Passive, Balanced, Remote Pre?


Hi all..

I've heard the Placette pre is a wonderful product, but its cost when balanced is simply too high for me. Can anyone else recommend a balanced passive preamp (with remote) which will screw with the sound as little as possible? Mainly, I just want to manage volume levels on my Stax amp, and don't want to lose my balanced advantaged (Balanced DAC, AMP, cables to phones..etc)

-Adam
akimball
Adcom GFP 750.

KP
The Pass Labs Aleph P with remote and balanced inputs is roughly $1700-$1900 average used range. Is this too high for you? It's basically a passive unit, unless you crank it past 3oclock, I believe, and is a definite class A rated passive.
Anyway it's all I can think of, and it doesn't affect the sound really..great product for a passive. It's built like a tank as well. Good luck.
Oh, btw, stay away from the Adcom GFP-750!...it's not as good as ratings indicate (can you say payola?!!!).
oood Luck
I would go with the placette RVC(remote volume control) balanced it would only be $1800, and would everything you can imagine and more! Mikelavigne uses one in his system(which many call the best sound they have heard ever) and it is I believe the cheapest(most out of place, or maybe not?) component in his rig. He swears by it and I wouldn't doubt what he says- many enjoy that the placette products and swear by them, if I needed something like that in my system I wouldn't hesitate.

~Tim
I'm pretty happy with my Placette RVC. But as a more cost effective alternative you could consider a transformer-based attenuater. Bent Audio has some kits available (around 800$, they come with RCA AND XLR inputs and outputs - an advantage of the transformer design). There was big discussion about the Stevens & Billington transformers on AA a while ago and some people claim they are far superior to any resistor-based passives.
I think my Adcom GFP-750 preamp sounds very very good. Now, I don't have any comparison experience with it against other passive preamps so I can't argue with "Lthkeepr." It has one balanced input (for CD) and one balanced output. You should find a used one for $750 or less on Audiogon. You can always get a used one and, if you don't like it, turn it back around on ebay or Audiogon. At times, I have seen them bring a bit more on ebay than Audiogon.