Adcom GFP 565 excellent and I think much better then the choices in your thread.
27 responses Add your response
The Audio Research Sp-4 is a classic, though not one of the famous ARC. It would hold it's value nearly forever.
Another preamp to look for is a Hafler DH110. The RCA jacks on the back are dirt cheap, but the electronics in it are decent, and at $150 bucks is a decent product.
Not many (In recent memory) preamps have tone controls..
I recommend a Dynaco PAS 3X. This is a great sounding preamp and it is the mate to your ST 70. The PAS 3X is a little different than the other PAS preamps in that the tone controls are defeated when set to the center position for best sound. This preamp will always be worth as much or more than what you pay for it today and represents an excellent value.
Jim Bonjourno is making a line called Spread Spectrum Technologies. He has a preamp called Ambrosia... It has tone controls. I have not heard it, but have read maybe a 1/2 dozen reviews. The worst of the write ups say that it is outstanding and is truely a hybrid in sound between very good tube and very good transistor. I don't know your budgets, but this is worth looking at.
After I read all of this, I re read your post and saw the price range that you are looking at. I decided to leave the above, but recommend: No tone controls, but wonderful gear.
Musical Fidelity A3CR
Muse Model 3
Audio Research LS9
Coda Window Continuum 4
All very good and can be had @ $500.00 to $800.00 on the used market.
In the '80s, I bought a NAD1700 tuner/preamp.
Tone controls were really flexible. 60/125/250 bass and 3k/6k/12k treble.
select one of each.
Also, on the back panel was a 20hz rumble filter and a front panel 'loudness' which boosted bass and treble....both a little.
It had 2 sets of outputs and 2 tape loops......
The phone input was pretty good, too, and had selectable MM/ MC .
I kept it for over 20 years. Gave it away working fine. NOBODY would give me anything near the 75$ I was asking.
The Adcom GFP 715 is the last (discontinued) 2 channel pre from them...and I think it sounds amazing (MUCH better than the tuner/preamps, and as good as some much more expensive pre's I've used). Hard to find but relatively inexpensive and it has phono, remote, and 2 output jacks...defeatable tone or tone stack bypass (I use both...second output to an amp for outdoor speakers).
Cool...and if you don't like it you can blame me. Weird thing...when listening to an ipod pluged into the "aux" input, I noticed sound bleeding into other inputs (like the CD input if I wasn't yet playing a CD and the pod was on). I assumed there was some design flaw in the preamp as I also assumed the ipod cable was OK. WRONG. I bought a Squeezebox Touch and some new Audioquest interconnects for it and the issue was solved...must have been crappy shielding on the other cables. Lesson learned.
The NAD c 165bee punches WAY above its price. I am very impressed by how right this preamp "sounds". The tone controls are implemented very well, I notice no negative effects when using them; quite the contrary: they make several weak recordings and streaming music channels far more enjoyable. Wish I had found something like this years ago.