilver preamps? I use the simple Line Preamp with a Crown power amp with good results - neutral, good definition. Unexaggerated bass (bravo!). It rather surprises me that so many are willing to live with the uncertainties of the old gear. I've got "vintage" Luxman and Marantz preamps but they are unstable and difficult to repair. Never know quite what you are listening to. Anyone ever heard Bruce Rosenblit's (Transcendent Sound) "Grounded Grid?" Comes as kit or assembled. MM

MikeBrewster77
05-12-2009, 08:15 AM
It rather surprises me that so many are willing to live with the uncertainties of the old gear. I've got "vintage" Luxman and Marantz preamps but they are unstable and difficult to repair. Never know quite what you are listening to.

Don't you think that may be a rather overreaching statement? :hmm:

Suffice it to say that if you're purchasing "vintage" electronic equipment, it should be inspected/bench tested/serviced by a qualified individual (your self if you have the knowledge, or a tech) before it's ever even plugged in to your system. And while parts and service for vintage gear may be a little bit more difficult to find these days, they do still exist, and in many cases the end result is well worth the effort and expense.

FWIW, I run a vintage Luxman pre-amp in my main system, and the only time I don't know what I'm listening to is the rare occasion the other half wants to play a burned "mystery mix CD." :p

Best,
-Mike

midlife
05-12-2009, 04:07 PM
I had a Cerwin Vega Metron, and loved it, clean, articulate, good sound, and intuitive controls. Looking to spend about $250 on something with similar characteristics that compliments my system. Lost my lp's in the flood, so not focusing to much on vinyl, probably cd. But maybe down the road I will get another turntable? Will be using 2 Crown 150s in mono for my amps. I have seen, on ebay; Adcoms, APT Holman, Straight Line Twos, Macs, etc. Am I overlooking some good preamps?

hjames
05-12-2009, 04:22 PM
Looking to spend about $250 on something with similar characteristics that compliments my system. Lost my lp's in the flood, so not focusing to much on vinyl, probably cd. But maybe down the road I will get another turntable? Will be using 2 Crown 150s in mono for my amps. I have seen, on ebay; Adcoms, APT Holman, Straight Line Twos, Macs, etc. Am I overlooking some good preamps?

Carver! They come highly recommended - I just got a Carver C-1!
I found mine for a bit under $200 shipped from a member here,
- a number of folks had recommended them before I bought.


7PM Edit -
I just pulled my audio rack out, removed the MusicHall preamp "Fred Sanford" had loaned me, and slipped the Carver in as a turntable preamp feeding my HK AVR receiver. Pulled an old Jade Warrior album old, slipped on the too little used Denon, cleaned up the old licorice pizza, and cranked a bit ..

Yep, sounds very nice - no doubt I'll have to give it a thorough testing and bypass the HK to feed it directly into the Ashley and the biAmp rack, but its a clean working unit!

rusty jefferson
05-12-2009, 04:39 PM
Consider the Musical Design sp-2. There is currently one for sale on Audiogon thats almost a month old ad. It's upgradeable [sonicly] at any time in the future, including adding a phono stage. Asking is $450.00 but probably sell for $350.00 - $400.00. There is one in the next add for sale at $2500.00 thats been fully upgraded. [just for comparison] Check out the Musical Design website. I just bought a pre-amp and amp of theirs, had some, but not total upgrading done and they sound fantastic.

midlife
05-12-2009, 05:01 PM
Luxman TP117...............Luxman C383. Are these too AV compatible for 2 channel stereo use? Good units? How much $$$ ? :)

MikeBrewster77
05-12-2009, 05:44 PM
FWIW..................

I have a "thing" for Luxman (much like my "thing" for JBL's) so I'm likely biased. ;)

That being said, I have a C-02 that I run in conjunction with a McIntosh amp, and could not be happier with the combination. I think the C-02 preceded the C-383, but if memory serves me correctly, the C-383 was the TOTL of the well-regarded C-300 series. I believe it also features dual outputs so if you wanted to use it to drive a powered sub or some other form of biamping later down the road, that would be possible. And while cost is not necessarily an indication of quality, the original MSRP was $1200. If I had to venture a guess, I'd say a clean unit would likely go for around $300-$400 these days. Superb would likely be higher...

The components in the TP series are tuner/preamps, and I honestly have no experience with (and therefore no credible opinion of) anything in that series. That being said, I do have a Luxman receiver, a Luxman tuner, and a Luxman integrated that are all currently in service throughout the house. I've never had a problem (minus the need to clean some pots when I purchased them) and IMHO the sound is superior to receivers from Yamaha, Harman Kardon (sorry! :o:), Marantz, etc., I've owned, including much more modern units.

Not sure what you mean by AV compatible? Are you talking about video pass-thru capabilities or simply sound input for video sources? Both units should have sufficient inputs for the audio from at least one video source.

And, as I mentioned earlier, I'm a strong proponent of having any vintage equipment you purchase checked out by a qualified tech if you're not familiar enough with the procedures to check/test them out yourself.

N.B., I haven't actually owned either of the two units you mentioned, just a preamp in the same series, and other products by the same manufacturer, so now that you've taken the time to read all of this let me throw out the caveat that you should it with a grain of salt. :blah:

Best,
- Mike


Luxman TP117...............Luxman C383. Are these too AV compatible for 2 channel stereo use? Good units? How much $$$ ? :)

TonyM
05-12-2009, 08:33 PM
I had a Cerwin Vega Metron, and loved it, clean, articulate, good sound, and intuitive controls. Looking to spend about $250 on something with similar characteristics that compliments my system. Lost my lp's in the flood, so not focusing to much on vinyl, probably cd. But maybe down the road I will get another turntable? Will be using 2 Crown 150s in mono for my amps. I have seen, on ebay; Adcoms, APT Holman, Straight Line Twos, Macs, etc. Am I overlooking some good preamps?

In that price range a second vote for Carver. Way overlooked by a lot of people.

spwal
05-16-2009, 11:27 AM
pass labs first watt B-1 clone. I think there are 10 pieces to the whole preamp.