Putting another obstacle in the signal path is probably not the way to go. IF you're not getting your soundstage, it's not the fault of that CD player.
I'd be looking at:
- speaker positioning
- cables (you didn't say whose cables you're using)
- your amp
An Atma-Sphere preamp will probably expand your soundstage in a big way. I love mine. For digital only I would personally go in a different direction, but I don't wish to keep repeating myself and give the appearance of being a shill.
Tube pre could change the sound for you, that alone may make you happy. I don't think it will give you greater performance though. I agree with Golden_ears on the soundstage, move the speakers around a bit. I have a Krell ksa-250 with Bent audio Tvc and have great soundstage. Most Capitole owners say that the volume control in the player is a good one so I would play with the speakers and maybe some room tweaks first.
Golden_ears is right on the money! I have tried a few different preamps with capitole mkII's and it always sounds better running direct. Preamps used include, BAT VK-50se, CJ art series II, Aesthetix signature IO to name a few.
Thanks for the response. I've heard the Consonance R1.1 tubed pre-amp is one of few which actually sounds better than running the Capitole direct.
Well, personally, I would have agreed with Golden Ears, but... I have compared going direct against using my Ayre K1x, and WITH the amp, the soundstage is wider, bass more tightly controlled, everything more refined...
I have tried various pre amps with my MKII and always
gone back to direct. The biggest improvement was adding
a Elrod 2 statement powercord.
I recently had my Atma-Sphere MP-1 upgraded, and I now prefer running my digital output through the preamp.
There was a very slight loss of detail, but the benefits provide by using the preamp now outweigh the benefits provided by the direct connection.
Wellfed- You ran from the digital output of your cd player to your atma-sphere preamp? How is that possible? Did you mean that your ran from your variable analog outputs(which just happen to be controled in the digital domain) from your cd player to your preamp- cause that would make a LOT more sense to me right now :) Unless of course I am confused and your atma-sphere has a DAC built in, but I wasn't aware of there preamps having a DAC section.
Tireguy, I was referring to my digital source signal. Sorry for the confusion.
Wellfed- That's what I figured! Thanks for clearing it up :)
Just checking out the forums on the AA Capitole MKl & since I just picked up a used one a couple of months ago.
I was hoping to connect directly to my Sim W-5 and then to the Maggies 1.6qr eliminating the preamp.Not!
The heart and soul of a good setup is a preamp and I found this out .Really wanted to down size / get rid of /replace my old Accuphase C280L preamp vintage 1986 .The Capitole loves the added presence and wholeness that the Accuphase provides and merely adds to the soundstaging and realism department.
I've had good luck running my Capitole Mk2 through a Joule LA-100 linestage. It seems to add a little texture to voices, especially womens voices. I set the volume on the Capitole at 0 dbr to let all the information therough to the linestge. Other components are Berning ZH-270 and Merlin MX speaks with Cardas GR ICS.
I'll try your suggestion with the Supratek pre-amp this weekend. I've never tried to set the volume on the capitole to Zero.
After my last post I emailed Ralph Bauer at Globe marketing, who then emailed Globe Audio for their input as to volume settings on the Capitole when run through a preamp.
Globe Audio states that at odB, the Capitole puts out about 5 volts from its preamp into the output. They state that amount *could* overload the preamp, and consequently recommend a volume level of -6dB. This level provides about 2 volts which should be sufficient. Minus 12dB represent unity gain, according to Globe Audio. If you are using the Capitole in *digital mode* only, the higher volume (0dB)setting gives the best signal to noise ratio. If you have the newer version (AI) with analog inputs- the additional voltage from the higher volume setting may be a surprise to your preamp.
Globe Audio recommends setting the Capitole at -12dB to start with, play a variety of music, and see if the
volume controls on your preamp cover the range of your ilstening in a useful way. If you detect no overload at the preamp input, which sounds like distortion on loud or ensemble passages, then you could increase the gain setting on the Capitole to -6dB or -7dB. Listen again carefully for any indication of overloading the the preamp. If you detect any, back it off a ways.
I've run my Capitole at 0dB for quite awhile into my Joule linestage with no negative results. I find running the Capitole at 0dB gives me a deeper, more textured bass response. I do not detect any overload that I can hear or feel in terms of overheating. Of course YMMV. I would recommend strongly following Globe's recommendations.
If you have high sensitivy amp or not so power hungry speakers I strongly suggest a good passive preamp. I have owned preamp from Lamm, Thor, Blue Circle and audition preamp from Pass X1, Orpheus Two, BAT VK51SE while they are good sounding they add color to the sound but none yet to beat the ultimate transparancy and neutrality of Placette RVC. The Placette sound better than even running direct from the AA Capitole volume control itself. Good thing the AA Capitole have high analog output of 5V.
I have Pass Labs Aleph 1.2 amps and the Capitol run direct just doesn't give me the dynamics at low volumes that I have come to expect. The bass is a bit tubby when run direct also. I had a Pass Labs d-1 dac that worked well run direct into the Pass amps though at 1/2 the power of the AA. Go figure. I love the AA and agree that another gain stage or two or five and interconnects is counter-intuitive but the input impedence of the power amp can be an issue.
I agree with above thread. The sound has more dynamics run through a Manley Steelhead pre. The sound running the Capitole direct is still excellent and sounds more delicate. Take yor pick