New guy needs firstpre amp

Hi folks, rather than take over a previous thread, thought that I would start a new one. I am buying seperates for the first time. I have Nuforce ref v2 se's, B&W 805s's, Ayre cdp.
I am a soundstage and imaging fan. I really like to see musicians in space.
I have a $2k budget this time out. I also need ht pass. Lastly, I would like lower gain / more fine tuning from a volume standpoint. Here is what seems to fit the bill so far and I am sure any would be great for a first pre:
The nuforce p9
the JRDG capri
the cj 17ls
the pass labs x2.5
are there any others in that price range that I am missing?
Thanks in advance to all. This really is a great community.
Hi Jimmy, with the NuForce you may want to consider a balanced pre to maximize what your NuForce can do with. As mentioned in the other thread, I am very fond of Capri. . . its staging is superb, provided you are patient enough with break in. . . about 1K hours are pretty well a must. As for having very gradual gain. . . Capri uses an optically encoded dual gain volume control. . . when you turn the knob slowly volume changes by 0.5dB steps, which is extremely gradual. G.
Thanks G. I do like the balanced path. My cdp has a balanced layout as well. Like the idea of having the choice. I am hoping that someone will have a slightly cheaper suggestion. And I have a week or so to pick one out. The Pass Labs products seem to get alot of press and have the features. Have you ever owned one?
Take a look at De Havallind ultra verve, huge soundstage. I think there is one on the GON right now. I don't know the seller, just something to check out.
Hi Jimmy3993, no I have not had the opportunity of auditioning a Pass preamp, so I can't provide you with a direct finding. For what it matters, according to BlueBook, the Pass 2.5 was released in 2002, while the Capri was released in 2007. I know just a little about Capri internals enough to be 'dangerous', but have no info on X2.5. Capri is built around a very fast TI Burr Brown differentially balanced opamp labelled OPA1632.
I'll second the Capri. It's a nice fit on your budget. I just bought one and have put about 500 hours on it. Very good soundstage and imaging, extremely quiet and as the volume control is very good as well. It also has a polarity switch (not via remote control though, bummer) which I like to play with and a balance control with .5db steps. I use it in balanced mode and it sounded better to me this way versus single ended.
Thanks to all who chimed in. new guy decided to try the jrdg capri. will comment on my system when it is put together. Next for cables...
and a new thread.
Got my capri today. Gonna let it run for a while. But out of the box I can say that it runs really quiet and the range of usable volume is much much wider than the nuforce or my mac integrated. Now if I can just produce images with the same sharpness as the nuforce I will be very happy indeed...
Jimmy3993, you may find that initially the imaging of Capri is only competent but not spectacular. . . let it play as continuously as you can for a long time. Imaging and staging will improve gradually to about 1000 hours. I found its imaging and staging at least as good as that of my ARC Ref 3.
G -
funny you mention that. I was thinking the same thing - just competent or adequate but not as sharp as the nuforce. Still, just having a real usable volume range was enough of a benifit that I prefer it already. Glad to hear that it may sharpen up.
Question - If it needs 1000 hrs to reach potential, does it matter if that comes as a couple of hrs per day over 100 days, or 24 hrs per day over 42 days?
Hi Jimmy, the answer is. . . I do not know the answer! I have developed an equipment tracking spreadsheet that I have already used for a few components. . . I just entered the required break in hours and the start date. Each day I play music I enter start time. . . then when music stops I enter termination time. The spreadsheet then calculates the current breakin percentage, total hrs, and projects when the break in may be complete. Send me an email, and I'll send you the template. Guido