Preamp upgrade for Bryston 3B-SST Power Amplifier

I am looking to upgrade my preamp.

My current Setup:

Cambridge Audio 840C CD Player
VTL 2.5 Tube Preamplifier
Bryston 3B-SST Power Amplifier

Kindly suggest a good upgrade to my existing preamp, that is a good match to the Bryston 3B-SST Power Amplifier.

Are there any advantages of upgrading to a preamplifier with Balanced Inputs?
Tubed preamps that I have owned with Bryston amps (4B-ST, 4b-SST & 14B-SST) - Rogue Audio Magnum 99, Hovland HP-100, Lamm L2 Deluxe (very nice) and now have an ARC LS-26. All were good matches with my amps. Unfortunately I have not had any VTL preamps so I cannot advise as to what may be different from those I have listed above. I will say that the ARC is the least "tubey" sounding off the units I have owned. Dollar for dollar a used Lamm L2 Deluxe is hard to beat...

They say that the 3B-SST is not a true balanced design so using single ended cables over a shorter distance may be just as good. That being said I have found that my ARC sounds best (IMHO) running balanced so I use all XLR cables/connections in all my gear (even my 14B-SST).

If you are not averse to SS preamps don't discount Bryston's own BP-26 - there is a definite synergy between it and their amps although maybe you are just a "tube" kind of guy...
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Thank you, Rgd and Bob. I am looking for a preamp with very low noise floor. I have read that Bryston preamps have a very low noise floor.

I see a lot of Bryston BP25 on Audiogon at about half the price of Bryston BP26. Is BP26 significantly better than BP25?
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I would think that if a low noise floor is a key desire than a Bryston preamp would suit the bill. If you can live with a little tube "noise" (assuming that your VTL has a wee bit of it) then other tubed preamps could be as quiet as what you have now. But I have had a BP-26 in my system on loan and its dead quiet compared to the tube preamps I have had.

Now I understand the design of the BP-26 is virtually the same as the BP-25. The largest difference is the new power supply that comes with the BP-26. Now the nice thing is this new power supply can be bought separately so if you were to score a really cheap BP-25 you could get the new PS and be ready to rock. If it were me I'd probably wait on a used BP-26 (make sure the seller has the bill of sale for the new warranty regulations). My 2nd choice would be to get a used BP-25 to see if I liked it. If not then I'd re-sell it for probably for very close to what I paid for it. If I did like it then I'd either wait on a reasonably priced BP-26 and sell the BP-25 or keep the BP-25 & pony up for the new PS.
Thank you. I am currently using 1m Nordost Blue Heaven interconnects. How sensitive is Bryston BP-26 to the interconnect cables (RCA / XLR)? Do you have any suggestions on interconnects?
I think all gear has some level of sensitivity to cables. You can do a search here and over at Audiocircle under the Bryston chat board for more info. That being said if you do get a Bryston preamp try the blue heaven cables on the single ended connections. If you like what you hear then try and acquire a used set of blue heaven balanced cables. If you don't then try something new. Buy used to reduce your costs. I had good luck with Cardas Golden Refs at the time. A buddy uses Tara Labs (forget the model) between his Bryston pre & amp. Lots of good choices out there but its been my experience that copper based cables have been better choices when using Bryston components although you may find otherwise.
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