Amp / Preamp Suggestions Wanted

I'm putting a second (budget) system together, and I am considering the following units: 1)Preamps - Krell PAM5, Bryston BP-20, Adcom GFP-750; 2)Amps - Bryston 3B-NRB/THX, Counterpoint Solid 1A, Marsh a200S. Pairing the prospective units with Adcom GCD-575/GDA-600 and Paradigm Reference Studio 40v2. I would welcome feedback on the above units, and alternative suggestions within the same price point. Thanks!
18a05ccf e52f 4108 9e61 547a2d918da6hedgehog
I haven't heard the Paradigm speakers in a while but if memory serves, they are revealing. For the system you describe, I would devote more money to the front end. The Adcom preamp is a very revealing piece and I don't have much respect for the Adcom 575 as a transport. I had one and used it in that capacity. It sounded thin going through a Theta processor. I haven't heard the Adcom d to a but I have a little more faith in it. You might consider picking up a Rotel RDD-980 transport if cash is an issue. I see there are a number available for around $300 and imo it is much better than the Adcom. As far as the amps, it has been a long time since I heard Bryston. Counterpoint amps can be ruthless in the upper mids and highs. Maybe using the Krell preamp would be the logical choice to balance the system some to the warm side. Again, I see the system being very revealing. Maybe you could tame it a bit with the right cable choice. I don't have a lot of experience here. I have used mostly MIT and been very happy with them. Good luck!

Thanks, for the input, Tim. I am leaning toward the Krell preamp, as it is available at a fair price and I haven't ventured in Krell's direction as of yet. I intend to use DH Labs interconnects and will bi-wire the speaks with same.
hi hedgehog,

i'd recommend a tubed preamp. *especially* if cd is gonna be your main source. i'm partial to melos, & the sha-gold/maestro is excellent, usually awailable for ~$1k used. if getting a melos is to scary for ya, then the cary slp-98 can be found for a bit more than the melos.

re: amps, for solid-state, i'm partial to electrocompaniet, not yust cuz i have an excellent aw100 currently f/s... ;~) it's f/s cuz it's an older, not-bridgeable wersion, & i want the option of running a pair of electro amps in bridged-mono set-up.

good luck, doug

I recently paired a Anthem pre2L with a Marsh 400s and WOW! This is a good pair to listen to if you get a chance. The Marsh so impressed me that I got rid of my Aragon 4004 and gor a Anthem amp1(Could not handle the Marsh price tag and the Anthem was a demo) Best of luck
You may want to consider the Odyssey Audio Stratos amp and Tempest preamp combo. These are SS units that have musical palpability that rival, or better, units 3-4X their cost, and are sonic bargains in the high-end community (about$1k each). You can check them out at or call (317)299-5578 and speak with Klaus. I have a pair of the Stratos mono's and their sound is significantly better than any other amp I've previously used (mostly Audio Research).
I recently paired a Bryston 3BST SS (used at around $1K) with a new EAR 834L tubed pre ($1.5K)and am quite thrilled with the results.
I am not able to suggest a pre-amp here (my gear and experience is far too modest), but I would like to tag in with a question, if I may, that may be useful nonetheless. Specifically, in the course of assembling my "second system" recently, I bought a Creek OBH-12se passive pre-amp (it was cheap, immediately available, and a passive pre was strongly recommended). Surprisingly enough, it sounds great! It seems to put no mark upon the signal whatsoever - source go in, source go out. Demonstrated this to myself by swapping amps and sources thru the Creek - ie listened to a Marantz CD67se thru my NYAL Moscode 300 and it was a bit clearer, less "dark". Similarly, I noted a new sharpness with my NAD 515 cd player thru the NYAL amp - not hit you between the eyes different, but just a bit more crisp in the treble, a bit more detailed on cymbals and strings and such. No denying, it could have been somewhat influenced by the change I heard in the Marantz, but I seem to hear it every time, whether using the NYAL or my NAD amp. So, for the question at hand, I ask what about something like a Placette passive pre? There's one on Audiogon right now @ $500. You'd get a really clean stage with cash left to up the ante on the cd source. Coupled with the Marsh amp (which I have heard at a dealer - very quiet power, there) I would think all you would hear would be what was on the cd. But then again, I could be completely wrong, there could be some impedance mismatch I am not considering, etc etc.
Well, I've got the power amp part of the equation put together...McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe. Just missed on a TLC-1 passive preamp, but I'll keep looking for one (or something else).

BTW, the GDA-600 is VERY underrated...
Decided on a used McCormack Deluxe Line Drive...shipping it off to SMcAudio for upgrading.