My Only Question Is.........


Would someone please tell me the name of the preamplifier(s) on this planet that when inserted into the signal path between any recent Wadia cd player and any amplifier, IMPROVES upon the sound of the forementioned Wadia when compared to running it direct using its digital volume control near its peak. Remeber contestants that the better the preamp the less it imparts to the signal. Keep in mind also that answering this question intelligently would require that you have actually tried this.
petland
You need ASC traps, if you don't have them.
I have tried the wadia straight in and it clearly is inferior sounding without the THOR preamp in the signal path, loses the soundstage, as well as depth, also decreased dynamics; this is true of bothe the wadia 7+9; the wadia 830i and also the 860x
If you want to stay away from a preamp but still do analog you could get a EAR 834P. That is a phono preamp that plugs directly into you amp. You just have to make sure you get the one with the volume control on it. It is a tubed unit and just sounds amazing. It has a great review in Stereophile although they hardly do it justice, but lets not go there. It's a great way to get both worlds and new it only goes for $1200 you can find them sometimes on the used market for around $650. If you don't mind switching cables this might be the answer for you. For a turntable I have a Basis 1400 with a Rega RB 300 tonearm and I love it. Best of luck in your quest!-Gary
I agree with the comments about your getting into analog. The advise about the Conrad Johnson ART and the Counterpoint SA9 are both correct. Another option for best choice in a preamp is the Callisto from Aesthetix. This is the preamp from the Jim White, who designs and builds the IO phono. I know you will not believe this, but I would not be surprised if your system was improved by putting the Callisto between the Wadia and your amps. I know this flies in the face of what you believe, but there are other things in a system that matter, such as gain, loading, impedance, and capacitance of your chosen interconnect cable, and the input sensitivity and drive requirements of your amps. I have seen many circumstances where the addition of a ultra high quality preamp not only did not hurt, it helped! By the way, like David99 says, go with tubes, (like the Aesthetix is).
As you can see from the responses- there are no simple answers to your question. I fight with passive/active myself. The bottom line is it depends on the rest of your system- and one little thing like a power cord/interconnect (Tek Line Concorde Super Sonic) , or better PLC (PS Audio/Equi=Tech/Quantum), or proper isolation products (Symposium) or room treatments (Argent RoomLenses) by themselves can take your system over the top. If you are unfamiliar with these products you can read reviews at www.audiotweakers.com