I need a pre-amp with a mc amp.

I have a Classe'Four pre-amp.I think it may be the weak link in my system.I'd like to get something in the 2500-3000 (CDN) range that would be a noticeable improvement. The stuff that I've heard and liked(Ayre, Blue Circle) either don't have a phono stage or are a little out of my price range.I'd appreciate any advice.
My system includes: Linn LP12,Troika cartridge
Arcam Cd92
Castle Howard speakers
Classe' Ten amp
Transparent Super interconnects
Linn K400 speaker cable
I usually listen to rock and roll, blues and Vinyl is by far my favourite for listening.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Look at the TAD-150 pre. It has both MM and MC amp. Price is $1299 standard add $238 for signature ( U.S.) You can see it at www.2baudio.com. Paul is very helpful and knows his stuff. I have the sig version and couldn't be happier.
I would look at the audible illusions M3A with the optinal john curl designed gold MC phono board. Great sound (amazing for the price) should be able to find one for 1200 used with the phono board.
Beware that the Audible Illusions can be picky about NOS tubes as the unit runs tubes very hot. Used VTL Ultimate is a better preamp than the Audible Illusions anyway, but costs more. This is a seriously good unit that can be fitted with a factory installed tubed phono section for not a whole lot of money.

A used Airtight is an excellent choice, too, and I think there is one for sale right now. It has a phono section, too; think the model is ATC 1.

A Decware is a fantastic unit but is limited to two inputs. The use of only two inputs is done for a cleaner signal path. Decware also provides you with a 30 day money back guarantee so you can try them out.


The only decent tube pre-amp with phono stage that I've really enjoyed was a CAT SL-1 Signature MK 2...however, I would recommend getting the MK 3 version and up. Price for a used MK 3 is about $2400 USD (less for a MK 2).

I had a Shelter mc cartridge with 0.4mV output and the gain was more than adequate (around 46db for phono section). A cartridge with less output will probably require a mc stepup tranny. The sound of the CAT is not as warm as most would think...actually it's a little bright/forward sounding compared to say Sonic Frontiers (darker and not as transparent). The CAT has a wide soundstage and quite detailed.

The CDN dollar is very strong vs. the $US so now is a great time to buy since most of the good used pieces are located within the US.

Happy hunting!!
This turning out to be a lot harder than I thought.My dealer likes the new Bryston I like their 20year warranty,I don't like the fact that since it is so new it is basically untested, past Bryston pre-amps have generally received just so-so respect.
Blue Circle is just a few kilometers away from me but I'm worried about compatiblitity and warranty lenght( I tend to hang on to things for a long time).
Classe' seems to be a little more than I can afford.
A bullet proof pre that sounds glorious has a mc phono stage and since I'm dreaming a remote would be nice and the whole package would be under $3500.
I haven't given up hope but I'm starting to see the attraction of an i-pod.



A brand new VTL 5.5 with tubed phono section is in your budget and a wonderful unit.