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Welty3
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Budget Pre-Amp

How about some ideas on a good pre at around the $500 range. I currently have two Carver M-01's bridged and a Onix XCD-99 Cd player. I will be replacing an old Denon amp with the new pre. Speakers are Paradigm Monitor 9's. Thanks for any input.

Buddha
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Re: Budget Pre-Amp

Greetings!

Fun question!

I have a slightly meandering list for ya:

1) Channel Islands passive preamp made by the inimitable Dusty Vawter!

Here's a link:

http://www.musicdirect.com/products/detail.asp?sku=ACIAVPC2

I've heard it, and it is Hi-Fi!

2) Check out the used market for the Superphon preamps from the early 90's. I still love mine.

Here's a link to one unit at Audiogon:

http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?preatran&1156378609

If you can find a Revelation II at your price range, buy it instantly!

3) Creek makes a nice passive unit, too:

http://www.musicdirect.com/products/detail.asp?sku=ACROBH22

4) If you can stretch to 599.00, this Monolithic preamp is killer:

http://www.musicdirect.com/products/detail.asp?sku=AMONOPA1

This baby just doesn't get enough credit, with both passive and active componentry.

I'm sure as soon as I hit "submit" I'll think of more.

I've heard all those units I mentioned and liked them all. Good, quality gear at a decent price point.

Cheers!

Monty
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Re: Budget Pre-Amp

I think the AES/Cary AE-3 tube preamp is appealing at this price...if you can get by with 3 pair of inputs, that is. I've seen the DJH hot rod version go for $600 on the used market.

Welty3
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Re: Budget Pre-Amp

WOW!! Lots of ideas, I will check them out. Thanks a lot.

lemonizer
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Re: Budget Pre-Amp

Quick question...

Is your source CD only or do u need other inputs? IE is the pre-amp just really a volume control for you power amps?

Welty3
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Re: Budget Pre-Amp

I also use a tuner (not much) and turntable.

Buddha
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Re: Budget Pre-Amp

Oh, the turntable changes everything.

I was thinking only the CD player. Passive pre's would require an additional phono preamp to work for you now.

The Superphon Revelation II recommendation still stands, but the others do not have the facilities for phonograph stuff.

OK, back to the search!

Well...

The is a 225.00 or so tubed phono pre that is pretty cool, the Bellari, I think it is.

Put that with the Channel Islands pre and you could still be singing!

OK, here it is...

http://www.musicdirect.com/products/detail.asp?sku=ABELVP129

This fine little baby plus the Channel Islands pre CAN NOT be beat for under five C-notes.

Going away for a few days, wishing you good shopping!

Tedrick
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Re: Budget Pre-Amp

Several Adcom pre-amps equipped with pretty nice phono sections can be had on the used market for <$500. IIRC, the GFP-565 was highly rated some years ago in the pages of Sterophile for its neutrality and extremely quiet phono section.

mjalazard
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Re: Budget Pre-Amp

You should also consider Luinous Audio's Axiom passive pre-amps. They are well made and dead quiet. I believe Tim Stinson is offering units with XLR inputs. He'll adjust the gain to work with your source and amps.
www.luminousaudio.com

eagle
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Re: Budget Pre-Amp

http://store.acousticsounds.com/browse_detail.cfm?Title_ID=14948

The Parasound ZPhono for $150 is said to be a nice one for the price.

Buddha
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Re: Budget Pre-Amp

Aloha!

I've been keeping an eye out since you posted this thread.

There is a Superphon Revelation II with phono-pre on Audiogon for 350.00.

http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?preatran&1157633423

I have one and love it. Love love love it.

I haven't purchased from Audiogon, so I'm not sure how to safely shop there, but this baby is a good piece of gear.

Best wishes.

(I'll go look for reviews...)

gkc
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Re: Budget Pre-Amp

I owned the GFP-565 for about a year, around 1994. It was an excellent unit, with tone controls, a headphone plug-in, a balance control, and lots of set-up flexibility. However, it was not nearly as transparent as the later GFP-750, which has a passive switch on the front panel (see Wes Philips' review) and was rated "Stereophile Class A" for a couple of years. It is also about 3 times the cost, new, but I have seen them on Audiogon for $600 to $800 ($1500 new, but sometimes discounted to $1200 or so). I still have the 750, which is not in my system now, but I don't think I'll ever sell it -- you should never be without a back-up.
The 565 may be all you'll ever need; the 750 approaches the best out there. And, as noted, the 565 does have an excellent built-in phono section. You should be able to find a used one for around two or three hundred bucks (as I recall, they are around six or seven hundred new). Audio Advisor still carries the 565, I believe. I don't know the Superphon mentioned by Buddha, but if he owns one and likes it, I am sure it is an outstanding unit. Cheers, Clifton

mrlowry
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Re: Budget Pre-Amp

Others have given good suggestions on some possibilities that are out there in the used market, there is tons of stuff to consider. One possibility in the arena of new gear is the Rotel RC 1070. I believe it is within your price range. It

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