Cables 4 Vandy 3's & preamp 4 Ayre V-3

I have a pair of Vandersteen plain 3's, not A's, not Signatures powered by an Ayre V-3. Need a recommendation on a 10' biwired cable (used) circa $500 or under. Current contenders: Transparent Music Wave Supers, Cardas Quadlink, MIT T2. Please feel free to recommend others. Here's the hard part...I need a musical preamp (used) under $2000, with at least 1 bal out, 2 or more bal in, REMOTE control, tape (line) out (bal would be nice here, but very rare). If tube, must be quiet (low noise floor) but punchy (in the bass freqs). If SS, must be musical and non-harsh, like a Krell or Levinson, sans their upper eschelon price tags. A nice phono stage would be icing on the cake, but I could always buy a standalone unit (phono recommedations under $1000??). Preamp contenders: BAT VK-3i or VK-20???, ARC LS2B, Atma-sphere, YBA, Ayre K-3, others??? Musical tastes range from Gabrielli & Bach, to Billie, Ella, Thelonius, to Krall, to U2 and remixed contemporary dance music. Your comments are VERY much appreciated. Thanks for your time, Michael
Hi Michael; I've had a LOT of experience with Vand. 2Ce, 3A, and 3Asig. Synergistic Research Signature No.2 (biwired) work great with all of them-- very neural, smooth and detailed, but I suspect they would be hard to find used. I think 14 ft. bi-wired runs cost me about $1400.-- but I paid retail, and the extra 4 feet would make a difference. Sanctuary of Sound, Seattle, WA. sells Syn. Res. at a discount and "Stewart" is an Audiogon preferred dealer. My Sonic Frontiers Line 1 and Line 2 pre-amps have 2 sets of balanced inputs, and are very musical (neutral as opposed to "tubey"-- with the stock 6922 tubes); and they have excellent bass. Neither is "noisy". The Line 1 and 2 have great remotes, and either can be had used for under $2K-- The Line 1 about $1200-1300., and the Line 2 (out board power supply) about $1700-2000. These two pre-amps sound very similar, but the Line 1 is slightly more aggressive and live(in a good way) while the Line 2 is slightly more relaxed, easy, and laid back. The differences are subtle. If you went with a Line 1, it may leave you with more bucks for the speaker cables. Happy hunting, Craig.
What's wrong with an Ayre K-1 or K-3? Actually, I haven't heard the K-3, but I hear that it is quite similar sounding to the K-1, which is probably somewhere within everyone's 5-10 best that there is. Or at least it should be. The K-1 has a smoothness and lushness which belies its top-end air. No solid state sound there! Also, both Ayre's supposedly have some of the best phono sound anywhere. Either Ayre will certainly beat the BAT or ARC electronics hands down. I haven't heard the Atma-sphere or YBA. Both are pretty expensive brands. I have heard both good and bad things about the Atma-sphere preamps. I have heard about a lack of bass, particularly in the MP-3 And the MP-1 uses 19 tubes. Ouch. The MP-3 uses 10, I think. Besides, if you are looking for an exceptional 10 tube preamp, there is always the CAT. The current Ultimate model is the preamp of choice for quite a few reviewers. It also has an excellent phono section. As far as speaker wire, you can consider Kimber 4tc biwire. It's cheap. It's neutral and it is not rolled off. And I know from personal experience that it works well with Vandersteen. If you want a little more high frequency energy, you could try JPS Superconductor
I own a set of Vandersteen 3A's, and am using my tried and true Kimber Kable 8TC in bi-wired configuration from my Bryston 4B-ST to the speakers. In the price range you mention, I don't think there is a better choice than Kimber 8TC or 4TC (if you want to save some money). You will be very satisfied with the 4TC if you have short runs to your speakers (6-7 feet or less). The current issue of Absolute Sound is devoted to systems costing from $3K to $300K, and on several of the inexpensive systems the reviewers recommend 8TC or 4TC. Of course, the best solution is to find a cooperative audio dealer that will let you try several brands before you buy.