rowland capri, bat vk3i or vtl 2.5 ?

hi everybody !

i need your help buying a balanced preamp for my nuforce v2se amps.

my options on the european used market are:

bat vk3i 1.6k
vtl 2.5 ex dem 2.3k
rowland capri 1.6k

i am after great image solidity/density with excellent instrument separaton, earthy snappy sound - more on the textured dry side than lush. i do listen at low to moderate levels.

appreciate all your comments and recommendations.

do the preamp sections of cdp like aa capitole mkii, ear acute, esoteric sa 10 outperform the above listed preamps?


I am very familiar with the JRDG Capri. I have used it in balanced mode since last March driving a Class D JRDG 312. I prefer it over my own ARC Ref 3. Capri exhibits a very extended response top to bottom which seems to exceed both ends of the Ref 3. The treble is fine grained, and the bass is tuneful. It is also much more linear than Ref 3 and does not display any frequency humps. Harmonics are very textured. Transients are quick and Capri has a lot of authority in the bass. . . Macro and microdynamics are exceedingly fine. Staging and imaging is with the best of them. As Capri has an output impedance of only 80Ohms in balanced mode, it should interface without any problems with most amps. I can't comment on your other options as I have no experience with them, but you can't go wrong with Capri.

oh, the tact rcs 2.0 / 2.2 is on my list as well.


6 out of 10 capri-posts are made by guidocorona - maybe there is some kind of interest behind it.

i dont have the chance to hear any of the listed amps in my system - but for now the capri is my favourite

i always loved tube amps, but never cared for hybrid integrateds - not apples - not oranges - just a weird mix - and never as open as a tube amp. but since the nuforce is such a transparent amp - it might transport the life of tube pre´s better than the lower priced hybrid-integrateds i´ve heard before.
I guess that makes me 1 out of the other 4 posts for the Capri. I admit, I like it. There are better, but I have the full function version with MC/MM and it serves my needs well for the time being. You could do a lot worse.

Given that you are using Nuforce, why not the Atma-sphere MP-3? At its going used price this should also be on your list.
Stonedtemplepilot, as a lover of tubes, you may very well prefer a slightly warmer presentation. Why not try the AudioAERO Capitol II. . . it has a true analog output stage drivin by subminiaturized tubes that are aledged to last 10K hours. . . Heard it a few times and it does sound rather delicious to me actually. Whether it is preferable to a separate pre, I just can't say. . . I have not done the comparison myself, and I feel comfortable talking only about what I have experienced. . . . and even then only as a very personal preference.
Even when it comes to my curently preferred linestage of record, I would never state that it is "the best", nor that its "better" than an other device. . . I can only state that given sertain parameters, I prefer it over some other device, which in turn I have preferred in the past over a small series of other line stages. G.