pre and amp ideas 10-12K Budget

Currently I've been on a mission to upgrade my system. Currently I have a modest system consisting of:
Pre- Golden Tube Audio SEP-1
Amp- Adcom 5802
CDP-Esoteric DV-50
Turntable-VPI Classic
Phono pre-Jolida JD9 (doing mods)
Cables AVT series by MIT
Speakers-Carver Amazing Silvers

Not to long ago I asked about Pass and Bat. Biggest problem I have with this is there are no places for me to demo gear, etc any where local to where I'm located. The only BAT dealer nearby (over 2 hours away) is still a dealer but doesn't carry anything. next cloest is about 5 hours. I know hearing something at a dealer isn't the same at home, I understand that. But I would like to hear SOMETHING by them to at least get a feel for what the overall sound is like on them etc. I also haven't had a chance to hear anything by them and really want to make an educated purchase than just oh that looks good on paper type buy.

Right now I know I'm making a big jump in gear and I understand that. I wanted to move from more entry level gear (for pre and amp) to something higher up the chain. I would most likely buy used however want some suggestions of what I should look for in this price range.

If someone feels that I would also be better suited by changing on the speakers let me know. I'm trying to grow and learn. I started out in HT about a year ago and only been into 2 channel for about 6 months. I find that I love music more than HT and really haven't done much on that front for awhile.

Overall the sound I like is very dynamic and deep controled bass, very punchy and tight no flop. I also find I enjoy detail, making sure I can hear everything thats there and not having something covered up in the track. I mostly listen to rock, small group jazz, and folk.
I recommend a Spectron Musician III Mk 2 amp with the Bybee SE Filter and V-Cap upgrades for $5,000.00. You buy it direct and have a 30 trial period with it.

If you call, you'll talk to Simon, who also works with Joule-Electra, where you can get a really, really good tube preamp to go with it.

You'll be at less than your $12K and probably also the $10K price point and have a great preamp and amp to go with your Esoteric front end.


I take it from your name that you are a krell guy as well. Do you have any suggestions as to krell pieces I should look at? I have heard Krell in the past and really enjoyed the bass and detail they provided in the systems.

I did note that the amp you recommend is a class D which I haven't had much experience with in regards for 2 channel only for HT usage.

To tell you the truth, when I registered on Audiogon in 2004, I thought that Krell was it. Since then, I had Musical Fidelity, Herron, Karan, Burmester, Pass and finally Spectron. I've liked all of these better than my Krell.

In the last two months I sold my Spectron and bought a Pass. Within three weeks I realized what I'd done. I sold the Pass and bought another Spectron.

Search the web, there's a lot of reviews on the Spectron. It's the best I've had in my system.

I would really suggest Shindo pre amps as I have had audio research in the past and they have been surpassed in every detail.
Agree with Shindo preamps. If you buy from a Shindo dealer they have a very liberal trade-up progam. Start off with what you can afford and move up the line later as budget allows. Most of the folks I know who have bought Shindo gear still have the equipment. Seems to be much less churn than with other products. I know I'm happy.
Another vote for Shindo preamps. I first had the Aurieges paired with an Accuphase P-3000 and also tried it with my Luxman MQ-88 and Nagra PSA. All were superb pairings, and the Aurieges easily bettered my Audio Research Ref 3. All of those combos can be easily had within the target $10-12K range.

The only "downside" with Shindo is that many who go that route become so enthralled with the Shindo sound that they move up the Shindo ladder, often quickly. I went directly from the Aurieges to the Masseto and might not stop there, much to my wife's chagrin.
I also have Esoteric SA-50 and I join Krell-man in his recommendation of Spectron amp. The best I ever had. Period. Better then Pass, BAT etc (I never liked Krell that much). For $5k (they have Holiday promotion now) you can have great amplifier - extraordinarely musical and involving. Plus your speakers (similarely to mine B&W 802 Diamond) need lots of power and Simon from Spectron has planar speakers similar to yours and Spectron is one of the most powerful amps on the market today.

Shindo is good preamp but I have Joule-Electra. I bought because it was (partially) voiced on Simon's system with my Spectron and synergy is simply extraordinary!

Plus, Harry Pearson awarded this preamp "2010 HP Editor Choice" Award noting that it is most romantic preamplifier (obviously he did not mean to say that its euphonic but "grabbing" you). This preamp is the last in my life !!!

All The Best in Your Quest !