preamp to mate with McCormack DNA 1

Hello all

Looking for a good solid state preamp ($1000 used) with remote that will mate well with the McCormack DNA-1 amplifier. Intend to drive Vandersteen 3A signatures.


I'm really pleased with my BAT VK-3i. After about 5 years I replace the tubes with New Old Stock (NOS) and the improvements were more than subtle.

I also have DNA-1 (stock) and Thiel 2.2's.
I recommend to use passive preamps since McCormacks are too sencitive for the tube drive. They're designed to be used with McCormack preamps that have basically 0 gain. Becides McCormack preamps that I consider bright in active mode you can use:
1.Placette passive(remote optional) is a-bit above $1k
2.Audio Synthesis passive rempte preamp(used is even under $1k)
3.Never had a chance but according to the blasting reviews you can check bent audio transformer volume passive preamp.
I can make a counter suggestion. I'm using a McIntosh C-38 with my DNA 1/B driving ML SL3s. WHile I love the flexibility, durability, and smoothness of the McIntosh, I have a usable volume range between 8 o'clock and 9 o'clock, anything over 9 and the room is over-pressurized and not really comfortable. Still no distortion at the louder volumes, just far more than needed in a 16*25 room
I used a Kora Eclipse tube hybrid preamp with my DNA-225 (same 100Kohm input as the 1.0) and it was a very nice pairing, indeed. The matching, from an impedance standpoint, would not have seemed logical but the sound was great. As such, I would not dismiss the idea of a tube preamp out of hand.

Within the next few days I will have complete and introduced into my system the Bent passive that Marakanetz mentions. Will post my impressions when things settle in a bit.
I've got a ARC LS-7 driving my DNA 0.5 (Revision A)... waiting for a Supratek Syrah that I ordered about 4 months ago (Mick said that the sensitivity is adjustable to deal with high power amps).

just my 0.02
I also highly recommend the Placette Passive or Remote Volume Control. Both models are remote controlled, it's not an option. The difference is the Passive has three inputs standard and the RVC has one input. The Passive new is $1400, used generally $800-$1000. RVC is $1000 new and $600-$700 used.

I don't think you will find a better sounding unit for the price, and the remote is a bonus.
Oh, as far as price goes, my transformer-based Bent passive will have three WBT RCA inputs, 2 XLR inputs, one WBT RCA output, one XLR output, adjustable grounding positions, and remote volume control. Price $1350, delivered. I'd like to do a heads up with the Placette which I've also heard is good.
4yanx, I feel that you'll sell your Kora before bent breaks-in(might take some time for transformer)...
Keep us posted
Kora is sold. And with a most happy owner, I might add. You've had experience with long-trannie break-in, Marakanetz, or am I misunderstanding your post? Thanks.
For hard to beat value I was mainly referring to the used price for the Placette. I picked up mine used locally, but still think it's a good value at list price. I thought the Bent Audio passive was more expensive than that. I've been hearing a lot of good about that one also.
4yanx, to be more precies I'd say it might or might not take a long time to break-in. Theoretically inside the trans there is a large deal of reactive interfearance between isolation wires and core that might not sound right firstly but will eventually shape within 20...50hrs of signal.
20-50 hours. A mere nanosecond in relation to audiophile time! :-)

Eagle, please know that I wasn't trying to "one-up" the Placette, on a cost basis. I've heard it is very good, also. Actually, the Bent CAN be had a bit cheaper in kit form, but because I have only recently reacquainted my hand with a soldering iron, I let it best to let John Chapman do the construction. my simple philosophy about breakin'-in i'd say that $hit will never become a flower within the time and there are ONLY small changes occur during that period. much more larger proccesses occur with human psychological and audiable adoptation (even during these 20...50 hours).

speakers and source devices have one more mechanical factor blended with both mentioned above.