Pre to match with Bel Canto amp s

Any Bel Canto amp users effectively using a non Bel Canto pre?

Any good experiences?

Currently running a Cary, looking to step up to something with XLRs...
I have tried the Bel Canto REF1000Ms and REF500Ms.

With the original DAC3.5VB, I preferred the Pre3 in the chain. But after I got it upgraded to the VB MkII, I thought the Pre3 lost some of the detail I got from the upgrade so I preferred it direct.

That said, I assume you are using a tube pre amp - which I find really tempers the Bel Canto amps very well - adding a lushness and 3 dimensionality to the sound of the power amps - which can sound sterile/overly neutral at times.

I have tried the Ayon CD5S (a tube CDP/DAC with an analog preamp running quad 6H30s) and also the Audio Research Reference 5 and 5SE (both also with quad 6H30s) and both are just amazing with the Bel Cantos.

Both are also fully balanced.
I use ARC sp16 pre with BC ref1000m amps and also have a BC C5i integrated.

Both sound excellent but there are notable differences.

The main thing is if you are running a higher output impedance tube pre-amp, you need a BC amp model that has at least 40kohm input impedance. Most newer BC amp models include 100kohm unbalanced and 200kohm balanced input impedance, and will work well with most any pre-amp. Older models prior to the m series designation tend to have lower input impedances as I recall and may not work as well with many tube pre-amps.

Other than that you are good to go with most any combo. Each will sound different still and you can choose what sounds best, but at least you know you have two components that mate together optimally from a technical perspective.
Get the Pre 3 as it is very, very good indeed. I owned one and was very impressed. Best value pre I have heard really.
Thank you.

I'm using a ref500s amp.
If you like the Bel Canto sound, which tends to be very neutral, holographic, extended, and lush, you'll probably get it best with a BC pre-amp to match the amp.

But the nice thing I find with my ref1000m amps is that they are very transparent, so you can easily achieve other flavors of sound you might like with other pre-amp lines. The Audio Research sp16 tube pre-amp I use normally with the BC amps add just a touch of tube like presence in the midrange, which is not something that I think is an inherent characteristic of teh BC sound.
Get the Pre 3 as it is very, very good indeed. I owned one and was very impressed. Best value pre I have heard really.

I used the Pre3 with a Ref500S a couple years ago and should've stopped right there. Have used a lot of nice gear since, but haven't really bettered my system. Stupid audiophilia.
Thanks, guys.

Mapman, have you found any particular cables that work well with Bel Canto? I'm using Audience AU24 IC and speakers; shunyata copperhead for PC.
I like dnm reson ic to let the gear just shine through.

I use audio quest cv 6 speaker cables and these do a fine job.

No special power cords on my bc gear but I like Pangea ac14se cords on my preamp and source gear. Have Pangea ac 9 targeted for amps someday maybe but feel no immediate need.