Preamp into Quad Actives?

Perhaps I should not look further than my Rotel RC1070 pre running into my Quad 12L active speakers, but I'd like to try a tube pre and/or balanced cables. Budget would be under $1,500. Anyone have opinions about this combination?

How many sources are you using? There are some GREAT inexpensive single input tube pres available.

BTW, I think I've read that the balanced input to the Quad actives is the better choice for sonics. I don't have a balanced pre-amp or source, so I haven't tried my 12L Actives using the balanced input yet, but if I buy a new pre-amp I'm certainly going to look for one with fully balanced outputs too.


How do you like the sound of the Quad actives now?

If you only have CD as a source and you don't need remote control, then I'd pick up a Benchmark DAC1 (or Pre1 if you have more than one digital source).

If you need remote control, then I'd probably go with the Parasound P3 in that price range (I'd still find a way to use a DAC1 from the source).
BTW, my typical source for my Quad 12L Actives is an Oppo 970H with level 2 mods from EVS ( It has built-in remote controlled variable volume control (as do all Oppos) and it is a nice solution with the Quad 12L actives. The Oppo supports CD, DVD, DVD-A, SACD, HDCD and pretty much all other forms of silver disc, except Blue-Ray/HD-DVD.

So, I currently don't have any pre-amp in that system, but I may add one so I can connect my new Basis Turntable.


How do you like the sound of the Quad actives now?

It can't hurt to try balanced and/or a tube pre. As for the speakers, for their size I could not be happier with the sound.

I have no experience with tubes. Any inexpensive preamp recommendations would be appreciated. Naive or not, my system, which includes a cheapo Sony DVD/SACD player, is dead silent now so I am concerned about tube hiss, which is only something I've read about.
I am running a Quad CDP-2 from its variable output (unbalanced) into 11L Actives and a Quad L-ite sub. The system is very dynamic and open with clear, defined bass. I feel that there is a little glare in the upper end (4-7kHz) that needs to be eliminated. This is not room-related. I borrowed a friend's recording software and found that by digitally pulling down the offending frequencies a few dB and pushing up the frequencies above 8kHz, the overall sound relaxed (more correctly, I relaxed) and was really just right for me.
I want to keep this system very simple, so before I get into any digital processing myself, I will try running the CDP-2 fixed output into a small, quality, unbalanced preamp. Several reviewers of the CDP-2 did not like the variable output in the player and felt that the fixed output was the way to go for great sound. If the unbalanced preamp doesn't sound the way I think this system can, I will consider Reubent's idea of running a balanced preamp to the 11L Actives before resorting to digital processing.
......that by digitally pulling down the offending frequencies a few dB and pushing up the frequencies above 8kHz......

You can make such adjustments with the CDP-2!?
The CDP-2 does not have any processing capabilities. I should have mentioned that along with the recording software (which allowed me to perform digital equalization), I borrowed my friend's laptop, on which the software was running, and an M-audio digital interface. We ran a toslink optical cable from the CDP-2 digital output into the interface/laptop, where we did the EQing of the digital signal with the recording software. The signal was then converted to analog within the M-Audio interface, and run from the M-Audio analog out (unbalanced) to the active speakers.
So, the CDP-2 was only used as a transport in this case.