I vote yes for the adcom, a definate step up in the phono section, I auditioned a pair of speakers with that preamp.
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I agree with Rlwainwright-I would keep the NAD for now-which is a very good performer btw. IMO, NAD will sound better than the adcom. Your idea of upgrading the source and/or the phono stage is a good idea. I think you will get the most bang for your buck by upgrading your source. I would also look for used gear to save money. Your speakers are very nice, but can be a tad lean-perhaps a sub to get the bass pumping-that always helps to create more emotion in music and a lack of bass can seem a bit clinical at times?
Tbromgard thank's for your suggestion. I looked into the Dynaudio sub 250 as they are supposedly a match with these speakers tho their review was not all that good. Any Ideas there? Not married to Dynaudio but not looking to change my speakers. On the preamp I am trying to stay with NAD amplifier but the preamp section hasno phono stage.
I would see if you are getting the "emotion" via another source i.e: the DAC or cd/ computer playback before replacing the turntable. There are several sets of variables involved in that source- cart, the tt itself, the phono pre... Substituting with a completely different source -cd, computer audio whatever may give you an idea whether the amp/speaker combo is going to do it for you. After that, perhaps change the phono pre. Lot's of people really like the Dual/ Shure combination for a reason. I could never get the NAD to sound great with my Dynaudio (Special One-they are older Dyne's ) . I DID use the NAD pre out into a McIntosh 2100 power amp to extremely good effect with the Dynaudio.
Just looking at a value standpoint and the Era(80's & 90's) of the Adcom pre that you are looking at... The entry level quality audiophile companies at that time were PS AUDIO, Adcom, B&K, Sumo, Parasound, Hafler...
Of these companies, in Pre's only,
PS AUDIO... 4.6, 6.0, 6.1, 6.2 (had a 4.6 and 6.2)
B&K Pro 10MC - others that had model 10's or Sonata was best
Parasound PLD-1100 (did not own)
Adcom GFP565 II (had 555)
Hafler 915..IRIS (I had a 110)
I have owned most of these, for me, the Sumo and the B&K stood heads & heals above the others. After that, I'd take the Parasound, then the Adcom, then the Hafler.
Its only an opinion, but its the only one I've got.
Ths364: did you feel that it was the NAD's amp section that was the limiting factor with your Dyn's? I read that while both the preamp and amp sections were good on their own you could do worse than separate them out. Also my concerns with the c370's pre is the lack phono stage and adding to many links in the chain.
Relf: I would consider a tube in the future but for now I'm afraid it might color from the original to much? I am trying to learn the why's of all this a long the way and don't want to get ahead of myself and not be able to back track. Also the price of tube amps I think is to steep for my student pockets right now.
Thank you all, I' listening.
I agree with you Rleff but the price for a decent used tube pre amp exceed his budget. I was going to ask a little more about the emotion he thinks is missing.
OP have you considered selling your current amp and putting ehough money away to buy a modest used tube integrated. I must tell you tubes are magical things. Tubes are worth the price of adimission.
I am not familiar with tube buffers? Anyone recommend a tube preamp in conjunction with the NAD or just go all tube. I do like the NAD so maybe a separate tube Pre? And any recommendations remembering price is a large concern. Remember I'm new to this and the learning and gradual step ups and knowing why are important to me. Is an integrated DAC w/ phono something I should keep an eye out for in the future? I know I can't compare a recording with a live performance but the emotion I'm talking about is the tones and inflection in many of the artists I've known to record that way, but while my set up seems to be exacting, also seems to be missing much of that. With the tube I'm just afraid I'd just be creating that rather than reproducing it (letting the recording come through). Sorry for the long winded posts. All your replies are appreciated.
If I understood you right, you were looking for a $300 preamp correct? If that is the case, a tube buffer will certainly add some bloom to your NAD, but will not fix the problem of emotion, detail. I highly recommend that you take a look at my earlier recommendations. The Sumo Athena is an absolute steal at $300 and they can be purchased at this price and it includes a phono section noticeably better than your NAD PP2. Or did I miss somewhere on the budget amount?