Don't rule out the Atma-Sphere MP-3. With the regulator and V-Cap options it's very nice.
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I would second Tvad's recommendation for the Audio Horizon 2.1. You can do a 30 day audition and return it if it is not to your liking so what is to lose there?? I would suggest that you specificy that the unit you audition must have the premium input and especially the output transformers which make this unit one of the best out there and a real steal at its asking price.
Good luck with your search!!
Ladies(just to be on the safe side) and Gentlemen I think that covers everybody, thanks for the responses.
Let's say I want to make this atma m60 work and really well that is, which preamp will be the last one for this combo. Something that will have future upgrade possibilities. I know the mp1 would be the best choice but I cannot layout that kinda dough. Therefore should I stick with mp3 and will there be enough room for upgradebility that will take it to the top, I know it shares the same topology. I know an mp1 from the earlier years may show up for decent money but the upgrades are costly.
I get a glimps of that wow factor with my system now with the sim pre/power, being spoiled a little I want to be wowed with tubes. I like the air and imaging you find in top systems. Can it be the audio horizons? Or will passive provide that too, or is the phono in atma sphere worth going there, I would like to think so. I am in favor of going with atma sphere, and am hoping the mp3 will suffice with all the tweaks. Comments?
I recently bought an Audio Electronic Supply AE3 on the recommendation of it being a giant killer with a friend's pair of tube monoblocks. Well, I shouldn't say giant killer as much as flat out sensational in his opinion.
I have the same pair of monoblocks as he does, and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. So, do I think the preamplifier is great in that combination? Well, it was pretty good, but I was left wanting for a lot more.
Then, I needed to put my M60 into the system for some evaluation, and holy cow, it's far and away the best preamplifier I've ever used with the M60s. More dynamic than I've ever heard, while adding a flesh and blood and romance that has never been there before. Previously, in my opinion, the other amplifiers had sounded better than my Atmas. Now, the Atmas have leapt over the other amps, and it's not even close. Not sure if the combination will line up with your tastes, but I sure found the end result to be truly outstanding.
Mingles, I have the DJH, but I think any version of that model would be OK to take a flyer on.
I haven't tried the different versions, but my friend who recommended it to me had the base one which he had someone modify for him. The end result, according to him, was not very different whatsoever. Of course, I'm sure there are some people who have owned multiple versions, so I'm curious to see what their experiences are, as obviously, mine is limited in this regard.