I had a SL RG1 MK3 many years ago. I used a modified Klimo Merlin preamp to great success.
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I've owned an RG-1, RG-7 and finally RG-4's. I used Cat's with all of them and there's a nice synergy. For the money, the Cat is hard to beat. My favorite was the Sig. Mk 2 which used 12AU7's in the line rather than 6922's.
I owned Cat Sig. Mk 1, Sig, Mk 2, Sig. Mk 3, Ultimate 1, and finally Ultimate 2; all with phono. After the Symphonic Line's, I went with CJ Premier 12's(OK but not that great) then VTL 250 monos(very nice).
I'm now running Atma-Sphere MP-1 Mk3 with phono and MA-1 Mk3 monos and I'm done looking. The MA-1's are wonderful; way more believable than anything I've had previously but the MP-1 preamp is the key to it all. It totally outclasses any of the CAT's or anything else I've heard. Waaay more refined, smoother, cleaner and just plain more believable.
I liked the Sym. Line gear a lot but you'll never get that 3-D organic sound that tubes provide. If you want that flesh on the bones sound, you'll have to go all tubes. If you want to stick with the RG-4's, I'd look for a good used MP-1 pre which would be a nice compromise.
Just my 2 cents!
Rfogel8, that was an informative post. I too use S-L RG1 MK4.
Have you heard the Symphonic Line preamps ? How do they compare to CAT and Atmasphere ?
One more question out of curiosity, Symphonic Line users mostly use difficult to drive speakers (Dynaudio, B&W, Apogee), I personally use ATC SCM40, do you think 60 - 100 watt OTL amp from Atmasphere can drive these kind of speakers well ? Or do we have to change our speakers to match these amps ?
Rfogel8's brother had the Symphonic Line RG-4's and tried the Symphonic Line Preamp. We thought the sound was very good, but the gain on the volume control was way too high. One little click from 0 and you were blasted with sound. No question the CAT is a way better preamp. Its always a good thing to have tubes somewhere in the chain. I personally think once you go all tube even the amp there is no looking back.
When it comes to impedance, JWM is correct. He's also correct regarding the Speltz autoformers. Some may argue the point but they definitely defeat all the advantages of OTL. Duh, he's also correct when he recommends "tubes somewhere in the chain." He and I both agree, start with tubes in the linestage.
Pani, ATC claims 8 Ohm and "flat impedance curve" so I don't see a problem. At 85db, the SCM40 isn't all that efficient but I'm guessing the M60 monos would do the job. My MA-1's had so much gain driving my 6 Ohm, 90db speakers, I ended up removing one of the 6SN7's(at Ralph's recommendation) to give me finer adjustment at the lower end of the MP-1's volume control.
This may sound like a pain but if you really want a CAT, I'd buy one on Audiogon and have it shipped directly to CAT so Ken can check it out and do a quick/cheap rewire for 220V.
My guess is, if you buy in Europe and pay in Euro's, you'll end up paying a lot more. Also, CATs come up more frequently on the 'Gon so it shouldn't be too difficult to find one.
Also, I wouldn't go any older than a Signature Mk.2. An Ultimate 1 or Ultimate 2 would be even better but any CAT should make you very happy!
Razvanvrs, JWM and my brother will agree with me on this one, between preamp and amp/amps, Wire World Eclipse is very hard to beat. We've all been using it for many years in various systems and though we've tried other cables along the way, the Eclipse has always been a keeper.
JWM has VAC tube gear, my brother owns McIntosh SS and I have Atma-Sphere. All very different systems but we all agree, the Eclipse sounds absolutely great between pre and amp/amps.
I have both the regular and Silver Eclipse and the sonic differences are subtle. JWM has the Gold Eclipse, which I've heard in my system, and again, the differences are subtle. In my mind, not worth the extra money.
None of us care for it between preamp and source. It's OK but JWM and I prefer Siltech and my brother really likes Cardas Gold. Ref.