preamp for dartzeel amp?


Anyone usen listen, or can recommend a preamp for the dartzeel amp. I cannot afford the dartzeel preamp which costs at least 15k used!

I current use the emm labs preamp/dac combo with the emmlabs transport and evolution acoustic mm2.speakers.

I most interested in tube preamp or tubelike or hybrid preamps!


...i have had many preamps and my current 'first sound'.preamp..linestage only..paramount mk ii ..designed by emanual go far..the best i have had..he makes 9..i think..models from about $6k new to $28k ..they are tubed with separate outboard power supplies and completely separate internal rt and lt channel hardware.go to their website...good luck
get a rowland consummate. i know it's old and cheap, but it sounds beautiful as well as detailed. it just doesn't thrust the music at you. just make sure it has the upgraded (most recent) line stage modules, which are far superior to the originals. also, you can pop the lid and adjust input and output impedences, gain, etc. without tools or solder. plus it's fully balanced from input to output.
if that isn't quite good enough you could get a synergy 2i,
with a third of the features and flexibility, but an aircraft aluminum case.
otoh, i am so opinionated these days maybe i shouldn't even suggest this considering the dartzeel is an $18K amplifier. but from EVERYTHING i've heard and read, the dart and the older rowland gear seem to be designed to do very similar things.
if the dartzeel preamp came two ways- with and without the phono stage you could probably afford it. but they make two products and are probably not going to make a third in the forseable future. which must be very frustrating for those who want monoblocks with at least 200W into 8ohms, or
a linestage, or a standalone phono stage. with all due respect to the musicality of their stuff, perhaps way to much ink is being spilled about them while other companies are making components that are just as good...hell, you could buy an old pass aleph amplifier and go nuts over how tubelike it sounds (couldn't you??)
...just my 2 euro's worth...
I tested darTZeel with NAGRA PL-P. It was so amazing.
hey mike, from what i've heard in my own system, the preamp section in the dcc2 is excellent and will take some bucks to beat. what are you looking to add, or conversely, what do you feel is missing?
French_fries: I figured I might help clarify things a bit.

The darTZeel preamplifier comes as it does, with phonostage because most people who use darTZeel equipment also have a vinyl rig in their systems. Reality is that if darTZeel made a separate phonostage and a separate linestage the set would be quite a bit more costly for those who wanted to use vinyl. Think of the added expense of the extra chassis, power supply, etc.

Also the phono section is relatively inexpensive to incorporate once the linestage and it's chassis and power supply are already built. Simply, you are just adding the boards and connectors that are necessary for those inputs.

As the distributor, how I wanted the preamplifiers configured was my call. I looked at the cost of with and without phonostage and considered how many customers I know use vinyl and I still feel that the correct choice was made.

As far as your statement: "perhaps way to much ink is being spilled about them while other companies are making components that are just as good...hell, you could buy an old pass aleph amplifier and go nuts over how tubelike it sounds (couldn't you??)"

That statement would most probably be much different if you actually heard the darTZeel amp and preamp with your VR9's. :)

All the best to you!

Jonathan Tinn
Blue Light Audio
Proud Distributor of darTZeel
please notice my disclaimer that i AM quite opinionated, and must concede that the performance of the dart preamp is probably as good as people say it is.
unfortunately, I am limited to the time i heard an older rowland system with avalon ascent-II's, properly set up at a dealer's showroom. he played some charlie byrd on a SOTA turntable and it sounded pretty magical. this was quite some time ago, of course. i had to smile when he said "imagine what it will sound like in a couple of weeks 'cause the speakers haven't even been broken in yet." i was looking at a system that was way beyond my reach- the outboard crossovers on the avalons were something i could never have imagined a speaker company would consider necessary. the other pieces of the system held me in a similar state of awe. anyhow, the preamp was a rowland consummate which was the current state of the art (around 6 or 7 grand without phono). listening to charlie play his classical guitar with such an abundance of subtle nuances revealed was pure bliss. i imagine that having "that sound" in my house today would certainly be more than adequate (with a nice alblum collection of course). i often place myself in an audio "time machine" when i read the praises of equipment that tops the current list of the "best of the best", so i am not trying to deliberately be arbitrary or argumentative, but simply trying to offer a different point of view based on a number of experiences i've had over the years. my brother has a pair of pass aleph 1.2 mono's for example, driving sonus faber extremas. putting on a cd or an alblum over at his apartment, even with mediocre acoustics, has such an organic quality, that i become completely absorbed by what i'm hearing. plus he shares my love of jazz with equal passion and has a cd and record collection to die for. his preamp, btw, is an aleph-p which got killer reviews when it came out- well deserved if my hearing is worth anything.
I need to stop somewhere, so i'll do it now. if the dart provides as much pleasure as i have experienced from the rowland and/or the pass lab preamps, that's fantastic. that it can do so much more than that i can't get my poor brain around, but i am sure that it does. anyhow, i just don't like the color scheme...! (kidding).
The preamp section on the DCC2SE is, as Dennis the Menace says, quite good, but having used it for a while while my Jadis preamp is in the shop I have found that it lacks the dynamics, bloom and spaciousness of a great tubed preamp (like a Jadis). I agree that it will take a decent amount of bucks to top the DCC2 on the solid state side, maybe a little less on the tubed side; I'd suggest you consider offerings from BAT or Lamm--the LL2 Deluxe might be a good possibility--or Shindo, if you keep the interconnects to the amp short. I also think French Fries' suggestion is not off the wall at all (I'm not one to give up on older products, my Jadis was made in 1995 and was designed a lot longer ago than that), though finding an older Rowland to audition would be difficult and it does have a distinct sonic signature that may or may not work with the darTZeel.

By the way, I have heard the darTZeel amp and preamp together at a friend's place (with an EMM Labs source too), it is quite a special combination, which is why I guess that I'm a little hesitant to suggest mixing and matching. If you are the sort of person who doesn't change components that often, the combination might be one that you could get, keep for the next 20 years and get off the high-end merry-go-round; you could rationalize the high cost that way. But don't go into debt to do it...