• 11-10-2007, 12:01 PM
    Les Adams
    Advice on simple high quality preamp
    Hi all,

    After making some significant improvements to the rest of my system, I am starting to question the quality of the preamp I am using. At the moment I use the preamp section of a Denon 3801 AV receiver linked from the pre-outputs to a Quad 909 power amp and the results are very good. I am wondering if a dedicated stereo device would perform better? I use a Trichord Dino phono stage linked into the Denon's aux input for phono and use the "direct" feature to bypass the tone contols to keep the signal as pure as possible for stereo sources.

    I am considering getting a separate preamp for stereo. First of all I am wondering if I am likely to hear an improvement and secondly, can anybody recommend something suitable ?

    Funds are limited due to the recent outlay, but would consider buying second hand. I want something high quality but simple to be used almost purely as a source switching device but with a volume control. I do not need tone contols, but I would, if possible, like something where I can remote control the volume. It would of course need to be compatible with the Quad amp.

    Any suggestions?
  • 11-10-2007, 01:31 PM
    dingus
    not a recommendation (i know nothing about the unit), but i'm intrigued by this passive pre.
    http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ube&1197724691
  • 11-11-2007, 05:16 AM
    Les Adams
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dingus
    not a recommendation (i know nothing about the unit), but i'm intrigued by this passive pre.
    http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ube&1197724691

    Thanks for that dingus,

    It's a shame the thing is so ugly! Also, I think I would be prepared to suffer a tiny bit of quality to have something a bit more conventional! An interesting idea though.
  • 11-11-2007, 10:54 PM
    dingus
    aside from something along those lines or a DIY project, i'm afraid you are left with the usual brands available in your part of the world.

    whats the big British audio forum, pink fish or something like that? if i recall they have a forum for selling used gear.
  • 11-12-2007, 06:09 AM
    Feanor
    Dunno, but ...
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Les Adams
    Hi all,

    After making some significant improvements to the rest of my system, I am starting to question the quality of the preamp I am using. At the moment I use the preamp section of a Denon 3801 AV receiver linked from the pre-outputs to a Quad 909 power amp and the results are very good. I am wondering if a dedicated stereo device would perform better? I use a Trichord Dino phono stage linked into the Denon's aux input for phono and use the "direct" feature to bypass the tone contols to keep the signal as pure as possible for stereo sources.

    I am considering getting a separate preamp for stereo. First of all I am wondering if I am likely to hear an improvement and secondly, can anybody recommend something suitable ?

    Funds are limited due to the recent outlay, but would consider buying second hand. I want something high quality but simple to be used almost purely as a source switching device but with a volume control. I do not need tone contols, but I would, if possible, like something where I can remote control the volume. It would of course need to be compatible with the Quad amp.

    Any suggestions?

    I have heard it said that the weakness of virtually all A/V receivers and multi-channels pros in general is the digital volume control, and this applies even in "Direct" mode. I can't speak from personal experience, though.

    Just a thought, but maybe you'd like to try a tube preamp. If you don't need a remote control there are more options. Just for starters, I'd check out these options, (I'm not specifically endorsing them):
  • 11-12-2007, 07:52 AM
    Mr Peabody
    First, I think you will notice a definite improvement with going with a quality preamp. You use 220v so I'm not sure where to have you look. I'd highly recommend some of your home land gear such as Arcam and Creek, or if affordable Linn and Naim. If you can find Conrad Johnson that are 220v compatible they are very good and obviously my first choice. I've been extremely impressed with the capability of mine, it allows micro and macro dynamics like I haven't heard until preamps twice the price.

    It depends also on the type of sound you like. I find CJ and Linn more involving or musical where the others will tend to be more analytical in general. Neither being a negative, just different presentations.
  • 11-12-2007, 11:02 AM
    Les Adams
    Thanks to all for your comments and good advice.

    However, the question has been answered to a satisfactory conclusion!

    Purely by chance, my local dealer took a Quad 99 preamp in a p-ex deal this week and as I just bought the 909 from them they called to ask if I was interested! I was down there like a flash. They did me a very, very good deal as s/h gear is not really their thing They took it in from a regular customer who was upgrading. It has a couple of scratches on the top, but they are not visible in the rack. It works perfectly and it made a big improvement.

    So, this proves what has been said here and before, that even good A/V receivers like the Denon do not really cut it for stereo use, even in direct mode with a separate power amp.

    Strange isn't it how we think our systems are sounding fantastic then manage to squeeze a bit more with an upgrade. I guess the holy grail is still waiting to be discovered....

    While I was in the shop I ordered a Ringmat CDi blue. Having had such sucess with the 330 MK2 XLR on my turntable, I recon the CD version should do something. I will let you all know how I get on!

    Thanks again for all your help.
  • 11-12-2007, 02:29 PM
    Mr Peabody
    Congrads. Staying with Quad I'm sure provided a certain synergy to the system as well.