Preamps opinion

Hello all,

My setup contains atc scm 40 mk2 speakers, hegel h160 as a pre, and bryston 4bsst2 power amp... Now I want to change my hegel h160 with a dedicated pre amplifier. 

My candidates on second hand are bryston bp26, audio research ls 26, ref 3, ref 5se(if i find budget)

What are your opinions about these matches? 
Unless you have a tremendous interest in emphases on detail at all cost, or excessive heavy bass (only like rock)... then the best Audio Research Preamp you can find. Ref 5 or 5SE... if you can. I have owned Audio Research preamps and prized their sound over different solid state (like Pass) and other tubed (McIntosh and CJ) for 35 of the last 50 years. Their sound has gotten better and better. Detailed, natural, midrange bloom, outstanding soundstage, great bass... I recently upgraded my REF 5SE to 6SE... but honestly they are in a class of there own. With the New REF 160s amp... my system really went to a new lever. Audio Research preamps have always had a magical sound to them.


You’ve got 2 x gains you can have on the Bryston 23dB or 29dB, this will be ideal for a Schiit Freya+ pre SE or XLR, 3 different peamps in one passive, tube or solid state. And it’s got remote.

Cheers George
will last longer!

Pretty happy with my Backert Rhumba 1.3.  
In my limited experience a tube preamp with bring more tone and texture to the sound. Ymmv. 
Really depends on what sound characteristics you’re looking for.
Hello again,

Actually I have never used a tube amplifier before... But i have heard many times bryston power amp and arc pre amp match is very good. My main concern with hegel h160, at some tracks I have to raise volume level until 99 to get sufficient sound. 
your problem with the hegel and its volume control setting is one of poorly matched input sensitivity in your system
What is your signal source? This has never happened to me. Sounds like an insufficient input signal. 
Hegel h160 connected to bryston bda-2 dac with analog input.
That should not be. These pieces are std audio. No insult here.  Are you using single ended input? there any chance your your DAC is plugged into the Home Theater max level inputs, instead of the ones marked analog?

I tried with home theater input, bu can't change volume level, always 85...
What you are experiencing to me sounds like a equipment problem. I would consult with an electronic repair facility. 
I would check out the Don Sachs linestage. Hand built, point-to-point wiring. Uses 6NS7 tubes.

You can call and talk to Don directly. He will custom tweak the unit to best fit with your amps.

Incredible performance for under $3,000.