Best tube preamp for Quicksilver V4 tube mono's (newest KT150 version)


Just purchased a pair of Quicksilver V4 mono tube amps, the newest KT150 version.  Will be arriving this coming Wednesday.

http://quicksilveraudio.com/products/v4/

Single ended
Input impedance is 100 K ohms
Input sensitivity is 1.5 volts

Now need to purchase a nice preamp.  Would like to get the most 'bang for buck' by getting a very nice condition used pre-amp.

On my radar so far is:

EAR 868
Audible Illusions M3b or L3a
Herron VTSP-360

I have had 2 different AI M3a pre-amps in the past, so I am very familiar with Audible Illusions 'sound'... not sure what is the differences between the AI M3b and AI L3a, besides the M3b having  phono stage options and the L3a remote controlled volume?

No experience with Herron or EAR, but from what I have read EAR, if compatible, may be the best performing?

Suggestions greatly appreciated. 

Also would like to hear from other V4 owners.


Rick
rich121
I had the best luck with an Aesthetix Calypso on my V4’s. The Audible preamps work well with Quicksilver amps.  I also had good luck with the PSE HL 1 but they are no longer made and are really hard to find. Good Luck!
When I had Quicksilver V-4 amps I used them with an Aesthetix Calypso preamp and had great results.
Post removed 
"Best performing" and "bang for the buck" are all completely dependent on what type of sound and characteristics you're looking for.  Without this info you're just getting random opinions of what other people like, which may or may not mesh with what you're looking for.  A little further info will go a long way. 
I had the balanced and unbalanced V4's. I really enjoyed these amps, though I have never heard the KT 150.  I tried an EAR 912, and I can tell you from a sound and synergy perspective, it was a good match. I believe I had the balanced version of the V4's at the time. If I had these amps again, the preamp I would want to try would be Shindo. 
In your mind was there any difference between the balanced and unbalanced versions?
Jim
@fjn04 04-18-2018 8:12amI had the balanced and unbalanced V4’s. I really enjoyed these amps, though I have never heard the KT 150. I tried an EAR 912, and I can tell you from a sound and synergy perspective, it was a good match. I believe I had the balanced version of the V4’s at the time. If I had these amps again, the preamp I would want to try would be Shindo.

Which Shindo preamplifier?

Currently running a 6SN7 based tube preamp with my QS mono amps (KT150s) and really like it, thus maximizing the capability of the amps. Interested in what others have tried. Seeing several preamps listed on the Shindo site.

I have the VR, Vosne Romane. Funny on the timing here because I'm considering getting another QS...but either Sixty watt mono or Mono 120. This is to drive second speaker I recently purchased...Harbeth C7 w/ Ton Trager stands.Have not tried Shindo w/ Quicksilver but I have no reason to think it won't be wonderful. Great amp you just bought. 
I would also consider a CJ especially if you stick single ended
I am a longtime Shindo preamp owner and lover, but have found often found that if your amp doesn’t have any gain controls, it may be difficult to get enough workable range on the volume to make the pairing workable. 
Excellent point. This is indeed a concern. I have heard the Monbrison and Aurieges are even tougher to match, having no transformer in the output stage. The Massetto and up the line do have one. I believe the VR and above have a smaller stepped VC, allowing for more incremental choices from low to high. My plan is to demo the Quicksilver prior to buying. Hard to wrong with CJ...I really liked the Premier 16 and Art, in that late 90's vintage. I may be off on vintage, if not early 2000's. If you're all digital, perhaps CJ. The Shindo gives you a nice phono section though. 
I recently purchased a Aric Audio all tube preamp. It has variable gain (0-20 dB), 300ohm output impedance, 100K ohm input impedance. 
Forgot to add, I have the  Aric Audio Special.
@mesch
Forgot to add, I have the Aric Audio Special.


That Aric Special seems like a nice little preamp. Attention to detail, caps, adj gain feature too - nice. It’s great to see folks trying different preamps with the QS amps to get the best out of them. I’ve noticed quite a difference with the most subtle changes to preamps, preamp input tubes, cap changes, vintage input tubes in the amps themselves.

>> using different 6SN7s in the preamp other than re-issue TS 6SN7s...<< vintage RCA or Sylvania black plates, Sophia Electric Blues / TJ Full Music / Northern Electric. Was a game changer for my own QS amps.

Mesch,
Have you messed around yet with swapping out the vanilla stock re-issue TS 6SN7s that came with your Aric-Special preamp?

Decooney,thanks for the support on my purchase decision.  I have not tried tube rolling with this pre. I have owned it about a month. My approach is to live with it as is to enjoy and better understand what it is providing towards my listening experience. I am considering the purchase of a tube amplifier, stereo or monos, not sure. Considering Aric Audio or Quicksilver.  
@mesch 2,026 posts
Decooney,thanks for the support on my purchase decision.  I have not tried tube rolling with this pre. I have owned it about a month. My approach is to live with it as is to enjoy and better understand what it is providing towards my listening experience. I am considering the purchase of a tube amplifier, stereo or monos, not sure. Considering Aric Audio or Quicksilver.  

Hey, If you like the Aric preamp, maybe consider the Aric amp for the best synergy. I mix brands, and it goes well however IF you like the sound of your Aric gear and happy with the support, might be a good way to go.    
Yes, I remain in communication with Aric regarding his amplifiers. 
Greetings, When I began Audio Connection, years ago a Julliard trained wise owl musician strongly suggested whatever I do, make sure to continue a strong positive relationship with Quicksilver Audio and Vandersteen. After many years this still holds true bearing witness to their extraordinary performance and issue-free operation.As witnessed by their steadfastly loyal customers including the many who have come full circle. Success fuels success! JohnnyR Audio connection
"Wise owl"for sure.  

Something to be said about buying nice new proven products at reasonable prices and skipping the whole used > shipping > repair/upgrade cycle. Sure saves a lot of time and headaches, and the "quality costs less" theory applies for the long-term.  

I’m one of those who came "full circle", or at least recognizing true value, with an appreciation for clean and simple designs both offer. It seems there are many loyal folks who buy Quicksilver/Vandersteen or Quicksilver/Klipsch combos. Always see lots of praise for both and less rotation of gear with them.

Perhaps there is nothing else for them to wonder about, it just "works" out of the box as-is, and they get to spend their time simply listening to music. :) Time savings is a true value $ too.
audioconnection
Greetings, When I began Audio Connection, years ago ...
I am going to give Johnny a hard time here, because he is not really the founder of AC. I know that because I bought a Denon DP80 at AC  (on an early VPI HW9 two-arm base) from Hart, the guy who did. Of course, Johnny has taken the place to another level.

I'm sure Johnny will be ok with me clarifying AC's historical record.
Get out..Audio Connection without Johnny R is like the Starship Enterprise without Captain Kirk. Cheers Johnny -Don
Yes, the wise old owl was Hart Hutchens that began AC in 1980 we always had a great relationship. 9 years later1989 is when I arrived on the scene with expanded offerings like Audio Research Ayre Aesthetix Audioquest Aurender Belles Bryston CAD HRS Innous Magnepan Proac Rega Rogue Rotel AMG Clear Audio Bowers Wilkins etc and still having fun!
 Cheers JohnnyR