The gain of either the preamp or the power amp could be easily increased slightly by trivial circuit changes. Why not consult with the manufacturers?
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Thanks for comments so far, however, I just installed a high-gain mod from Audio Research (2 resistors lift the output from 12 to 18 db) and it's still not enough.
It changes from disc to disc, but on most discs I can't get more than about 88db (at the desired 14' listening position') from my Mag 3.6's. The amps don't sound particularly strained, so I'm assuming more volume is possible given more volts on the inputs.
What concerns me is that looking at Cary's preamps as a possible 'synergistic' option, they range in gain from only 17db to 20db, which I don't beleive will be enough, based on what I've just seen going from 12 to 18db.
I'm using balanced outs from the LS15, although they are quite long at 20'. I would estimate based on the step from 12-18db, that I need about 25db gain to get the volume up without having the volume pot fully clockwise.
My front end is Audio Alchemy DDS Pro Transport into AA Dti Pro 32 into MF A3/24 upsampling DAC.
I don't know if there is any way to lift the output from the Dti or the MF?
I really don't want to ditch the LS15, but ARC are saying that any additional increase in gain would result in excessive noise and degraded sound quality.
Can anyone suggest an option that doesn't involve ditching equipment, if not, please recommend a pre with balanced outputs that has 25+db of gain.