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sneill's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Dec 11 2007 - 11:22am
dCs into a power amp or pre-amp

I have dCs Elgar Plus, Purcell and Verdi going into McIntosh MC501 which go to JMLab Utopia Nova. It presently sounds a bit analytical and dry though extremely accurate. I also have a Levinson 26S pre-amp but my dCs does not sound as good through this. In NYC Lyric, Sound by Singer and Stereo Exchange all suggest that I will get more bloom through a pre-amp. Two questions:

1) Is it true that I will get more bloom through the right pre-amp?

2) What is the right pre-amp? I am considering the VTL 7.5, VTL 6.5, McIntosh C1000 & 1000T, and the Audio Research Reference 3. The VTL 7.5 is probably better than the 6.5, but is it worth the difference in price? Is there something else I should consider?

Yiangos's picture
Last seen: 11 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: dCs into a power amp or pre-amp

Hello Stewart
Before i try to answer both your questions,let me tell you something.Whenever i heard a cd player(be it a stand alone one or a transport/dac one)tha has its own volume control ,
passing the signal through pre-amp "robs" something from its sound.Anyway,to answer your questions....
1) yes,it is true you will get more bloom through the right pre-amp !
2) Hmmmmm that's a tricky one.All the pre-amps you mention verge on the analytical/cool side of things or to put things right,none will give you the bloom you seek. I would suggest something like a Joule Electra LA-150 mk2.let me know what you think.

struts's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Feb 1 2007 - 12:02pm
Re: dCs into a power amp or pre-amp

Hello again Stewart. I used a Nagra PL-P with my dCS stack (mainly because I had a record deck in the system and couldn't be bothered to switch cables all the time) which gave a sound that was certainly not overly dry to my ears, but my downstream components were different so YMMV. Adding the preamp may have robbed the system of that last ounce of transparency but the tonal balance was certainly neutral to my ears and nothing I would have described as dry.

While a preamp erring on the lusher side (read through the reviews in the archives, Jonathan Scull always gave helpful pointers for system matching in his reviews) may be the tonic you are looking for, don't forget cables. In my experience they can be a good way to 'season' the final sound quality dish. An in-depth chat with a dealer with real experience of your components could be time well invested, and/or an email or call to the dCS's US distributor or possibly even dCS themselves. In my experience all the aforementioned were extremely knowledgeable and more than willing to help with this type of query.

Good luck!

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