Change from processor to preamp help

I have been using a Meridian pre/pro, 568, for past 3 years and am ready to attempt higher audio! I'm interested in selling my pro. and buying a preamp along with a new cdp or dac. I currently use the meridian with inexpensive sony dvd/cd player/recorder. I am also changing my b&w monitors out for merlin tsm's. I plan on buying an denon or sony receiver with preouts to use into my cary cinema 5 amp. What preamp do you recommend? I need something reasonable, I'm getting started here people. Also, would you recommend I keep my dvd/cdp and invest in a dac or go with a new cdp into the preamp?


Merlin TSMs, you're DEFINITELY getting into higher audio. Before making a buying decision you should probably stay with the Meridian/Cary combo for awhile and evaluate the type of changes you'd like to make after you get a good feel for the Merlins.

Which preamp you try first depends on the overall balance of your system and what direction you'd like to steer it towards. Personally, I have an affinity for tube preamps because of their dynamic yet natural presentation. Plus you have the option of matching it with a tube or solid state amp depending on your power or tonal taste.

Whichever path you choose, buying used is a good way of trying different equipment without losing too much of your investment. Try a search in the forums to see what people are using with their Merlins. You'll get a feel for what the gear might sound like with your speakers and will be able to make a more educated choice that way.

Good luck!
Gunbei is right. I would wait until you have had your Merlin's for a while. The TSM's are really good, although I suspect their amazing low frequency specifications might be under some optimal conditions and not free-standing. Just be wary that you might end up wanting a sub.
Thanks for the input. I use a hsu sub now but would like to move up to REL in the next several month. I'll leave as is for the time being and see how the tsm's sound.