Recomendations for a line stage only tube pre-amp

I am considering the Supratek line or the mac c2200. My amp is a mc352 driving N802's. My listening leans towards Diana Krall, Rebecca Pigeon et al as well classic rock. I'm looking to keep it under 3K. Thanks for any input.

What is your current pre-amp and what sources (CD player, DVD player, tuner, phono, etc.) do you need to support?

The reason I ask is that if you are only using CD as a source (or CD and DVD players), you may be a candidate for a standalone CD player with volume control. I have used several different versions of this setup and I love it!

Currently I have a Quad 99 CDP which is a CD transport, DAC and volume control in one inexpensive unit. I run my DVD player into one of the aux. inputs and play my DVDs throught the excellent 24/192k DAC.

When we put the Quad into my buddy's very revealing system, the built-in volume control was noticably more transparent than his $4000 tube pre-amp.

I also owned the Resolution Audio Opus 21 in the past and it was even better, but was more than 2X the price.

Just an "outside of the box" recommendation, FWIW......


Thanks. Right now my pre is a CJ Premier 10. I only listen to cd/sacd and have a Sony 777xes. I like the warmth that a tube stage brings, so I'm looking to upgrade.

If you like the tube sound, I'd suggest you try a used Jadis JPL. Forget the CD input with its additional tube and use the tape input for the best sound. Very dynamic (slightly better on macrodynamics than my JP80 was, though not microdynamics) and natural sounding. I went to my dealer years ago to replace my ARC SP-11 with an LS-2 line stage, heard the JPL and was smitten.
SAS Audio makes a wonderful linestage that is transparent and very musical. Bound for Sound loved it. I am currently demoing it in my system and am enjoying it immensely. Ste Sammett who runs the company is a great guy.
Hello Larry,

You should also check out the deHavilland Ultraverve. It's an octal tube pre and it did wonders for my system. Good luck

Considering your setup, I would go for a Mac preamp.

I also found myself in the quest for a new linestage about 6 month`s ago. I was running a Mac c-42/ mc352 combo into a pair of Mezzo`s. I settled on a BAT vk-51se in my quest I listened to the Mac c-2200 Aesthetix Janus ARC ref mrk II,ls-25 and the BAT vk-31se, BAT vk51se. For the money you want to spend 3K you should give the vk31se a listen, they are going used for around 3.3K. That get`s you to about 90% of a vk-51se, I also did like the Janus but they are a little hard to find used. Just my 2 cent`s David