Advice on pre-amps needed

Just bought some new stuff (Audio Aero Capitole II; Ayre V-5X evolution and Electraglide power cords). Now I need a very good pre-amp with phono option. Which one should I take?

Nagra PL-P / Aesthetix Janus / Ayre K-1X evolution / CAT Ultimate SL-1 MK II / Cello Encore 1 Ohm ?

Any hints are welcome..Thanks!!
Nagra gear is remarkably good, but given the choice I would buy the Aesthetix Janus. I have been looking at this model myself, but will probably opt forthe stand alone Rhea. Good luck in the process.
I think that depends upon whether you want tubes or not.

Tubes have that special magic, but it comes at a cost.
The cost being tube noise (tube rushing).
If you can live with it, I agree with Nrchy, that the Aeshetix is probably the way to go. It has a remote control, which might be important to you, as it is to me.
(It also has some cool phono input controls that most other preamps lack.)

If on the other hand, you relish deep, dark, backgrounds, than the Ayre K-1X is a good choice. It is very musical without being analytical, as some solid state preamps can be. (This was my choice, just so you know.) It is very good both as a preamp and the phono boards are very good as well. (It is much better than my old ARC LS-2 preamp and PH-3 phono preamp combination. I grew to hate the tube rushing noise.) I love the detail and the utterly deep, dark, black backgrounds that the phono boards provide. It also has a remote. (Note, the remote only handles volume control functions, including mute, although, it would also turn your amp on and off as well.)

My two cents worth anyway.
Good luck in your search!
thanks so far for yur input. I´m not sure if I´m really a tube lover. Currently I run my Audio Aero Capitole MK II directly into my Ayre V-5X evolution power amp - and to be honest - my Rowland Concentra II + Accuphase DP-67 combo was much better. Don´t know if the AA and the Ayre are getting better by the time (they are just two days old) but right out of the box I don´t like what I hear..

As both your pieces of equipment are brand new, I highly suggest that you pick a full range, dynamic, piece of music and run it 24/7 for the next week or so, in order to break in both pieces of equipment properly. (It will probably take a minimum of a hundred hours or so to get the break in process well under way. It could take a few hundred to actually fully break in your equipment.)

Personally, I am like you. I like having a preamp in my system, as I find it helps flesh out the sound. However, some people prefer to keep as much equipment out of the signal path as possible. (Six of one, half a dozen of the other!)

(Just be glad you don't have a phono cartridge to break in too! (Or at least not yet anyway!) My Koetsu cart's took a couple of hundred hours to fully break in. Luckily, they sould good right from the start, and end up sounding great!)

Good Luck!
Kurt, fortunately my Lyra cartridge is already fully broken in. But as I currently have no preamp, my turntable (a beautiful Transrotor) just shines in beautiful chrome from my rack. As you use Koetsu I assume that you use an Audiocraft AC 4400 tonearm?

Best regards, Frank
Have you looked at the Tron Syren ( This is a cost no object tube preamp with user adjustable phono stage. It is essentially a bespoke build to order preamp from one of hi-fi's unsung tube gurus, Graham Tricker in the UK. It has had rave reviews in 6 moons. I have the Tron's predecessor, the Tron Meteor, which is sounds stunning. This is used predominantly as a phono preamp with my platine Verdier/Schroeder Model 2/Allaerts MC1B. The US distributor is Highwater Sound in NJ.

If you email Graham (, he can build you one to your spec ie for your cartridge, with optional extras if you wish.
Topox.. no, I´haven´t so far as this will be beyond my financial boundaries (I suppose).
Has anybody experienced the new Jeff Rowland Concerto pre with phono option?