Passive preamps can be excellent choices in some systems. Your amp is sensitive enough and has a high enough input impedance. Your source also has an acceptable output impedance. Only way to determine if they will work is to try one and see. Does Goldpoint offer a trial period? Their attenuators and switches are very good quality and I have heard one of their units in my system. I have been using passive preamps for quite sometime. In addition to Goldpoint I would consider the Lightspeed Attenuator and a transformer volume control. Where are you located. I have a few passives lying around and could be willing to let you try one.
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I use passives. I agree with Clio 09, and that is, to try it before to see if it fits in your system. One thing when going to a passive I have found is that it cleans things up, cleans that window on the sound. It may be perceived as making things leaner. But my experience is that it more clearly exposes what the components upstream sound like. And sometimes that is not a good thing. To me I have found that if you do make a system work with a passive it is like kicking all your music up a couple of notches because you hear so much more of the natural parts of it. But it is system dependent just like everything else, so give it a try.
Passive preamps can work if everything else in your system is just right. I have tried a couple different passive preamps, without much success. Though I do think they work best with tube amps.
You are new to this hobby though, and the only way to find out if something is right for you is to try it for yourself. Let your own ears decide.
I recommend you try it...might be just the thing. If the sound should still strike you as a little lean at some point, you could always investigate the possibility of reducing the length of the IC's (between the Goldpoint and the amp inputs) to absolutely as short as possible (to as little as 3" or so, if possible). This will give you all the sonic advantages of passive pre's with none of the sonic drawbacks (lack of lower mid warmth and/or loss of dynamics). I use Goldpoint SMD attenuators installed physically inside the rear of my monoblocks (almost zero distance from the amp inputs) and I love them, they have been a real revelation with no downside whatsoever...well, no remote control the way I did it, but terrific sound.
Clio, I live in CO, that would be awesome if you'd be able to let me check one out, if not, it's all good and thanks for the thought.
I think the gold points looks nice; I like that they have a balanced option. I was also investigating lightspeed and those look awesome as well. I don't like the idea of a wal wart with the lightspeed. Part of the cool thing was I didn't have to worry about a plug and wire and wal wart. Lightspeed has no return, gold point might cost $70 to return it (15% restocking fee + shipping.). I also liked the idea of Scott Endlers attentuators because they plug straight into the amps inputs which saves cost of a nice rca or xlr cable in addition to being the shortest run possible.
I like the idea of cleaning up some of the "mud" in my sound and gaining detail but I don't want to lean out the bass too much and I'm wondering if it will be a pain to not have a remote, at the same time it might be nice to just set the volume and sit back and listen without turning it up, then down then up....
Clio, if you want, e-mail me and we can talk a little more :-)
another passive to look into is the Placette RVC or Passive Pre (just depends on the number of inputs needed). i switched to one a few months ago and was stunned at how good it sounded compared to the active preamps i've owned - pass labs, counterpoint, aesthetix, etc. remote control and 30 day return policy, not to mention the owner is extremely helpful and will be honest about system matching and his gear.
We can work something out as I live in Las Vegas and own a home in Denver.
I have a Lightspeed, DIY autoformer volume control using the Slagle/Chapman modules, and one of our own:
If you are interested in checking one out contact me through Audiogon or the Contact Us form on my website.