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Preamp Recommendation, new or used..


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My current setup utilizes a PS Audio Directstream DAC that feeds directly into my amps. It has enough gain to work perfectly as a preamp, making the system really simple. It lets me use a remote control for volume and sounds really nice. However...


I will be jumping into a test drive of the HQ Player / DSD512 bandwagon soon and unfortunately the PS DS does not handle anything over DSD 128. This means a new, no-volume-control DAC is on the way, which means that I will need a dedicated preamp.


My budget for this is $1500 - $2000 and I have no problems going the used route to get the best bang for the buck. Preamps are not an area of expertise for me, and there are SO many choices. I'm open to anything that will make my system sing and hit all of the standard buzzwords for excellence - transparency, low noise floor, etc. Heck, I'm even open to some improved Pace & Dynamics, for whatever that's worth. Tube, solid state, I'm open. It does need to have a remote and balanced inputs. I only run one source, so it does not need to have a lot of inputs. Something that will make upsampled DSD512 rock.


So far I really like The Simaudio Moon P-5. Built like a tank, separate power supply, and lots of great reviews. But it is now a 15+ year-old model.




Any new tech that might do a better job in that price range?




Synology DS1515+ >  PS Audio P10 > Innuos Zenith Mk II running Roon Core > IsoRegen/LPS-1 > Lyngdorf TDAI 2170 > Tekton Double Impact Speakers

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Thanks guys, will look into those. Any more recommendations? I'm sure at least a few of you are running a dedicated preamp..

Synology DS1515+ >  PS Audio P10 > Innuos Zenith Mk II running Roon Core > IsoRegen/LPS-1 > Lyngdorf TDAI 2170 > Tekton Double Impact Speakers

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You may want to change your priorities here. Unless you really messed up matching your other components, buying a preamp is the single most important choice you will make. Going from 128 DSD to 512 is a tweak compared to the effect a preamp will have on your system. And when you have an issue with the system, most people overlook the preamp and think the problem lies elsewhere. That's the real danger. Its not just a box with some knobs on it.


As far as recommendations go, you'll get plenty of them from some of the other posters. Without knowing your entire system, and your personal taste in equipment, a recommendation on my part would be irresponsible.

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Incidentally, a Pre-amp I too almost forgot—that'd be in the used-market is the SC-11S1 :sc-11s1-rear-connectors.jpg


It's the little brother of SC-7S1 :

Okay' date=' quickly—from my study of [b']Marantz[/b], I know that beginning in 2002, their :


« SC-7S1 utilizes a digital volume control module made by Wolfson Micro Electronics of [scotland].


The Wolfson [WM8816] has to be combined with an analog amplifier stage to achieve variable gain control (volume control). The module itself digitally controls the input resistor and NFB resistor. Meanwhile, the quality of the analog amplifier design is left up to the company utilizing the module. »


And in its SC-7S2 reiteration :

MARA-SC7-NAKA_big.jpg« Four Wolfson WM8816 high-precision multi-gang volume controls and 12 Marantz-proprietary HDAM-SA modules form an incredibly precise attenuation circuit fully capable of 0.5 dBresolution throughout its entire 100 dB range.


Although the SC-7S2 is devoutly two-channel, it acknowledges multi-channel music with a floating bus (F.C.B.S.) that allows you to control multiple units simultaneously for exciting multi-channel reproduction of any source. »

Oh, recalling a 6moons review of 11S1 combo



an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,


ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »




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I like my Lyngdorf DPA1 that I got a near your price used. The soundstage through it is wider than that presented by my Krell Foundation and my old Krell KAV-300IL.


Some added benefits:


Digital out (I use this to try out other DACs)

built in crossover supporting stereo bass (aka bass management with delays, etc).

Really really looks and feels expensive ;-)



Digitizes everything at 96Kz.

Digital input accepts 192KHz but everything gets turned into 96KHz because that's what the RoomPerfect DSP supports

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