Preamps - Kairn and others
Thinking about a preamp w/ phono upgrade. I am using my Linn Majik as a preamp into a Van Alstine Super70i (ST-70 makeover). Convenience and ergonomics are important in this living room, family system. E.g., need remote control; balance controls (tho not two separate volume knobs) are a plus. Need quality phono section. Cripes, I would like a good headphone section, too, but that would be taking this convenience thing too far. I like the Majik’s preamp performance -- real high-value performance (moreso than the amp section, I believe), so I am entertaining upgrading to a Kairn.
I’d welcome comments on the Kairn’s phono stage and other attributes and also suggestions for other used, full-featured preamps in the same price range (let’s say 800-1300). What I most want from the preamp sonically are pace and quickness, quietness/blackness, the kind of detail that gives harmonic richness and “air”. I don’t want forward presentation or warmth, and I don’t particularly need strength in the soundstaging department. Solid state or tube is okay, as long as it’s reliable and not fussy.
As far as music, I listen pretty broadly and don’t want to optimize for one type (but I can cough up more info if you want). The system is made up of Linn Karik III; Rega Planar 3, OL RB250, Dynavector 10x4Mkii; Neuance shelves under sources; Majik; AVA Super70i; and DeCapo 3As.
I’ve reviewed the archives and will appreciate any input you can provide on my situation. Thank, Jayson