Best preamp w/Tuner for McCmk DNA-500?

Just got a McCormack DNA-500 and I love it. I would like to see if I can make a quantum improvement to my system by upgrading the Preamp. I listen to about 70% music, 30% movies, so I also need multichannel capability. The tuner is also important, since I listen to some excellent local jazz stations. Any help would be appreciated. Budget is about $5K. Thanks for your assistance - I've had some really great experiences so far with these forums and equiptment bought and sold on Agon!

System consists of: Legacy Whispers (front)
Legacy Focus 20/20 (rear)
Sunfire Theater Grand IV (WHAT I'M LOOKING TO IMPROVE)
BPT Signature 3.5 Plus
Richard Gray 400 Pro
Denon 5910 (APL HiFi modded 3910 on the way)
Sony XA7-es CD player
Velodyne DD-15 subwoofer
Echobuster acoustic treatments
Elrod Sig 2, 3 and Statement(wall to BPT = WOW!!)PCs
Electraglide Epiphany PC (to preamp)
Au 24 speaker cables
Monster Sigma Retro XLR IC's
2 dedicated 20 amp lines

Once again, thanks for any assistance
I'm thinking that Musical Fidelity made a preamp+tuner combo? Sorry I can't be any more specific.
I just want to point out that preamp/tuner combos are fairly rare (I can't think of a single one at the moment) and limiting your search to this category will leave you a few options at best. If you are willing to consider separate components you will have a whole world of options.

Best regards,

Steve McCormack
Thanks for the responses so far. While I realize I'm limiting things, I also have to operate within the constraints of my current space limitations. It may be that I use my Sunfire until my situation changes, if I can't find a substantially better alternative sonically. The Sunfire DOES have many features that I do like, its just I feel its probably the limiting factor in the system.

Thanks again and please continue to offer suggestions.
Adcom has the GTP-602 preamp/tuner and it is pretty good IMO. I maybe biased because I am a big fan of ADCOM.
Maybe Steve was kind with his assessment of your need of a tuner, but I need to point something, the DNA 500 is a world class amp and needing to compromise a source and line amplification, will simply steal from its real potential.

Sunfire preamplifiers, with tuners and the like, will be a compromise.

Say that you need a tuner to pair with the amplifier, that you do not have space, it is understandable, but try to get the best preamplifier out there and compromise the tuner section with a separate tuner.

A nice alternative to the Sunfire would be the older Anthem AV-20? That was all the rage about 3 years ago. I think affordable and very transparent, according to reviews out there.

Another very good brand that has a tuner module built in is Linn.

Oh, I remember that there is a new Mcintosh C-43 or c-45, that has a tuner module built in in it. I think Spacekadet...member here in Audiogon has it on his system.

Adcom, do not even come close to what these other companies can offer soundwise.
Thanks all - looks like a really good preamp and separate tuner might be the answer, as long as I can still get home theater performance when I want it. My current Sunfire actually gives me all the bells and whistles I'm looking for, and the tuner section is actually quite good, now that I hear it in my upgraded system. Time to catch my breath and actually LISTEN TO THE MUSIC for a few months, especially with my APL Denon 3910 due this week.

I agree with the Adcom comment; Anthem would be a lateral move at best; the Macs also look interesting. Been also looking at BAT 31SE and 51SE, but unsure of a really good tuner.

I appreciate the input so far - more comments are welcome.

Update: After demoing it first, decided to go with VAC Std Ltd Edition and use the Tuner direct from the Sunfire. Plan to upgrade soon to VAC Renaissance w/o phono, unless I get sidetracked.

Thanks all for your input.
Further update - succumbed to VAC Phi 2.0 preamp. Pretty much nirvana.......
Congratulations on your capitulation to the VAC ;-) You have wandered some distance from your original goal, but you have sure wound-up in a good place. Have fun!

Steve McCormack
Steve - Thanks for your help. Kevin at VAC is also great to work with. Apparently there are a number of VAC preamp users that are pairing up with your DNA-500 with outstanding results, and the numbers are growing! I guess I just had to get there to realize that!

Best cables I've found for this connection in my system, incidentally, are Nirvana S-X from John at the Cable Company.

The 3 of you plus David Elrod and Alex Peychev(APL HiFi)(plus a number of others) have really made this "hobby" a pleasure to be involved in. I feel as though I am getting tremendous value for my money, both in high quality, synergistic products and amazing "after the sale" support. I couldn't be happier at this point, but as we all know, there is no known cure for upgradeitis......

Thanks again.
If you don't mind taking a little time, why don't you take some photos and add your system to the "Virtual Systems" forum? I daresay that we would all enjoy seeing the result of all your work.

Best regards,

Steve McCormack

Do you run direct from APL 3910 to the amp or does apl sound better thru the Phi?


The 3910 sounds GREAT thru the Phi. No desire to try it direct - like the extra tubes in the chain.

Steve - When I get the chance, but don't think it will be anytime soon. Way too bz......
Update - Trying a different tuna - Sansui TU-9900 with all the mods recommended on the fmtunerinfo website. It will be interesting to A-B with the Sunfire - I'll be very surprised if the Sansui doesn't win handily.
No contest - took the antenna feed off the Sunfire. The Sansui approaches CD-quality sound and in conjunction with a good antenna and an MD-205 Signal Sleuth pulls stations 75 miles away.