How about a BAT REX?
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I have heard the Boulder 1060 paired with the Audio Research Ref 3 and Ref 5. Both were excellent pairings. My local dealer is a Boulder, ARC dealer. Curious, what speakers are you driving? What interconnects and speaker cables? What is your source? I must say that the Boulder system that I heard sounded very natural (1060, 1010, 1021, Wilson Maxx3, Kimber select ICs and speaker cables).
Hessec, sounds like a plan; trying different cabling. I think the synergy between amp and pre-amp is an important factor in achieving best sound; impedence matching, etc. Boulder amp and pre is a combination that is hard to beat in my listening experience. I've heard Magico V3 several times and get to spend a lot of listening time with a close friend who has M5. When you find the right combination the system should sing.
What preamp do you have? I had a 1012 matched to a 2060 amp with Maxx 2 speakers for years and have a few ideas as to what will help. FWIW, all cables have some sound. Silver is detailed but bright. It sounds like you have too much of that already. List your equipment, including power conditioning and I can get more specific.
Yes, I am an impatient person and the "break in" of products drives me nuts. I probably have 150hrs on them and the lower range is becoming very nice. I realize that this is a very revealing/transparent setup and may never be my cup of tea, I don't know. I have pulled out all my "exotic" outlets that may(I think they do) or may not enhance resolution (how, I don't know but some combination of metals??) etc.. I am going to try out some copper cabling soon and if it doesn't work i'll just resell it. I have been through a lot of cables in the past couple years and thought I had exactly what I was looking for until I got the bug for a different speaker. The previous speakers' coloration and lack of transparency is readily apparent now...... I will give them another 100hrs or so before making any drastic changes. Although, my thoughts are that if it sounds bright now, it will never completely go away as this is the character (unforgiving) of the speakers and call it tone controls or not but not every product works for every component. The easiest way to take the edge off would be replacing the silver. Just my thought, I'm sure there are a million others.
No power conditioners- i've tried and can not justify their price/performance ratio.
I also have a dedicated line.
Thank you to all for the recommendations.
Depending on the length of your cables you have a variety of preamp choices. However the balanced line system was conceived with the idea of eliminating audible differences between cables, so if it is done right, length is not an issue either.
Most tube preamps don't support the balanced standard, despite having balanced outputs. I have only seen one that does. If you can keep the cable short though, there are plenty of balanced tube preamps that will do the job. I think you will find that the move is quite worthwhile- your speakers may break in further but a good tube preamp will bring detail without brightness that so far has not been possible with transistors.
I'm not familiar with your CD player. You may have figured out by now that everything makes a difference and synergy is huge. A tube pre could be an easy way out. Seems a shame because your components were designed to work together. By far the biggest improvement I made in my system was changing the amplifiers to 240V. It's a simple conversion that any dealer can do. You need an electrician to run a 240 line and change the plug on the amp. That cost me less than $500. I would call Goodwin's in boston and see if they advise 240V with the 1060. If that doesn't become feasible, then I would look at cables. There are many options there, and that depends on your price range. Power conditioning can be worthwhile. TheBoulder did well with the running springs, Sound Application, and the Audience AR6-T. Curious to hear what they tell you about the 240V issue.
This might not be what you would like to hear but anyway this is my advise. Dump the speakers. In the town where I live there used to be a high end audio shop and sometimes they gave a small show. So at one of those shows they had Magico V3, Boulder 1060, 1010 and 1021. I didn't like what I heard. In the same room I also heard a set consisting of: Boulder 850, 1010, Nagra CDP and Verity audio Parival or Leonore (not sure what model). This set while being cheaper played on a higher level.
The owner of the shop agreed with me. But he also thought the 850 mono's were better then the 1060.
As an update.... everything seems to have calmed down a bit and I have been playing with positioning a lot. I'm probably at around 350hrs on the speakers. Bass extension is still improving. Jumped the gun a little bit on the component change.... that being said, I would still like to hear a tube pre in the system. And yes, the 1060 is a totally different experience than the 850 mono or 800 series in general. I think some may be impressed with the 850 low/mid punch but the 1060 is another level of refinement, speed and depth. The low end is equal or greater (deeper) than the 850 just much more controlled and layered. I owned the 865 and have heard the 2060, 860 and 850 at length.
Do not power down your Boulder equipment for several days and then listen. Boulder equipment sounds very harsh unless it is left continually powered up. Then it is spectacular. Unless the tube preamp is beyond extraordinary, a Boulder preamp sounds best with a Boulder amp. But, leave both on continually.