Another preamp suggestion thread for my Kharma/Mac combo


After having recently introduced a turntable into my rig (RP6 w/Dyn10x5) and ditched my digital preamp as a result I am in the market for a preamp that will work with my MC352 amp driving a pair of Kharma FE3.2.2 speakers. I'm looking to spend under $5K (new or used) and was originally thinking tubed (to go w/ SS amp) but I'm open to SS as well. The list of some considerations are below.  What are your thoughts?

Rogue RP5 (auditioned. thought the midrange a little too smooth but the soundstage was pretty awesome. no balanced in or out and the same remote codes as my Auralic Vega DAC = bummer)
Pass XP20
Cary SLP05
ARC (LS27/LS17SE)
BAT (VK51?)
Modwright 36.5

--moe
muneebk
The Atma-Sphere MP-3 might suit the bill and you can likely find a used one for less than that. Its all-tube, fully balanced and differential, has a direct-coupled output and can drive long cables easily. Plus it does not matter if the amp is tube or solid state.
Good suggestion. And would you please upgrade the cartridge?
Moe,

From the ones mentioned I would pick the XP-20 for solid state,and for tube you might look at the Atma-Sphere MP-3.

Best of luck,
Kenny.
Thanks for the feedback folks. The one thing I forgot to mention as a requirement: I'm a lazy bastard who wont get out of my armchair and walk to the other side of the room to adjust volume so remote volume is a must. I don't think the Atma-Sphere has remote volume :(. Also open to suggestions on cartridge upgrades!

--thanks

moe
The Atma-Sphere MP-3 that Ralph mentioned does have a remote volume control option.
Click on the 'Order' tab on his website from the MP-3 page.
is the mac amp truly balanced or would a single ended pre work. love the kharma's by the way.
Unfortunately I think I would have to go new if I wanted a remote with the MP-3 which I think puts me out of my budget (Maybe ~$7K?)
The MC352 is fully balanced so it would be nice to take advantage of that but if there is a clear winner with single ended only then I'm not averse to going that route.
You've already got some great candidates on your list, so I'll add a few more "off the radar" options that might be worth a look in your price range. 

Sachs SP14 -- this is one I'm seriously considering myself.  A big bonus is that I think they offer a brief in-home trial, which to my mind is huge.  I know they offer balanced connections, but I don't know if it's fully balanced.  Here's a link...
http://www.tubes4hifi.com/don.htm

A couple others would be the Backert Labs Rhumba (again not sure if fully balanced) and Linear Tube Audio microZOTL2.0, which looks to be single ended only.  Just for some other options.  Best of luck. 


Agree with soix, excellent preamps in the running here. To answer -
 all of the new Backert Labs preamps are balanced, with the more affordable models including 1 balanced input and 1 output (in addition to 3 RCAs in and 2 out).
With your speakers, which are beyond excellent, we would suggest the Rhumba 1.2 Extreme at $5,500, but the regular Rhumba 1.2 at $3,400 would also work nicely. Reviewer Terry London, "teajay" in the forums, is listening to one now and seems happy.
-Andy Tebbe
Backert Labs