I use to use a Rotel with a B&K ST-202 which was a fine match. I also tried a NAD which sucked!
The best combo I found was an FT Audio LW-1 Passive Controller which took a veiling away from the sound. If you need a remote controlled capable there is always Creek,Bent and a few others you might want to consider,but a Passive I think is the way to go for transparency.
Do you remember what model Rotel? Ill look around for an FT audio model as well. Thanks. Anyone else with this amp, who has a suggestion?
older Audible Illusions, forget solid state
I have used a Counterpoint 7.1 tube pre with the ST140 for a long time. A very musical combo. They can be had for 275.00 to 350.00 pre owned.
I'll put in a vote for the B&K Pro 10MC preamp. Stereophile Class C in it's day. Nice phono stage, external power supply, balanced output, can be used as a passive preamp. I used one for several years and thought it was a pretty impeccable for it's $850 list price.
You should be able to pick up an older conrad johnson tube pre (like a pv 1 or 2) or in ss, a mccormack micro line drive.
I 2nd the B&K Pro10mc. I may be biased I presently have one for sale.
Sorry, I have to disagree with the passive and AI recommendations. The B&K ST140's rather low input impedance does not make it an ideal candidate for passive or high impedance out-put preamps. I tried a couple of passives with the B&K and didn't care for the combination. The B&K Pro 10 could be the ticket. The B&K ST amps can be a bit mushy in the bass, becarefull not to overdo it with preceeding "warmth".
Look for used Forte preamp. I know the Model 2 will work very nicely.
I am useing a Parasound 850 with my B&K ST-140 right now in my den system and it sounds good. The Parasound has a phono section also and they can be found for cheap used
Im looking at a nice Nakamichi ca-5a2, any opinions?
Unsound, i dont know that i follow your reasoning on the Audible Illusions paired with the ST 140. The B&K has an input impedance of 24.3 kohms and the audible illusions has an output impedance of 600ohms(AI tubes run in parallel thus having their impedance). That is well with in the 10-100 times guidline. Also the AI has plenty of gain to allow for nice volume control for such a low input amp. Also since the ST 140 sits on the warm side of nuetral the AI might be just what the doctor ordered.
Kool39, "the 10-100 times guideline" is some what arbitrary and IMHO generous. While 600 Ohms will probably work, it might require more attention to interconnect selection.
Would Audioquest Diamondbacks be ok with that combo? What cables do you suggest between them? Any other pre suggestions? A few people on other forums have suggested the bottlehead pre, anyone have any opinions on that piece? Thanks for all the help folks. With any luck the amp will arrive tomorrow.
I'm not familiar with the diamondbacks. I would suggest avoididng interconnects that are very high in capacitance if you use a pre-amp with a high out-put impedance into the B&K ST-140. Of course the length of the interconnect will have to be factored in.
I got the amp today and posted about it. I hooked it up to my integrated as a pre. The diamondbacks sounded awful. Im now using Synergistic Research Alphas between amp and pre. Im looking for a nice cheap neutral to mellow pre. I have my eye on a NAKAMICHI ca5a2 pre. I want a little more bass and clarity. Any other cheap suggestions?
How about an Adcom 565 preamp. These sell for between $200.00 and $300.00 used.Known for it's neutrality..it will probably do the trick.
The truth of the matter is there are very limited choices in decent inexpensive pre-amps. The B&K pro MC 10 seems to satisfy all your requirements and would probably be the safest recommendation with regards to compatability. Please keep in mind that a new/different pre-amp may work differently with other interconnects. My expereince with B&K with regard to customer service always been very positive. B&K is a well established firm that should the need arise, will probably be there.
I bought a Dared SL-2000A tube preamp last week. I purchased it for a second system that I don't have together yet, so I put it in my main system. I have to tell you if you can get away with just 2 inputs and no phono, this pre will be hard to beat in that price range. It can be had for a little over $300 brand new(I payed $330 total). It comes up weekly at auction here and on ebay. It even has a little keychain remote.
I need a preamp with good bass reproduction. Do the preamps you guys have suggested do that?
A preamp can only give you whats there to begin with.Also the sensitivity of your amplifier will be a factor.I haven't used the Dared on a B&K. But from trying it with a modified Dynaco ST 120 60 wpc paired with Solilquy 6.3s and Paradigm 20v3s paired to an Adcom 585..rattling the windows wasn't a problem! The preamp cannot make up for deficiences in the source or the amplifier...unless your using tone controls, which I don't use. Tone controls can only do so much, it will always be at the mercy of the amplifier.
I just saw a Forte 2 listed for $250. IMHO worth looking into.
Thanks its already sold. Crap!!!!! I hesitated on pulling the trigger.
What about a PS Audio 4.6? Im working on getting one, if I cant get that it might be the Forte. Any opinions or other suggestions.
OK Here is the skinny ! I have a st120, st140 and 202 and the ex442Sonata! The bro5 is not a very good preamp! Reason why is that in active mode its grainy, a little gainy . In passisve mode the amps can sound kinda dark, boring ... Wile I feel the pro10 would do the trick I use a CS-117 or use the CS-115 . there the same units with or without tone controls ! I feel that with my cs117 and st120 power amp in passive mode with my speakers that are 93db it will fill a 12x13 room pretty easy and sounds very ,very nice. Tuby and laid back but still very musical ! Now in active mode it sounds is more ss sound but with much more attack .. I do like both, but it depends on what Im listening to at the time or the way I feel ! I I know the CS 117 was cheaper but in my opinion its a better pre then the pro5! I do like it as well on the EX442 better then my ref20 pre/pos at 2,500. bucks. B&K is a huge bargain for what you get !! Hands down the St120 is there best sounding amp!! The circuit is so simple its hard to believe it plays music! The CS117 is 10db gain which is plenty even for my little st120! With a CAL Terccet lll player I luv the combo!
Wow! Resurrecting a 12 year old post. Had a ST140 mated to a Pro10 for 25 years. Served me well. Drove Vandersteen IIs and then Sound Dynamics Ti3s.