Question on preamp matching with Wright 3.5 2A3 am

Just purchased Wright 3.5 2A3 monblock amps. I also have a Rogue 66 Magnum pre coming for it. I wonder if the two will mate to give enough gain on my 96 db effecient Cain & Cain speakers. Here are the specs. I dont understand specs as far as matching amp/pre and hope someone could help.

3.5 mono's

Input imped 100K ohms
Input level 2 volts

Rogue pre

output imped 650 ohms
rated output 1.5volts rms
max output - 50V RMS
gain - line stage 23 db
max output 50V rms

I guess the 1.5 v rated output confuses/concerns me on the Rogue. Seems low? The Wright pre's and many others are 2.0 v rated output. Should this concern me?


Wright's own preamps match up brilliantly with his amps. The WPL12 would be a great match-up if you don't need a phono stage or his AU1000 (dealer-only) if you can find one. I've owned the 3.5's and have heard many of George's products (great stuff and a reasonable price). The lower output pre would simply necessitate your cranking the volume a bit more. The absolute quality of the sound is another matter entirely and is not necessarily related to a precise matching of output/input within .5V. If it is really far off I suppose it may bring in some noise and distortion.

I know about the Wright but it has no remote. I got the pre yesterday, Rogue, and I cant get my current speakers to play any louder than low conversation type volume. They are B& W DM601's 88 db effec. I have to turn up the volume to over 75% to get even this low little bit of sound volume. Based on what I have been reading this is not right. I know the Cain & Cain is 96db effec, but I am concerned my amp/pre combo wont work.

I use the Ack Dack which is rated for 2V peak to peak for 1 KHz 0db signal. I just think I should have had more volume on these 88 db speakers. I know it would not drive them loud, but the max volume level I got was very low.

That low volume you're currently getting is due to running 3.5 watt amps into 88db speakers, not a mismatch between amp and preamp. Once you get those 96db speakers things should improve dramatically, at that point start trying different pre's. I agree with Marco about trying a Wright pre, if you can live without remote. Otherwise your Rogue might be just fine.
Absolutely, as Jond says, the primary reason for the limited volume is the
mismatch of a low-efficency speaker with a flea-powered amplifier. I could
never drive my 89db efficeint SR17 monitors beyond very low volumes
without alot of distorition with my 3.5's. The Cain&Cain is certainly efficient
enough for a good match. I have not heard them myself, but they sure are
beautiful to look at, and the Voight pipe design they are based upon is a
standard in the single-driver world. Be aware, you are going into a whole
other direction that your what you are used to with your B&K and whatever
you were driving them with before. You may want to make sure it is just what
you want before dropping $1500 on a new pair of very large speakers. There
are other choices in the more 'conventional' monitor/multi-driver speaker
you are used to that may work nicely with the 3.5's. I'm into the older Klipsch
horns myself, which are also quite large and do not sound like conventional
speakers. In the realm of what you are used to there are the Reference
DeCapo 3a's which can be had used for the price of a pair of Abby's. Look for
something with at least a 96db efficiency if you want to play music at more
realistic volumes with the 3.5's. Do a search here and on AudioAsylum
(perhaps in the high-efficiency speaker asylum) of your amplifers and see
what others are using. You should certainly be able to use your Rogue at that
point, but I'd still recommend a Wright pre for great synergy.

Be aware also that those 3.5 amps are all about midrange. When set up well,
they will yield of the most stunning midrange reproduction you are likely to
hear from amps of that price. However, in my experience, they do not do
bass well if you have expectations around more conventional push/pull
designs. So if you do have such expectations, and are a big fan of low bass,
I'd definitely seek out a speaker that is known for it's ability to reproduce
lower registers well. If you are a bass freak you may even end up considering
a sub. Of course, if midrange is all you need than you sure came to the right

Thanks guys for your comments. I actually purchased the IM Ben's that are a new double horn from Cain & Cain. They are said to be another level or two above the Abby. I also purchased the Baily sub from Cain & Cain.

I have decided to go whole hog SET after hearing some 1975 Altec Lansing (I think) speakers with the Wright SET amp and pre. The system used Radio Shack speaker cable and an older Cary tubed CD player - 300 I think. The sound blew me away. I have built many high end "big rig" systems with "great" gear that did not sound this enjoyable or musical.

I am looking forward to hooking it all up. Also purchased the Paul S. anti-cable for my new speaker and sub cables. Only $80 per 8 foot set! I use an Ack dack(battery operated) with a belt drive Parasound transport. I am confident this will be sonic heaven for me. We will see.

The only component I am not sure about is the Rogue preamp.
I think the 66 Mag is a steal used, but not sure of how it will mate with the rest of my system.

Thanks again for your help.

I'm betting you'll love your setup given your reaction to the Altec/Wright rig. I wouldn't worry about the Rogue if you already have it, but if not, I'd seek out a Wright pre to complete the magic.

I second Marco's recommendation of the Wright preamp. I heard my 3.5s with four different preamps, and the Wright pre lent the least coloration and most body to the music.
By the way, Bill, have you rolled those tubes in the Wrights? You're in for a real treat, especially with some of the excellent 6SN7 tubes available. Virtually everything out there--RCA, GE, Brimar, etc.--will have you tossing the stock EH's in a hurry.

Please let us know how your system sounds when all together. I'm curious to hear what you think of the Ben's.

I agree with Howard (and several others) that the Wright preamp works wonders with Wright amps lending body to the music. I use the Wright pre with the Wright 1.75's (type 45 tubes at 2w/ch). I also tried and enjoyed the Eastern Electric Minimax pre so you'll probably do well with the Rogue, just a different flavor to the sound with each pre. If you like the flavor provided by the Rogue 66 and appreciate the remote, just stick with it and enjoy.
Great system!
I answered a similar post on required sensitivity in preamps/amps to drive a system to adequate sound levels. Give it a should be able to sort out the numbers for setup...just sort out whether the numbers you gave are RMS, peak or peak to peak....I would suspect RMS.
The Wright 12WPL/WPA is a great match and must with George Wright amps. Both cut from the same cloth. Fast, detailed and see through clarity. Very nice sound together. Glad I took the plunge!

I may be wrong, but I thought the new IM-BEN's were around 92 dB sensitivity. Anyway, the Wright 3.5's should give you plenty of volume depending on your room size and listening preferences. I don't own any Wright gear, but I've heard them on a few occassions, wonderful stuff. I'm a SET/single driver convert myself about 2 years ago. I've never looked back. Some will say that the single driver and SET will not give you lower frequency satisfaction. Just remember, you can always use a sub to add that lower energy--that's what I did. Supposedly the IM-Ben, even with it's smaller Fostex 108 driver, gives a more solid foundation in the lower mids. There are smaller, fast subs like Terry's own Bailey, ACI's Force, and REL's offerings that mate quite well. Look over at 6moons for the latest review of the IM-Ben/Bailey combo--looks like another winner. No connection with Cain & Cain, just a happy Abby owner, and future I-Ben ES owner (hey!, A guy can dream can't he!)

Were you referring to the 6moons review of the ABBY/Bailey combo? If I missed the review of the IM-Ben, please list the link here.

By the way, have you heard the Ben ES? I've not heard them, but they sure do garner some rave comments.

Sorry about that. The IM-BEN review is at Enjoy the by Ian White not 6moons, got them mixed up. Very good review by someone who is familiar with T. Cain's designs.

No, I haven't heard the Ben ES, just going on what I've heard. My room is too small currently to do them justice---One of these days.........?
Cool. Thanks for the link, Brad.