McCormack Preamps

I have read good things about the McCormack TLC-1, but I'm looking for something less expensive. Any comments about the McCormack Micro Line Drive ? I have Magnepan SMGa's, a cheap CD player, and currently an AudioSource Amp Three (looking to upgrade that to a Bryston).
I used to have the micro drive; it's dead silent and transparent - as you'd expect, but really is kinda dry sounding with limited soundstaging ability, and a thin sound. It's also very selective on set up, requiring high output source (you cheap cdplayer may not cut it), short run, low cap cables and a fairly sensitive speaker, which I don't think the maggies are - so therefore, while a good product, maybe not the best for your system, IMHO
I don`t agree with all of the coments made by the other gentlemen. I`ve live with it for a 4 year period,it did what it was suppose to do, make music your cd player does have enough out put. but your amp may not be high [ gain ] enough in the input to drive your speakers. you should search out a dealer who will let you try the pre-amp . your speakers have that big wide sound and depth that you like ,just find the right combo of pre-amp and amp that does the job.I`ve had a combo very close to yours, maggies, micro line drive ,mccormack .5 amp, mccormack sst transport, and dac 1. you should try it first before you dismiss the pre-amp,then find an amp that will work with what you have. there are some good amps out there so try them.Also the pre-amp does have a gain stage to it that will give alittle more bottom to it, but you`ll lose some transparency, but still a hard pre-amp to beat for the money.
Would a McCormack TLC-1 be a good match with a Threshold 400A or with an Aleph J amp? Some audiophiles have told me passive preamps sometimes don't mesh well with Threshold amps or Nelson Pass designed amps. Has anyone ever used a McCormack TLC-1 with a Nelson Pass amp? If so what were your thoughts or impressions? Thanks so much. JD
The McCormack Micro Line Drive offers a passive and an active output, the active output has an adjustable output of +/-6bd of gain. The -6db setting offers the option of weather you like an active or passive preamp. The other portion of the equation when using a passive setup is the output voltage of the source, the input impedance of the amp and the capacitance of the cables used, all these have an influence on the sound. There's a lot that goes into using a passive preamp. Do a search here on Agon lots of great information on this subject. That's one of the good things about the MLD with its passive and active output you get to experiment. There is a difference in presentation between the two outputs so you would need to decide which you prefer. If you want to increase the performance of the MLD you can have it upgraded at SMc Audio. I have a TLC Deluxe and 2 Micro's, one with the Gold upgrade, for less than $1K the upgraded Micro gave the stock TLC Deluxe a run for its money. But for starters the MLD offers a lot to learn with and a lot of growth potential. With the prices these are going for you couldn't ask for a better choice.