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IMHO it is always the output stage that impacts the sound most. It took me years to figure this out for no good reason so save time and get the amp first. Then the pre then your source, if the source is pretty good, which I find is the case with most set ups. If you are an analog nut then you'll have to decide for yourself but high end CDPs have diminished returns as they usually provide very small incremental improvements once you have attained a decent quality sound.
Ok, cool, thanks for the response, Mechans. I'll make a note of it. The amp by itself is cheaper than the pre + phono pre together. The Bryston preamp has a built in phono stage, so if I get the amp first, I can keep using it in the system. It might degrade the sound, do you think so? I am more into analog. Anyway, I have a middle of the road cd player; the Onkyo DX-7555. Sounds pretty good, especially at the price (I paid $600 7years ago.)
Ok, thanks Syntax. Why is that?
The Preamplifier is THE neuralgic section in the electric circuit. It receives the Signals from different sources, amplifies them to an output signal, builds an audio signal (RIAA) and amplifies it with factor 600-2000 (Phono). It is a complex unit, based on solder points, contact transfers, layout in general, brain, quality of parts...nowhere in the whole process is the possibility to loose details so huge. A power amp for example simply amplifies a given signal. The Preamp is the Achilles Heel, you buy brain (there are differences of course) and with your choice you will manifest the direction/quality of your System.
Syntax: Thanks for the detailed explanation. Much appreciated. I'll make a note of what you said and go from there.
Rlwainright: Ok, thanks. Yes, I am buying the outboard phono stage with the preamp, the C-27.
Anyway, I will take all of this into consideration and make my move accordingly. Thanks for all of the help so far. If you have anything to add, please do so.