Krell FPB-300 -W?- Pre- AR MRK 11 or BAT 50SE-51SE

I'm using the Krell FPB300 and the KRC-3 today, somewhat bright/harch. ( don't get me wrong I do love my system )I see that many Krell Amps are being paired up with Tubes. I have read some reviews on both, and they sounded very good. Audio Research Mrk 11 or BAT 50-SE /51SE
Your thoughts please and any other high end pre under $6K. Thank you

Other components being used
Infinity's Prelude/RABOS
Transparent Reference Cables
XA7ES CD player, 38lbs of class A (will upgrade in 2003)
Power line conditioners
I would not go to tubes. If you are going to update your cd player consider a Wadia or another player with a volume control. I too had a krc3 with the fpb 300 once i bypassed the pre there was no going back. The tuner, tape deck and the pre went on the block and I could not be happier.
are you going digital only or need a preamp for multi sources and maybe analog? CD only, the Wadia idea above is good.

Also, I think Krell amps need something to adjusted to use a tube front end.

I own a bat 50se, can't compare it for you though....
Right about needing "needing something adjusted" I believe that is an industry term. Problem with Tubes is that they will pass DC not good for a direct coupled design. usually protective circit shuts down. But I believe Krell inserts caps to filter the dc. at any rate all you are doing is adding another sonic signature by softening with tubes.
I can go CD direct. I don't have any other equipment. If I did the Wadia, it would be the Wadia 861, ( I will do what ever it takes ) Is the Wadia my only choice in Balanced with volume control top CD Players. I do sometimes listen to music at night when my 6 year old son is sleeping. All your info is very helpfull and is much appreciated. Peter
I am using the 861 before that i had an 860x both are excallent with the 861 further refining a great player. The volume is in the digital domain and when listening at low volume i do not notice any degration in the sound there are other players ie. audio aero that has a volume control many people like them I have not had the oppiortunity to hear the others.
You could try a passive preamp, A transformer type unit will get rid of that somewhat bright/harch sound. Transformer passives don't suffer from the same problems that resistor based units have. I have a krell ksa250 amp and a sony xa777 sacd player. Check out Bent audio web site for their model 102 transformer passive unit, you can use rca or xlr inputs and or out outputs. They will build your unit any way you want it. They are building one for me right now. They will let you try before you buy so you can't lose. Go to the audio asylum web site and do a search for tvc and you can read all about transformer volume controls. Also bent audio has a forum on the harmondiscord web site. You will like this better than any cdp with volume control and you can add a TT or others as you would like.
I agree that the Wadia, with the proper balanced interconnects, and with the output sensitivity adjusted, will sound very good indeed. I have used the 850 this way, and the current owner, who is in the music business in Canada, is very pleased with his set up running "direct." The nice thing about the 86x is that you also have a balance control lacking on the 850.
I run a Wadia 830 direct into my BAT amp...big system improvement removing a preamp and those interconnects...the Wadia lets you set its volume control to your amps output voltage so you can keep the volume in the 70 percent or greater setting for the most resolution-bits.
What balance inerconnects would be best with the Wadia.
I use a Hovland HP100 pre with Krell FPB 300cx. Marriage made in heaven. no problems with matching.