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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.
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
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!
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.
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
Read more at http://www.stereophile.com/content/adcom-gfa-565-monoblock-power-amplifier-measurements#o0IIiIqQ6YtF...
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.