amp or preamp to extend upper end


I went from a fantastic little Krell integrated amp to a Musical Fidelity M6 amp and preamp. Found that the high end is a bit rounded off -- that amazing detail I had on the cheaper Krell is lost. My dealer said that the owner of Musical Fidelity designs his equipment for this sonic signature intentionally. Maybe I just got to used to an over-emphasized high end.

Question: would replacing the amp or preamp have a more noticeable impact on extending the upper range (assuming the new equipment can do so)? Any suggestions? Speakers are Vanderteen 3s.
evolving
Why did you go away from the Krell? Is there compelling attributes of the new gear that make it overall superior?
You might want to try a Schumann Resonance device such as the Acoustic Revive RR-777 or the Kemp SR-Plug. I am amazed at how effective these tweaks can be in enhancing the detail and dynamics of even a very good system. Do a search on Audiogon to see that there is already a considerable amount of discussion on this topic.
Try turning the high frequency contour adjustment on your 3's up 1db.
I have always found Vandersteens to be inherently a little soft sounding. Maybe the Krell was compensating for the top end of your speakers.
The MF stuff is clearly not doing everything you're looking for due to how it's voiced, so I'd dump both the pre and amp and start from scratch. Trying to mix n match to try to compensate seems like a potential exercise in frustration. Square peg round hole thing. From my experience Bryston gear does what you're looking for, or maybe go back to Krell. Best of luck.
Thanks folks.

I thought I was "upgrading" from my little old Krell integrated in going to the much more $ MF components. And they sounded pretty good at the dealer, but they were setup with a much more forward sounding speaker so probably not the best indicator of how they'd sound with my Vandersteens.

I may need to go back to what I know I like...Krell. But in the meantime will try your suggestions: check out Bryston, tweak the Vandersteens and look at resonance device.
Just a FWIW: brightness and detail are not the same thing, but quite often when an amplifier is bright, it is often perceived as more detailed.
Hear this:
Krell is like BMW in audio. Musical Fidelity is like Toyota or Honda. Certainly there are higher priced Toyotas, but apparently, they're not anywhere better in performance vs BMW. In fact, there's no Toyota that drives like BMW.

If we're speaking of KAV series integrated Krells, they're giant killers and it's hard to beat them.
"In fact, there's no Toyota that drives like BMW."

Correct. But the Toyota always drives.
...BMW always drives. One of the most perfectly engineered automobile and easiest in DIY maintenance.
Something tells me you've never worked on one.
"...BMW always drives. One of the most perfectly engineered automobile and easiest in DIY maintenance." Not sure about that last part. Witness my neighbor who just got stranded on the NJ Turnpike in his 328. Or another neighbor who just spent $5k tracking down an electrical problem in his X5. Electronics, electronics, electronics. The bane of most Euro cars, and uber expensive to fix. Love Bimmers and they're certainly better than most of the breed, but I think your statement pertains more to a 60s/70s VW Bug than a late model BMW.
I'm confident on all models upto 2007. Parts are not overkill and work on any repair is faster than in any Toyota or Honda.
Expensive maintenance prices only for the fact having european luxury car.
The German's used to make good cars, but they've been going downhill fast. They're so complicated now, its a miracle they even start to begin with. German's aren't the only ones, but they are the worst.
BMW = Big Money Wasted

A Ford Fusion handles better, uses less gas and is MUCH more reliable.
LOL - I thought it stood for "Bring My Wallet" I drove three 80's cars into the ground '80 320i, 83 325 & 87 535is & the best a '95 R100RT (2 wheeled airhead variety) until I totaled it 2 years ago. They were all great machines in that era & I had a good independent enthusiast mechanic for the maintenance I couldn't handle myself but he adamantly said stay away from the newer stuff - electronic nightmares.

Fusion handling better than a modern day Bimmer - yikes!

I used to date this Russian girl. She told me there were only 3 letters in the Russian alphabet: BMW.
"I'm confident on all models upto 2007. Parts are not overkill and work on any repair is faster than in any Toyota or Honda.
Expensive maintenance prices only for the fact having european luxury car."

Parts are not overkill??? You must be joking. You must live in Germany or somewhere in Europe. Here in the US they are absolutely absurd. A Euro luxury car shouldn't have to be synonymous with frequent electronic failures and absurdly expensive repairs. If European luxury continues to equal frequent expensive maintenance their allure will eventually wane as others close the gap. And this from a big fan of German cars.
I think that there has been a lot of variation over the bast 10-12 years. My wife's 2002 325xi had an ongoing electrical problem but was one sweet driver. Felt like it could rev forever. She traded in on a 2011 328xi that was sluggish and the run flats were hard as rocks. She dumped it for a 2015 A3 that is one sweet car w low end pull like a V8. I just bought a 2014 X-1 that is pretty darn nice. Of course they are expensive to maintain but the new ones have maintenance included.
Until they don't. Therein lies the rub.
To be fair, the parts cost on all car brands are extremely high. And there's a reason for it. Car companies struggle to make a profit selling cars. There's a lot of competition, and not a huge markup on the cars themselves. Also, factor in the cost of the warranty and recalls.

Since they can't make a lot of money selling cars, they sell expensive parts instead. And they go where the money is; insurance companies. When a car is in an accident, it activates the insurance policy. The insurance company needs to buy parts to fix cars, and since they can afford whatever the cost of the parts are, so they charge high prices knowing they can get it.
I live on US soil, but lived in Europe prior. For me maintaining BMW is way simpler vs. Ford, Honda or Toyota. I order parts online and pay less than half vs. what shop charges for genuine ones. Electronic packages are made specifically for US market and US market needs jobs too. Mercedes Benz have even more sophisticated ones that fail for the same reason. A well built and reliable models don't reach US since they're not eligible to be imported here.
My garage:
2003 BMW Z4-roadster -- garaged and for pleasure -- got from salvage auction with theft recovery title -- Best Money Wasted!
2014 Subaru XV-Crosstrek -- daily driver.
Prior had 1997 BMW 318i convertible. Donated with 318kmi
Anyone can challenge Z4 with Ford Fusion?
People:
interesting debate
-- any thoughts on amp/preamp post?
Disclaimer:
I freelance at BMW repair shops on weekends at $50/hour. I'd normally finish job twice faster than AllData estimates so factually earn near $100 hourly. There's no other car or truck I want or interested to professionally maintain in this part of my career.
Many challenged me as I can't troubleshoot BMW without super-fancy professional scan tool, but I proved I could do that with just a test light just to impress shops right in front of manager's eyes during the interview.
BMW has lost its way. They used to indeed live up to their slogan Ultimate Driving Machine. What used to be true of BMW is no longer the case, as they have eschewed their performance engineering roots that was a "driver's car" and have now become rolling electronics gadgets. The new ones don't even have dipsticks! You have to rely on an electronic light to tell you whether the oil level is low or not.

On the other hand, my 1992 525i was the finest car I've ever owned. I wish I'd never sold it. It would still be going strong and would be in better shape then my 2005 Bimmer. Don't get me started on my girlfriend's new X5.

I didn't leave BMW. BMW left me. They've changed.
Evolving: in my experience the preamp has more influence on the upper frequencies than does the amplifier. At least when you get to a certain level of performance. I don't have any experience with Musical Fidelity components so I can't talk about their sonic signature. But yes, going from a Krell to just about anything, you better not rely on anything but your own ears, because Krells do have the reputation of NOT being soft or rolled off in the top end. Good luck.
"Many challenged me as I can't troubleshoot BMW without super-fancy professional scan tool, but I proved I could do that with just a test light just to impress shops right in front of manager's eyes during the interview."

What exactly did you do? You know I was kidding a bit before, but I'm really interested.
06-02-15: Zd542
Try turning the high frequency contour adjustment on your 3's up 1db.
+1 (meaning that I agree with ZD's suggestion, as opposed to suggesting that another db be added to the 1 db he suggested :-)). I took a look at John Atkinson's review of the Vandersteen 3 in the March 1993 issue of Stereophile. He states:
Although I found that the tone-control settings that gave the flattest measured response were HF -2dB, and MF, + 1dB, this sounded consistently too dull. I ended up setting the HF control either at 0dB or +1dB for most of my listening.
He also mentioned that the woofer and mid-range needed to be worked hard over the course of a very extended break-in period before they sounded good. If by any chance your speakers weren't used a great deal around the time of the transition between amplifiers, perhaps some re-breakin is necessary, possibly contributed to by age-related stiffening of the surrounds, or some other comparable effect. Keep in mind that the crossover between mid-range and tweeter, nominally at 5 kHz, is first-order, meaning that the mid-range driver will be receiving frequencies at significant amplitudes well into the top octave.

Regarding the other subject that has been addressed in the thread, FWIW my perception in recent years is that in initial quality surveys and long-term user satisfaction surveys, while most of the big-name German manufacturers seem to place not much better than the middle of the pack among all manufacturers, Porsche is just about always at or very close to the top, even though recent models are loaded with all kinds of high-tech electronics and other such things. Also FWIW, my 2014 Cayman S has been all that my wife and I had hoped for when we purchased it about a year and a half ago, although for many people its two seats, very limited cargo capacity, and stock high performance tires that can't be driven on snow or ice would rule it out as a practical choice. And no doubt any repairs that may be necessary after its 4 year warranty expires will not be cheap.

Regards,
-- Al
ZD, I detected failed transmission solenoid $60 part(car
would not engage reverse gear). the customer already signed
repair order to replace transmission. Now figure out how
much money you can spend on BMW repairs factually. You can
spend thousands of $ for $60 part. Well, I do not.
In my experience, I have found that a pre and the amp each work best if they come from the same manufacturer. Sometimes if they aren't you can end up with surprises. The same manufacturer designs these things to work together..
06-06-15: Stringreen
In my experience, I have found that a pre and the amp each work best if they come from the same manufacturer. Sometimes if they aren't you can end up with surprises. The same manufacturer designs these things to work together..
From my experience, I find as long as the pre (low impedance) can drive the amp properly, it's a good match. They don't need to come from same manufacturer.
Atmasphere: I'm considering the MP-3 MKIII preamp. No experience with tub components, concerned about sacrificing detail and precision given what I've read about tubes from others. Any advice? Thanks. Paul
The MP-3 and MP-1 have direct-coupled outputs which allows them a lot of transparency and bandwidth. Detail is not a thing they are lacking. I find solid state to be bright but lacking detail by comparison.
What Ralph just posted seems to me related to Atkinson's Vandersteen 3 measurements. SS amps can sound bright while lacking detail because fine detail is smaller than the resolution floor of the amp, the detail lost in the amp's graininess (just as detail can be lost in the grain of analog film, the size of the grain larger than the detail itself). The Vandersteen 3, while measuring flat, sounds a little soft (just slightly out-of-focus, to continue the photography analogy), lacking detail that it's flat FR is supposed to assure. The softness then is not the result of a rolled-off top, but of what? The original Quad speaker has a more rolled-off top end than does the Vandersteen 3, yet provides far more detail. Transparency is the result of time-related matters, not just frequency---though the two are inseparable, of course. Vandersteen designs are touted as being time coherent---why then are they not very transparent?
Thanks to everyone for the feedback.

I found a really good deal on 3 month old Cary SLP-05 tube preamp. Very excited to hear it. I think this will be a great introduction to tubes.
Evolving did you try Almarg's suggestion?
Rleff I did try almargs suggestion and it actually helped. Although I only had to go up by about 1/2 db.

Bdp24 I think my next project (after figuring a good phono preamp) is to considering changing out the Vandersteen 3a, thinking about a pair of used Quattros...
06-09-15: Evolving
Rleff I did try almargs suggestion and it actually helped. Although I only had to go up by about 1/2 db.
Good! For the record, though, my suggestion essentially just seconded a suggestion that was made earlier in the thread by ZD542.

Regards,
-- Al
Yeah, the Quattros, 5's, and 7's are much better speakers than the 2's and 3's. For their prices they'd better be! Brooks Berdan was a long-time Vandersteen dealer (until he was seduced by Wilson---the money?), and I've heard the old models a lot. The new ones not so much, but enough to know how much better they are.
Bdp24.....now I just need to find used Quattros.