Balanced preamps with Atma-sphere MA-2's

I just purchased a pair of Atma-sphere MA-2 Mk. II.3 OTL monoblocks (thanks Siddh) to drive my Dynaudio Confidence C2's. Right now, I am using a single-ended SAS 10A tube preamp with pretty darn good results. But, Ralph at AS and Brian at Essential Audio state that the AS amps really need a balanced preamp to shine. What are you MA-2 owners using for a preamp? TIA.
Congratulations on acquiring the MA-2 amps! Hope you enjoy them as much as we have here; I cannot imagine ever going back to a tranformer coupled amp after living with these beautiful OTLs.

I drive mine with an Aesthetix Io Signature (with volume controls) using the single-ended RCA outputs (gasp) to great effect. I have yet to try them with a balanced cable so I don't know if that would improve the results I'm getting, the single-ended sounds so doggone good.

One thing that has made a very handsome improvement, however, has been the change to Sylvania 6SN7-GTAs for the input stage. This seems to be a very nice combination with these amps.
I'm with Rushton, I don't expect to ever try any other amps as my M-60's work so well with my Köchel K-300 horns which I don't plan on changing either. Unfortunately I can't speak to the question you've asked. I can say that Atma-Sphere preamps offer truly outstanding performance.
Another congrats on your purchase. These amps took my system to a completely different level than anything prior. I'm using the MP-1 preamp and couldn't be happier. These components together really do synergize nicely as they should. World class sound, tubes and built like the proverbial brick outhouse. How can you go wrong?
I beleive that both of Atma-sphere's own preamps are fully balanced, and I would imagine that they would be a perfect match. Please keep in mind that I haven't heard them, but it would stand to reason. Good luck and happy listening!
I have a pair of m60 2.2's that have been upgraded to 2.3 status. I was driving them with what I thought to be excellant results with my Melos SHA 1 linestage(with Siemans 6922 goldpins). I then acquired an Audio Experience Balanced linestage. What a difference! So the Melos is ending up as what is was designed to be-a headphone amp. You simply have to try a fully balanced pre-amp. Now I'm looking for fully balanced sources! Happy Listening.
First, congrad's on one of the finest purchases you may ever make in Hifi. I am not an MA-2 owner but, I do own the MA-1 Silvers and have a good friend with M-60's (three sets) and can say unequivocally that you must get into something balanced on the front end to yield the greatest results from these amps. Ralph is obviously correct. I simply love the sound of Atma-Sphere OTL’s. Ralph’s MP-1 or MP-3 is an obvious choice and Jim White’s Aesthetix gear is all very fine indeed. The Callisto and Io Signature at the top of the line and the Calypso and Rhea next in the peeking order. I have the later pair and find the sound quality unmatched at anything near this price range to what I’ve heard. Maybe it just depends on what features you desire and how much your pocket book can bare. Both product lines I mention not only for their musical merit but working with these gentlemen on your sound system will also be a pleasure and they are most helpful. Enjoy!
I can only echo what others have said about the magical synergy between Atma-sphere preamp and amp. I also have an MA2 and prior to my current A-S MP-1, had a Mark Levinson reference 32 preamp. The change to the MP-1 wrought a huge difference in the sound - musicality, soundstaging, everything - just seemed to bring the MA 2's to a new level. This is my preamp-amp for keeps. Needless to say, I think that's the way to go........Good luck.
According to Ralph Karsten of Atma-Sphere, the just-released MP-1 MkIII has a new power supply that features a lot more regulation and a better bridge supply scheme for the output of the unit, giving it much more dynamic range.
Thanks evryone for your responses thus far. And, yes, I am thoroughly enjoying th MA-2's. They are simply glorious.

Have any of you compared the AS MP-1 to the Aesthetix Callisto? If so, what are their similarities and differences?
What about any of the Lamm's? Again, TIA.

Have partnered my MA-2 MK2 with Cello Encore and Cello Audiosuite linestages, and the BAT VK-51SE with great results. very recommended.
Have all BAT gear now.
Balanced amps are way to go !
Billspecfoc, Yes, I have compared the Atma-Sphere MP-1 to the Aesthetix Callisto extensively at a good friends’ home. Our listening and comparisons were on and off over a period of about one year or so. We were set up with CAR Classic Audio Reproduction speakers, a Pair of Atma-Sphere M-60 Mk.II's, Aesthetix Io signature, and a home made turntable (similar to Teres design) with a Graham 2.2 tone arm and Lyra Helikon cartridge. I'm not sure about the cabling and we employed ASC room acoustic systems. At any rate, you get the picture.
We started by comparing preamps and using the Io Signature phono amp for both. What seemed immediately apparent was how outstanding both units were with soundstage, transparency, effortless dynamics, pitch, speed, scale, and overall rightness of their presentation. Both were stunningly real sounding. Neither unit left me wanting for anything and most all preamps I’ve heard have their strengths and weaknesses apparent but not these IMHO. Both had all the tube sound advantages and none of the tubey sound detriments. Lush, breath taking, relaxed, fast, textural, and not warm, slow, smooth, or lacking low end depth and resolve.
Now about the differences and they were few and subtle.
The Atma-Sphere MP-1 seemed to have just a very little bit more force and direct authority in the lower registry, maybe not any deeper or greater in texture and detail but just the sense of being more punctuated. When using the on board phono amp this difference seemed somewhat more apparent. On the other hand the Aesthetix Callisto showed a bit more air between instruments and was more defined at the furthest corners of the soundstage. It was not quite as dark a presentation in comparison. It was just a little lighter but this only shown itself in juxtaposition. The MP-1 did not sound dark on its own.
Please take this all with a grain of salt as there are so many variables in the setup and all. If I had to choose, my choice could well change from day to day. At this level of gear either would offer you a dream in musical reproduction. This fine equipment is presently out of my league price wise. Given all the listening we did over time I choose Aesthetix Calypso pre, Rhea phono and Atma-Sphere MA-1 Silver Edition mono blocks for my home and set up and they amaze me daily! Enjoy!
R f Sayles, did you choose the Aesthetix Calypso over the MP-3 after comparing the two, or hear the Aesthetix, loved it, and decided to go with it?
On Ralph K's website he seems to suggest that there is not much difference between various types of balanced cables when used between his pre and amp. Your experience? It would be nice to buy some simple, well-made, inexpensive cables for a change. Too good to be true?
did you choose the Aesthetix Calypso over the MP-3 after comparing the two, or hear the Aesthetix, loved it, and decided to go with it?

After hearing the Callisto head to head with the MP-2, then the Calypso, that said, these are the best of the best and you really deserve to let your ears do the deciding before pulling out your hard earned cash. Either would be an excellent choice.

On Ralph K's website he seems to suggest that there is not much difference between various types of balanced cables when used between his pre and amp. Your experience? It would be nice to buy some simple, well-made, inexpensive cables for a change. Too good to be true?

Between his pre and amps I also would confirm that it is true what Ralph said. A huge plus with his gear paired is that you could remove the front-end kit from being anywhere near (or between) speakers, up to maybe fifty feet or so inexpensively. Spend your money on gear and music instead of vibration tweaks and wire. This is huge! Ask Ralph how he has his gear set up at home. I was also able to put 6m XLR between my (TT,aesthetix phono stage, & pre) and my (amps & speakers), with beautiful results sonically and room layout wise it was helpful too.

Happy (balanced) Listening!
Pubul57, Ralph is dead right. (as usual) I replaced my expensive (very) PAD Dominus i/c with cheap (very) Mogami Neglex i/cs - long runs - and I cant hear a difference! MP-1 & MA -2.
Thanks for your feedback. I bought a $70 balanced IC from Signal Cable.