Placette pasive pre vs. BAT VK-50SE


I need to connect one source (CD only) to my power amp.
I want to make it as transparently (without adding or subtracting anything from the signal) as it is possible.

What would be better - a high quality passive pre, like Placette RVC or an active preamp, like BAT VK-50SE?

Have you tried both or any similar configuration in your system?

I have a Placette and have heard the VK-50SE extensively. The Placette is almost completely neutral and the VK-50SE (runs hot and sucks a lot of electricity) while also neutral, adds its character: lean, detailed and dynamic to the music and is a bit hard and processed sounding. And it seems to work sound best using balanced outputs with the VK-75SE or VK-60.

Another better option is to buy a cd player that has an analog output. You will be surprised at how much more purity/transparency you can get by using one less interconnect. Check the threads for comments on the Audio Aero Capitole and Resolution Audio.
mrgigi, with only one source what you need is the Placette RVC (remote volume control) which i use and am told sounds the same as the Placette passive pre. I have tried the BAT50SE in my system and prefer the Placette although in some systems the BAT50SE can have a better balance with added weight and body.

i have compared the Placette RVC to the volume control in the Audio Aero Capitole 192/24 version 1 and preferred the Placette RVC. the volume control in the Capitole added a coloration and obscured detail. again, in some systems this "warmth" may be preferrable. you do need the additional interconnect as Ultrakaz mentions but that has far less effect on the sound than the mediocre volume control that Audio Aero uses. it is important to keep the interconnect from the Placette to the amp as short as possible to reduce/eliminate any impedence problems.
Hey Mike, does the Placette RVC good to use when you have a preamp without its own remote control option?
In a similar situation, I own the superb Mark Levinson 380S pre ( original, not upgraded ), but recently picked up a used Placette RVC for the hell of it.

I have been listening back and forth for the last couple of months, listening to one for a week or so, then the other.
Regardless of cost, if I had to pick one, I am picking the Placette and selling my 380S.

Neither is perfect though, at least in my opinion wit hm ysystem, room, & ears. The Placette is easily more tranparent, offers better detail, and more fluidity ... but a slight lack of drive. The 380S really controls the music, keeping all instruments in a well deifing & controlled space, has great drive, and great user features. If the 380S was a tad more transparent, then I would keep it. Maybe that is what the mighty ML #32 offers ?

FYI: My system is here
Arl, save the trouble of considering the #32; i sold my #32 after i compared it to the Placette RVC and the integrated Tenor 75Wi both cases there was no contest. the more neutral and natural your system is the less you need what ANY active gain stage does.

Avnut, the Placette RVC "is" a passive preamp with only one input. you could certainly use it with a preamp without remote....but some transparency would be lost. i use my RVC with a passive switchbox that is totally neutral.

you can view my system and see how it is layed out at;

i have found that simpler can be much better....but you need a system wide plan to properly take advantage of the simple approach.
Small world ... Matt in Ottawa sent me a link to your system pics 2 days ago -> awesome setup you have !

- Andy

Interested in your opinion on my situation, since you're familiar with my amp.

I've got a Berning ZH-270 that has it's own volume control, but no remote. IYHO, do you think I would be better off using a Placette RVC vs going direct from my EMC-1 cdp? Am using Quattro Fils IC. I always wonder if the addition of another IC offsets the transparency of the Placette.

I've got a Joule Electra LA-100 MkIII that is currently not in the system. I'm holding off until I've had time to evaluate the other new pieces of my system. I've just upgraded the NOS tubes in the Berning yesterday, as well as adding an Elrod EPS-2 to it. The Elrod really improved the dynamics, speed and focus. I'm assuming the Placette would be a more transparent way of getting a remote than the Joule?

Andy, Matt mentioned to me that you were enjoying the Placette....if you did want what a preamp can do, i highly recommend the #32 as a great one, i really enjoyed was right up there with any active preamp and as you know, it is a wonder to use. i looked at your AA system page, pretty great system you have yourself....i have never heard the Waveform speakers myself but they are suppose to be awesome....i do have a question....did you compare the dCS Elgar to your Wadia 27ix? i am curious how your Purcel works with either DAC. i preferred the Wadia to the Elgar when i compared them a couple of years ago but that was before the Purcel (it was with the 972).

regarding the Placette, i think it is very system-dependent as it reveals what is going on elsewhere in your system. i also believe there are possibly better passive preamps out there but none balanced with a remote volume basically a lazy guy i gotta have the remote....getting up and down ruins the mood for me. ;^)

both you and Matt sure have the techie video have the DLP and Matt just got the Plasma....i still have my clunky old CRT. i have a separate home theatre room but i spend all my time in my 2-channel room.....i'm trying to figure out how to put a plasma in my 2-channel room.....what i need is a "virtual screen"....maybe a holographic image that won't screw up my 2-channel sound.
hi Ken, at least i try to keep my opinions humble.

anyway, i would guess that the volume control that is in the Berning ZH-270 would be bettered by the Placette but when i had the Berning in my room i didn't try it with it's own volume control. typically, the arithmatic does not allow for the quality of Vishay stepped attenuator like the Placette in an amplifier in the price range of the Berning.

i have found that typically the quality and execution of any volume control is a much bigger issue that an additional interconnect in performance. any volume control changes the interconnect passes the sound. i have owned the Nordost Quattro fil and it is an excellent interconnect and very neutral. so...IMHO...the Placette with an additional Quattro fil would sound better than the Berning volume control without the additional interconnect.

as far as the Joule verses the Placette the Placette is probably more transparent but not necessarily better in your system. Transparency is not would need to compare the two and chose the more musically satisfying of the two. again, the Placette will not add any warmth or body, with the Berning ZH-270 being fairly neutral it would depend on your speakers.

i hope that helps.