Why not use a McIntosh C220? They are designed to go together. Should be a perfect match. I have a friend using this combo, and he loves it.
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Thanks for the responses guys,
TIs49, actually I am looking to try something else besides a McIntosh preamp.
Charles, thanks, my only worry is the high output impedance of the Shindo Aurieges, and I am wondering if it'll work well with the MC252.
I am also interested in Conrad Johnson and the Dehaviland Ultraverve, but I'm not sure if the modern CJs and the Dehaviland are more neutral and less tubey.
Definitely check out the impedance ratio between the Shindo and the Mac. Some Mac amps are as low as 10K, some preamps can be over 1K, not a great ratio.
I like CJ's newer preamps. I know the CT-5's output imp is spec'd at 800 and their ACT and ART's are 500. I have them and use them with my Pass ss, SET's and even a Class T amp, every pairing gives me great results.
Never heard the Shindo's, but I'm running a Lamm LL2 deluxe with my McIntosh MC275 and love it. It's priced used within your range. I think the Lamm beats the C220 in sound (I tried it with same amp and speakers), but the Mc interfase is a lot more friendly (remote, display, source level matching, etc). Can't argue with the sound quality, though!
I agree that in terms of preamp features and flexibility the MAC has it all over the Shindo which is more a purist design. When Art Dudley reviewed the Shindo in Stereophile he prefered it to his Lamm(which he really did like alot).The main issue is The impedance matching compatability of the pre/amplifier combo.
Is the 252 a SS amp? If yes the impedance may be an issue, but if I recall correctly there was a similar thread where Jonathan Halpern, the Shindo distributor debunked that Shindos had high impedances.
However, I can attest that when my friend connected my Aurieges to his MC275 it was a magical combination, he instantly fell in love with the sound of that combo and bought a Monbrison.