Advice on what preamp to select.

I picked up two Adcom GFA565 Power Amps recently and would like to get a newer preamp to go with these.  Currently have a Crown IC150.  Have found a Audio Research SP-9 MKII for about $1100 but am considering also the following: Macintosh C series in the range of the 34V or newer, or purchasing a Mac MX series preamp.
The MX 130 looks to have decent reviews just being used as a solid preamp for stereo use and has a phono section which I need.  I know this is a question with no best answer but anyone have experience that they are willing to share?
I have McIntosh C series and MX series and love them both. I prefer the C series for 2 channel and the MX for 5.1. I have McIntosh amps that turn on with the trigger output from the McIntosh preamp. If I use a different brands of amps the trigger doesn't work and I have to manually turn on the amps. Since I am lazy that would be the only reason I wouldn't prefer a McIntosh preamp since they sound wonderful.
what's your plans with 2 amps? multichannel or bi-amp or bridge-mono?
do you need preamp with two sets of outputs than?
 Thanks for the responses!  The Adcom's are mono block amps, not certain what arrangement might be best.  speakers are DQ10's with the DQ sub and crossover. They do like clean power so I am trying this configuration 
this system will not be used for AV purposes. Just music, turntable and cd's are the source  

Like the idea of the SP9 as a hybrid preamp. Reading the phono section is very good. 
Your thoughts and ideas?  I'm sure there are many preamps that would work well.
Trying to keep the cost of the preamp around $1200 or less.  The Mac MX series are affordable because a 5 year old model in the AV world is a  dinosaur and cost are reasonable.  I have been reading that people are happy with the MX just as a stereo preamp. 
Any advice would be helpful

sorry forgot that Adcom makes mono amps.
I also like hybrid preamps. i would prefer solid state input(driving) stage and tube output like  Vincent Audio SA 31MK

This is not going to be of any direct help but I just recently purchased a Vincent  SP-331 MK hybrid amp and I think the Vincent products are very underrated. I'm confident you'll be pleasantly surprised by the performance of the SA 31 MK preamp.

OK so getting back to the original posts question. The answer would be a Adcom 565 pre amp, if you can find one, they are a steal at $300 or less ( a great sounding unit for the money). I think the best Tube based preamp like a Audio Research would work some real magic with those mono blocks. A great sounding tube based pre from McIntosh or AR would set you back many thousands of $$. The Solid state AV Macs you refer to are mediocre at best sounding. Find a Modwright SWL 9.0 or a Manley labs J shrimp or a Dehavilland ultraverve lll, or Doge 8! Get something that will inject some real feeling into those Adcoms and DQ10’s! At a great price too!

Matt M
thanks all for your input. Like the Vincent but would need a phono section .
What do you think about the Conrad Johnson PV-7?
Have an AR SP9 upgraded past a MK111. The phono is very good. So @ $1100 good value and get it upgraded further down the track if you have a good tech.

Seeing Vincent mentioned, the best Pre-Amp I own and have heard for the money is the Vincent SA-T8. Competes with or bests Pre's costing much,much more. Above your budget and line level only.
A used Audible illusions 3a would fit your needs nicely. It has 1600ohms output impedance however. What is input impedance of your monos? 
Interested and would like to see more on your SP9.  How do we proceed?
copied this from review  on the amp

The Adcom's input impedance at 1kHz was 47k ohms, and its output impedance was uniformly low—ranging from 0.02 ohms from the bass to the upper midrange and increasing slightly to 0.03 ohms at 20kHz. The gain of the GFA-565 was 27.1dB into the unbalanced inputs. I found that the three gain settings on the balanced inputs—0dB, +4dB, and +6dB—actually gave quite different readings. The +4dB setting was actually 8dB down from the 0dB, the +6dB setting was down 14dB from the 0dB. Unweighted noise was 70dB below 1W into 8 ohms

I can tell you that I have an Audio Research LS 27 and my search for Pre Amp

has ended, it has sweet and  splendid quality to the sound. Good luck on your search.

Can you send more information on your sp9 including pictures. I think this would be a good preamp with what I am running.

Where would it be shipped from? Who did the upgrade? Any additional info will be appreciated.  How do I contact you directly?


Hi Kent,

If you give me your email address, I can email the information. You'll need a good competent tech to carry out the work. I am in Australia.


We can't PM on this site?
+1 Matt Miller.  I can vouch for the Dehavilland - I have had one in my rig for years.  A great value for the sound!

Hi Kent,

Email sent.

Does Vincent produce a preamp with a built in phono stage?  From what I see they make all line amps.  

Vincent are all line level to my knowledge. They do make seperate phono stages.
Well I made a decision and picked up a ARC SP 16.  Looking forward to receiving it and listening to the new system.  In my budget....

Now looking for a new turntable in the $500 dollar range, one of the last pieces to the puzzle!
Thanks all for your help
Wow ... big difference between the ARC SP-9 you were considering and the SP-16 you finally ended up with. Nice choice. 
Thanks all!  It has been a fun project
Enjoy Kent,


Now I am deciding on turntables

Rega RP6 vs VPI Scout Jr.  Used and budget around $1200
As for a TT in your price range, I would suggest looking at an idler drive.

An audio bud just picked up a Lenco and is thrilled with its performance, which doesn't happen too often.

I was looking at some a few years ago but got a stupid good local deal on a  Denon DP-72L, so made the purchase.  If I had to replace it, I would go with an idler drive.