What preamp do you plan to use?
18 responses Add your response
All good preamp choices. I have owned an SP-8, SP-8 MKII and SP-11 MKII. I have intentionally stayed away from the SP-10 because of the high tube count.
The D-79B is an excellent amplifier. The only other choice may be Classic 120 monos. They are in the $3,000 price range like the D-79B.
ARC SP-8 MKII price range is $1,000 - $1,200. When properly tubed and in perfect working order the SP-8 MKII sounds like a one box version of an SP-10. It is ultra neutral and it has a terrific phono stage.
ARC SP-11 MKII price range is $2,000 - $2,500 depending on condition.
I would recommend an ARC D70. Either a mk1 or maybe a little better, a Mk2.
I listen to this amp with Sonus Faber Guarneri's and it is a great match up;excelling on classical and jazz.
The D-70 can also be had for what is IMHO a steal of a price nowadays.
The D-70 will also work well with either an SP-8 or10...my preference is for the SP-10Mk2. Although, I agree that this pre-amp is more costly to run.
The cost will perhaps not be a very limiting factor as to this, what really counts is to have a perfect match between the amplifier and the loudspeaker.
By the way, I will probably start to use other loudspeakers, the Gradient Revolution.
Do you know whether an ARC would suit to the midrange and treble section of the Gradients?
Impedance = 3 ohms in Active mode, and sensitivity around 91 dB.
Axtl, as Rrog pointed out, all of the ARC tube amps are very good. However, IMHO, the D70 and the D115 are the cream of the crop from that era. ( With slight preference given to the Mk 2 version of each).
If you don't need the extra power, I prefer the D70 to the D115 or the D90. Again, like Rrog said, it depends on your budget.
Interesting Rgurney, I listened to the M-100's a few years ago on a Dunlavy based system and they were very dry in the mids ,IMHO. Personally, I way prefer the D70 or 115 to them, at least on the Dunlavy's. The midrange magic of the D70 and to a slightly lesser extent the 115 was MIA on the M100's. TETO.
Axtl, I've heard but never owned a SP-10. They can sound wonderful. Many feel it is one of the best preamps ever made for a phono based system.
Here are some considerations:
* can be expensive to purchase due to reputation,
* two box system w/ separate power supply (may offer better [quieter] performance but requires twice as much shelf space,
* runs hotter than most preamps,
* many tubes so expensive to replace,
* like any component of this vintage, will require some restoration (electrolytics at a minimum), and
* if vinyl playback will not be a majority of your listening you may find several alternatives for less money.