Just purchased a Belles 150A Reference amp. Watch should my preamp be..


My system is shaping up as follows: VPI classic 1 (JMW 10.5), Dynavector Karat 173D cart, Maxxed Out/Cary SLP-98 or other tube phono stage in 2-3k range, preamp?, Belles 150A reference, Epos m12i speakers. The system is probably too good for the Epos m12's, but I want the flexibility to upgrade those at some point. What preamp should I try to pair with the Belles?
ironclaw1
Would an integrated tube preamp sound better than say a Maxxed out or Cary 98 paired with another separate? What's the best solution given my system for about 3k with prepared gear?
Belles Aria preamp will seem clearer faster
 its only1200 bucks new and made in USA
 Best JohnnyR
Would a Cary SLP-98 preamp be sufficient? Or should I look for a Belles preamp such as the Aria with the Cary as phono preamp? Trying to have a real cherry of a system.
Just purchased a Belles 150A Reference amp.

You need to look at the gain and input impedance, before jumping in, so should others.

With an input impedance of 100kohm and gain at only 1.27v!! for full output the 150A is begging for a passive preamp or active with very low gain.

As a medium/high gain preamp will have it’s volume control too low down for very high listening level already, not giving you much control over the volume, and also having higher noise figures because your throwing away the sources gain.

A Shiit Freya will give you the option of passive, tube or solid state outputs at lower gain than normal active preamps. As it has many good features.

http://www.schiit.com/products/freya

And get a good phono stage with low output impedance with medium to high gain.

Cheers George
Hadn't heard anything, but glowing reviews of that Belles unit. Is it just that it doesn't fit in my system well? Or does that Belles 150a necessarily limit preamp choice? 
Unfortanely for me, I am a newbie and those numbers mean next to nothing, and I have been resorting to judging equipment based on other's characterization. Is there a simplified video crash course or articles that help me understand why those numbers should be alarming to me.
Is there a simplified video crash course or articles that help me understand why those numbers should be alarming to me.
No not really that you would understand.

To put it simply as possible, most sources have over 2v output, your 150A only needs 1.27v in, for it to give full watts output.
So you don’t need more gain from an active preamp. What you need is a preamp with little or no gain.
This is why the Schiit Freya is a good match as it has little or no gain, depending on which output you use.

Cheers George
I looked up the 1.27V figure and it seems that may be associated with the 150A Belles and not the 150A reference, which has an input sensitivity of 1.4V according to another page. Still, much less than the 2V. What would an acceptable small amount of gain?
What would an acceptable small amount of gain?

Still something like the Freya, would be the best as it’s the only one I know of with low or nothing gain, and you have the choice of tube, solid state or passive output.
And it's remote volume with the best, 128 position relay controlled, multiple inputs, and outputs, single ended or balanced. And you can sent it back if you don't like it.  

Cheers George
So a very nice tube phono stage such as a Cary or Fosgate would have too much gain and therefore would have a slight background noise?
Anyone on the forum have experience with the Belles 150a reference amp for vinyl playback? If so, phono stage recommendations? Looking into the Schitt Freyr, but there must be more options as it has been an much lauded amp.
Looking into the Schitt Freyr
It doesn’t have a phono stage in it, but they do make one, the MC or MM Mani that has a nice low 75ohm output impedance and adjustable gain settings. So you'd need both the Freya and the Mani.
http://www.schiit.com/products/mani

Cheers George
When you are done with that try the Belles Aria Preamp voices well with the Belles power amp and your Cary tube phono hooked into an auxiliary input.
Best,
JohnnyR
Audio Connection 
Thanks GeorgeHifi and Johnny R, I ended up going with a Belles Aria pre, and just got off the phone with Keith Herron, and am going with Modified Herron VTPH-2 instead of the Kary.
ironclaw1;  Listen to one who knows!  John Rutan of Audio Connection is The MAN.  He set me straight on my whole system.  I have a Rega Apollo-R, with AQ Wind into an Audible Illusions 3A, AQ Wind IC into the Belles 150A Ref amp, AQ Oak Bi-Wire into Vandersteen 2Ce.  This will blow you away in dynamics, soundstage, sweet highs, mellow mids and bolted to the ground -wall shaking BASS!  Regards, Thomas
My suggestion:  one of the  tube/ mosfet hybrids....


There are great sounding preamps in the price range from Belles, VanAlstine and Rogue Audio. 
Can't go wrong with Belles in most situations. I know folks who like their sound 'hot' and others who can't handle that.  The Belles sings in both types of systems as they are kind of a chameleon type of amp. Pretty neutral.
Congrat's on the Herron, you won't regret that move.:) 

Jeff