Looking for some recommendations about preamp options


It would be pairing with a Decware Torii amp. I want to buy something used that will be fairly easy to re-sell if I don't like it. Right now I am thinking about an Audio Research LS 27 or perhaps the Cary preamp SLP-05. I have heard the LS 27 equals or outperforms the Ref 5. I do see a Ref 3 offered here that is just a little out of my reach but could probably make it work. There is a LS 27 on AG right now but it is shipping from Spain and is wired for 220v. Not to big of a deal but a little more of a hassle than I really want if I am going to drop that kind of money. I am open to all recommendations. Perhaps even a TVC or a passive. My amp should have plenty of gain and I would not need long cables so impedance shouldn't be an issue.  Steve over at Decware has designed a new Pre but it comes standard with only balanced ins and outs and to get it the way I want will be expensive and I am sure there is a couple of month wait for one. Thanks for your time. I love this forum, amazing amounts information.

Andrew
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I like my ARC LS25 Mk II - you can buy one used & use it while looking for a used 27, then sell either for a small loss  or a gain.
I think I might do that. have you compared your LS25 to a 26 by chance?
How 'bout an Ayre K1....excellent
bryantdrew

Your Deccaware Tori has
  • INPUT IMPEDANCE: 100 K OHMS
  • INPUT SENSITIVITY: FULL POWER @ 2.0 VOLTS
Not very high gain.
If you use a passive/tvc type pre, then your source should be able to have over 2v output and have less than 1kohm output impedance.
Suggest a passive pre that has the option of active tube or solid state switchability with some gain. The Schiit Freya is right up your alley. This way you can have three different ways of driving the Tori.
http://www.schiit.com/products/freya
 

Cheers George
Thanks George and Stringreen. I have a Schiit headphone amp that is mediocre at best and for some reason that has turned me off a bit on the Schiit line in general. I know that is unfair and I am probably missing out on some of their better products but that is how my brain works. I think they have a trial period though so I might as well give it a shot.
Stringreen I want to stick to tubes. I had a SS preamp (maybe not as good as the Ayre) and it degraded the sound, excellent MC phono stage though. I have heard from numerous Torii owners that they had a really hard time finding a pre that did not take anything away from the Torii until they spent big money on very nice reference preamps and even some of those did not suffice. The Torii has a very pure, beautiful sound and I guess I want to try and pull everything possible from it. 
I second the Ayre K-1xe! I just purchased one and it is the best preamp I’ve ever heard and I’ve had lots of them! It is much better the the Audio Research! I’ve owned the LS and a reference! 
Andrew,
Of the 2 choices you listed I like the Cary SLP-05.I’d give consideration to a used Shindo preamplifier such as the Monbrison or Masseto. What is your budget range?

I use the Coincident Statement Line Stage which I adore but it’s has
Only 2 inpus.
No remote control.
Comprises 2 chassis and weighs 70 lbs. So not for everyone but it offers superb sound quality IMO.
I can understand your desire for a high quality tube preamp,  you have many good options available new and used. 

I have friend with a Torii and he (reluctantly) stretched his budget and settled on a Coincident Statement Line Stage, mostly for its high voltage gain, according to him. He was also very anal about getting something that matched the sound of his Torii... and I must say his system is one of the best I've ever heard, anywhere. He has one of the larger Zu speakers, not sure exactly which model.