I would probably go for the PV7. It is romantic sounding which may work well with your other components. It depends on what kind of sound you like. You have picked out good deals though! Arthur
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Sorry to introduce a wild card, but the Klyne SK-5A here at $695 is IMHO a whole other level of machine, a clear winner if you also have vinyl. ( Its phono stage is super. ) I guess it may be out of your price range, but it preserved the detail of my Shanling CD-T100 and it would do the same with the Music Hall you have.
If you haven't had a tubed pre in your system before, it's kind of hard to tell whether you'd like one or not--some don't, many do. I say go for it. Worst case scenerio is that you don't like it and have to sell it at little or even no loss. When I added a tubed pre to my system (CJ 10al), I did so because I wanted to enhance my analog gear, but it was my cdp that benefitted the most. The CJ made my cdp sound like analog--a good thing. Have fun and enjoy.
Have you given any thought to a B&K PT-3? I believe they have been replaced by the PT-5. You should be able to get a new one for around $450 or less? (Retail $595) Another thought. Different spks! I've owned three JM Labs spks.(Chorus 705/707/and an older two-way floorstander, can't recall model # @ the moment, and I've found them to be somewhat bright sounding w/the exception of the Chorus 705. I understand what you're aiming for. Considering your amp, which I've heard others say is warm sounding, MLD is my choice. (Added benefit: Use as headphone amp in the future.)
All good choices however. Good Luck!
I would recommend your "tube" route first or possibly the Forte.The PS and Mccormick are going to be a little dry.The PS 5.5 was interesting ,but in the end-very solidstate.The CJs are very musical,but not the last word in low,low-level detail.This being said,it won't be a problem until you have invested considerably more on your system.
Hello, You are in luck. I had a CJ PV-7 and the PS Audio 4.6 preamps and I used them both with a B&K ST-140. I replaced the PS 4.6 with a PS 5.5 and then upgraded to the CJ PV-7. The PV-7 was the best sounding of the bunch. Both PS Audio pre-amps were very quite and had very good dynamics. They both sounded best in straightwire mode. The PS Audio preamps had one advantage over the CJ. They could be left in standby mode without any worries about tube burnout. The CJ couldn't be left on all the time. It had to warm up before it sounded its best. The CJ was also very quite, but it wasn't as fast. It did however make wonderful music. I loved the way that the PV-7 complemented the ST-140. The ST-140 is a good mellow sounding amp that sounded great with an easy to drive speaker. The B&K amp had trouble with a 4 ohm load like the KEFs that I was using, but really shined with a pair of ADS 1290s. Overall the PV-7 was at least the equal of the PS 5.5 which was an improvement over the 4.6 preamp. When it was time to upgrade my system, the PV-7 was so good that I kept the CJ PV-7 and upgraded the amp. I have since upgraded to the PV-11 which sounds like the PV-7, but just more of a good thing. Conrad Johnson has excellent resale value. You can also sell the PV-7 three years from now for more than you paid for it. I also still have the 5.5 in a bedroom system. Jim