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I’m a Mac guy through and through. I picked up a Zpre3 Parasound, 3-400.00 dollars. What a cool little preamp.. Remote, sub volume control all kinds of little goodies.
Mac, pick one you can afford and can go through if you need to(older). They have a good phono section, service everywhere. Play through for the HT if you all ready have one. Tone control, is a big plus for me. no matter the manufacture.
Somebody will chime in about a good integrated. That’s an option too, I suppose. Sell the MC2200 and a couple grand aught to get a good Integrated.
That Sony is a real keeper.. a real sonic nugget...
You want a straight wire with gain, a top of the line remote,
amazi g features, and one of the best volume controls in the business.
Plus,...GET THIS..........a LIFETIME WARRANTY, get the Sanders sound preamp, and never look back.
A little over budget, but sign up for the Magnepan website (forum)
get a discount.
call Roger, he is amazing to deal with and a professional engineer, who invented the curved electrostat speaker with perfectly timed bass driver incorporated in his speakers.
man is a genius, call him, and see what he says,
30 day trial, risk free.
just call Roger, and talk with him, one of audios very best.
Preamp has 20K of capacitance, amazing pre!
just call him, and see what is possible.
I've not had a ton of repair experiences but I have experienced incredibly fast turnaround from Bryston.
As far as Mac, I am fortunate- I can make it up to Binghamton, spend the day in Binghamton, and come back after dinner all in one day. With my almost obligatory stop in Roscoe, it's about 3 hours each way
Are you buying a preamp based on service/reliability or sound quality. All of the preamps above have circuit boards. If you are a long term owner, to me that is an issue. I repair so many items for several reasons, the design has flaws, the parts are cheap (think tube sockets), poor quality caps & resistors that degrade with heat, etc.
I recently switched over to the Mcintosh camp and I'm very happy with the results. I also have a Zpre3 for an office system that simply defies it's price and size, great little preamp. If I was the OP I'd grab one of those and save up for a newer used Mcintosh integrated. Another kilobuck would put you real close.
Reliability and serviceability are important to me as well. But so is the lifestyle factor. I'm working from home now and my stereo is on at least 16 hours a day, doing double duty with the entertainment center as well. This Mcintosh runs so efficient and cool it's hard to tell it's even running by putting your hand on top. So as much as I liked them in the past, no more tubes or Class A for me.
Good luck with your choices Sengr.
Glad to see the Parasound ZPre3 getting recommendations here. I purchased one as my primary pre for all my 2 channel listening, (use the HT ZPre3 bypass to run my AV receiver through as my room Is used for both, and another great feature for me vs the more ‘painful’ options of pre’s without), and could not be happier with that piece. For the price, it sure seems to be a bargain. I’ve heard more than one person think it’s equal to more expensive units.
Had a Bryston B60. Lightning strike killed everything in the room. Sent to Bryston repair center.
Forgot to mention the strike (dumb) so they called me and asked what happened. I told them straight away.
They said and I quote: "We don’t usually warranty lightning strikes but we’ll fix it this time."
That amp is gone but there is still and always will be something marked "Bryston" on my rack. Eh!
Avoid brands that are subcontracted to the lowest Chinese, etc. bidder. GAS (Ampzilla) and Hafler were randomly unreliable. The designs were great, but like too many audio designers, they contracted out the product, and sold a crap load, then unloaded the company, to begin another. Check to see where it is made.