Recondition My Old Plinius M12 Preamp or Junk It For Something Better (and what)?
Age old story. I had a dedicated music system and an HT System. Moved to a condo where I had to combine both and put my Plinius SA100 MkIII and Plinius M12 in storage. My HT set up is a Marantz 8801 with a Theta Dreadnaught 5 channel amp and a Mordaunt/short Performance 9 Sub. All music is from my NAS through a Naim NDX streamer into the Marantz. I recently bought a pair of Focal Diablo Utopia III's and thought I would pull out the Plinius SA100 and M12 and hook up the SA100 to power the Focal's. The M12 had a broken front switch from the movers not packing it well, so I got in touch with the maestro of Plinius upgrades, Vince Galbo, and sent both the SA100 and M12 to him -- the SA100 to do his special upgrades and replace the capacitors, and the M12 to fix the switch and check it out due to age.
Ok, here's the dilemma. Vince told me that due to the age of the M12, it needs an $1100 upgrade which includes power supplies, and certain proprietary mods that he does with glowing results, after which it will give world class performance for many more years. The M12 coupled with the SA100 sounded absolutely amazing in my music system. Do I pay the $1100 or junk it in favor of something newer, and if so, what? My hesitation is that the M12 doesn't have an HT Bypass to facilitate plugging it into my HT system (which can be "worked around" by using a set of inputs to get signal from the Marantz for HT or with a switcher), it has no remote and will be in a glass enclosed rack, so adjusting the volume requires getting up and crossing the room, and the sub is currently managed by the Marantz, although the sub has separate line level inputs with adjustable crossovers that I could theoretically run from the Plinius M12. So nothing insurmountable, but really wondering if it is worth giving a formerly fine but old preamp a new lease on life for $1100 or spend some more (and how much is necessary) for a newer preamp that is better suited to my current needs and will give better performance. What do you all think? And what other preamp would you recommend?