SS or Tube Preamps with Dual-Balanced outputs


I vertically bi-amp; I am looking for recommendations on fully balanced pre-amps that offer the ability to have 2 simultaneous balanced outputs. I am look for a full balanced circuit (some call this quad-balanced I believe).

Currently, I've been using a Classe CP-700 with excellent results for over a year and half. I like the Classe's build quality, separate power supply, air, clarity, imaging, musicality, etc...very much.

What other SS or Tube pre-amps offer dual-balanced outputs
with great imaging and other desirable sonic attributes?

Thanks!
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Given you like the sound of the Classe, I'd recommend the Plinius Tatoro which is a bit more airy, open and musical and lifts some of the 'warmth' veil of the Classe products imo...but it depends on the rest of your system also.

What don't you like about the Classe 700?
Thanks, for taking the time to respond; please take a look at my system and let me know what you think. I'll check out the Plinius and have also received offline recommendations for the new Pass Labs XP-20 and Atma Sphere as well. Any thoughts you can share would be appreciated. Thanks!
We've made balanced line preamps longer than anyone else. They can be optioned ($75) with dual outputs. I'll leave it to others as to what they sound like. Remote is available now for the MP-1.
Where can I find product info? FYI...I don't need a phono
stage if that matters for purposes of a recommendation.
Consider Sonic Frontiers Line 3 SE, it's very fine sounding, reasonably priced on used market, and offers everything you want.
Aesthetix Calypso
Audio Research LS26
Thanks everyone for the responses; I have lots of fun research to do!
Hello Zephyr24069,

This a list I had gathered from a similar thread a few months ago.

• BAT REX
• BAT 52 SE
• Mcintosh C500
• Audio Research Reference 3
• Atma-Sphere Music Preamplifier MP-3 (option)
• Atma-Sphere New Music Preamplifier MP-1 Mk. III (option)
• Aesthetix Calypso
• Belles 28-A
• Audionet Pre G2
• VAC Phi Beta
• Audio Horizons TP 2.1 (option, I think)
• Rogue Audio Hera
• Promitheus Audio Reference C-core TVC (option)
• Music First Audio MK II Preamplifier (TVC)
• Music First Audio Reference Preamplifier (TVC)

Best,

iSanchez
Thank you!
As of now, the combined list of recommendations I've received (no particular order) is listed below. I need to determine which also offer balanced inputs;

- Herron Audio
- Pass Labs XP-20
- Plinius Tautoro
- Atma-Sphere Music Preamplifier MP-3 (option)
- Atma-Sphere New Music Preamplifier MP-1 Mk. III (option)
- Aesthetix Calypso
- Aestehtix Janus
- SimAudio P7 or P8
- Sonic Frontiers Line3
- Audio Research LS26
- Audio Research Reference 3
- Audiovalve Eklipse
- BAT REX
- BAT 52 SE
- Mcintosh C500
- Belles 28-A
- Audionet Pre G2
- VAC Phi Beta
- Audio Horizons TP 2.1 (option)
- Rogue Audio Hera
- Promitheus Audio Reference C-core TVC (option)
- Music First Audio MK II Preamplifier (TVC)
- Music First Audio Reference Preamplifier (TVC)
You're welcome Zephyr24069. I think as a norm, I would assume that all of them have a least one or two balanced inputs.

Best,

iSanchez
Zephyr24069, our preamps have balanced inputs, even for the phono, which is actually a balanced source. The internal circuitry is fully differential and balanced from input to output.
Zephyr24069,
Thanks for compiling that list of preamps with balanced outputs.
It would help some of us if those with balanced circuits from input to output would be noted.
One I know of that is fully balanced from input to output is atma-sphere!
You are welcome; I am glad to hear that it helped.

I've heard the same on Atma-Sphere. I believe the
SimAudio P7 and P8 are as well. My Classe CP-700
is full balanced and dual-mono for future reference.

If you come across any of these and can share your listening
experience, please let me know.

According to the Esoteric webiste, they are about to (or already) have introduce the C-03 full balanced dual-mono pre-amp built to the same specs, etc...as the P03, D03 and G-0Rb separates. There is a presentation on their site with some interesting photos and marketing bullets.

That makes the list;

- Herron Audio
- Pass Labs XP-20
- Plinius Tautoro
- Atma-Sphere Music Preamplifier MP-3 (option)
- Atma-Sphere New Music Preamplifier MP-1 Mk. III (option)
- Aesthetix Calypso
- Aestehtix Janus
- SimAudio P7 or P8
- Sonic Frontiers Line3
- Audio Research LS26
- Audio Research Reference 3
- Audiovalve Eklipse
- BAT REX
- BAT 52 SE
- Mcintosh C500
- Belles 28-A
- Audionet Pre G2
- VAC Phi Beta
- Audio Horizons TP 2.1 (option)
- Rogue Audio Hera
- Promitheus Audio Reference C-core TVC (option)
- Music First Audio MK II Preamplifier (TVC)
- Music First Audio Reference Preamplifier (TVC)
- Esoteric C-03 Pre-Amp (new)
- Classe CP-700 and CP-500
My only extensive experience is with simaudio's p-5 preamp, which is fully balanced. Unfortunately though it only has one balanced input, but it is an excellent preamp no doubt. No listener fatigue, except maybe when played too loud but that could be said with most other preamps or components. I whole heartily recommend it, just consider matching of components is critical at this level of performance. Now I am using the atma-sphere m60 amps, before i was using sim's w-5 power amp, and I could see using a tube preamp would serve me well with the m60's.
Pedrillo: Thanks for the info. The P-5 is a discontinued model, correct? I've also heard the P-5LE and Celeste 5002 were great designs. Did you ever get a chance to listen to those or is your P5 an LE? Thanks again!
BAT VK-51SE, check classifieds.
Zephyr,
no it's just a p-5.
But I understand the p-5.3 is a killer, never heard it though!
VTL 7.5 is fully balanced w 2 balanced outputs. Also a lot of balanced inputs (I think almost all can be either balanced or SE). Having compared it to many very fine preamps it is an imaging champ with the widest soundstage of any preamp I have heard. Depending on your amp the gain might be too much on the Mk 1 but the Mk2 is a better preamp w less gain, and works into systems better. Very natural sounding. I am not sure about the 6.5 if it has 2 sets of balanced outputs but it is close in sound & worthwhile to investigate if it does. I might be biased but I did compare it too several top preamps with great success.
YS Audio BALANCED A2 W 2 balanced output.
Dgad, Pedrillo, Analog1998: Thank you all very much for your feedback!
Thanks everyone! As of today, the combined list is;

- Herron Audio
- Pass Labs XP-20
- Plinius Tautoro
- Atma-Sphere Music Preamplifier MP-3 (option)
- Atma-Sphere New Music Preamplifier MP-1 Mk. III (option)
- Aesthetix Calypso
- Aestehtix Janus
- SimAudio P7 or P8
- Sonic Frontiers Line3
- Audio Research LS26
- Audio Research Reference 3
- Audiovalve Eklipse
- BAT REX
- BAT 52 SE
- BAT 51 SE
- Mcintosh C500
- Belles 28-A
- Audionet Pre G2
- VAC Phi Beta
- VTL 7.5
- YS Audio BALANCED A2
- Audio Horizons TP 2.1 (option)
- Rogue Audio Hera
- Promitheus Audio Reference C-core TVC (option)
- Music First Audio MK II Preamplifier (TVC)
- Music First Audio Reference Preamplifier (TVC)
- Esoteric C-03 Pre-Amp (new)
- Classe CP-700 and CP-500
Accuphase C-2810, C-4110; Ayre KX-R.
Thanks Vladimir! Updated list (now sorted, finally!);

Accuphase C-2810
Accuphase C-2410
Aestehtix Janus
Aesthetix Calypso
AtmaSphere Music Preamplifier MP3 (option)
AtmaSphere New Music Preamplifier MP1 Mk. III (option)
Audio Horizons TP 2.1 (option)
Audio Research LS26
Audio Research Reference 3
Audionet Pre G2
Audiovalve Eklipse
Ayre KX-R
BAT 51 SE
BAT 52 SE
BAT REX
Belles 28A
Classe CP700 and CP500
Esoteric C03 PreAmp (new)
Herron Audio
Mcintosh C500
Music First Audio MK II Preamplifier (TVC)
Music First Audio Reference Preamplifier (TVC)
Pass Labs XP20
Plinius Tautoro
Promitheus Audio Reference Ccore TVC (option)
Rogue Audio Hera
SimAudio P7 or P8
Sonic Frontiers Line3
Supratek Dual Cabernet
VAC Phi Beta
VTL 7.5
YS Audio BALANCED A2
Zephyr24069,
Just wondering if I would be asking too much if a list of those that are balanced from input to output only, and create a seperate list of those that are not balanced throughout.
Thanks
Atma-sphere are balanced all the way.
So is aesthetix.
Good idea....I'll get to this as soon as I can assemble the info. If those of you can contribute what you know, I'll fix the list. BTW, Classe and Esoteric are both dual-mono and fully balanced from input to output. Thanks!
Here are some more preamps having dual balanced output capabilities:

Cary slp05 (on special order)
Jeff Rowland Concerto (std)
Jeff Rowland Criterion (std)
Where's that list?
Just kidding, but I am curious to know.
The Jeff Rowland Design Group Capri is a bargain with dual balanced outputs.

Dave
Zephyr,

I used to own the Simaudio P-5 and now have the 5.3 pre.Although the P-5 was an excellent pre , the new 5.3 is much better and is even sonically better than the LE version of the P-5. The best thing is that the price is much cheaper than the previous P-5.

According to Simaudio going to the P-7 would give you an added 15% sound enhancement but at a substancially higher cost. Hope this helps.

Cheers
Cappuccino/Pedrillo/Dcstep: Apologies for the late replies...I've been off the boards for several days due to work and 'life' time commitments. I appreciate the feedback you've given above.

The revised list is currently;

Accuphase C-2810
Accuphase C-2410
Aestehtix Janus
Aesthetix Calypso
AtmaSphere Music Preamplifier MP3 (option)
AtmaSphere New Music Preamplifier MP1 Mk. III (option)
Audio Horizons TP 2.1 (option)
Audio Research LS26
Audio Research Reference 3
Audionet Pre G2
Audiovalve Eklipse
Ayre KX-R
BAT 51 SE
BAT 52 SE
BAT REX
Belles 28A
Cary slp05 (on special order)
Classe CP700 and CP500
Esoteric C03 PreAmp (new)
Jeff Rowland Concerto (std)
Jeff Rowland Criterion (std)
Herron Audio
Mcintosh C500
Music First Audio MK II Preamplifier (TVC)
Music First Audio Reference Preamplifier (TVC)
Pass Labs XP20
Plinius Tautoro
Promitheus Audio Reference Ccore TVC (option)
Rogue Audio Hera
SimAudio P7 or P8
Sonic Frontiers Line3
Supratek Dual Cabernet
VAC Phi Beta
VTL 7.5
YS Audio BALANCED A2
You left off the Jeff Rowland Capri, which I think is Jeff's best value.

Dave
The head JRDG cheerleader continues his quest for thread dominance.
Get a life Bill. There's no need to follow me around and try to negate everything I say. You just hurt your own image.

I was merely trying to complete Zephyr24069's recap list to include the current Rowland products applicable to the thread.

Dave
Thanks Dave but I think you did that on 11/4/08.

Should we expect another post on 11/10/08 covering the same topic again?

Good luck to you.
Look at Zephyr24069's post on 11/7/08. It listed other JRDG products, but not the Capri and he addressed me and a couple of others directly.

If you're going to appoint yourself as thread policeman, then you'll need to read them completely and try to understand what you're talking about before opening your mouth.

Dave
"great imaging and other desirable sonic attributes?"

Zephir, that's an impressive list that you have put together. What makes things so deliciously complicated is that "one man's guerrilla is another man's freedom fighter". . . or in our terms, what is one audiophile's desirable attribute is likely to be someone else's sonic flaw. Very much like DCSTEP, I am extremely fond of the JRDG Capri and Criterions for their extension, top to bottom linearity, and harmonic exposure. On the other hand, a high degree of musical linearity is not necessarily of everyone's taste. Some may very well prefer the slightly warmer sound of an ARC Ref 3 for example, or the much warmer presentation of a BAT VK51SE, just to make a couple of examples. G.
Can't get much better than Ayre.
Every post is the same Dave.

Rowland this and Rowland that.

Over and over and over.

Take a breath.
DCstep: my apologies for missing the add of the Capri to the list; it was not intentional. I was trying to take an 'audio sanity break' from an overly busy day at work and added some entries but missed yours. Again, my apologies.
I just took a look at the Capri,...it only seems to offer one set of balanced XLR outputs and 1 unbalanced RCA; does JRDG convert the RCA to a fully balanced XLR 2nd output set as an option?

Guido: Thanks for the thoughts on the fun behind evaluating all these different options and the various families of sound characteristics present amongst the various options.

Sting: Thanks for your thoughts on Ayre. I have friends (albeit other side of the country so cannot go listen) that are wild about Ayre mono's, digital players and the pre-amp listed above....

Audiofeil: Thanks for the information you've shared with me during the times we've talked (2 I think) over the past year or so). I hope all is well in Western NY!

To All: This continues to be a very good learning experience for me and I'm grateful for all the help, experience-based advice, etc...that you've all given.

The current (corrected) list is currently;

Accuphase C-2810
Accuphase C-2410
Aestehtix Janus
Aesthetix Calypso
AtmaSphere Music Preamplifier MP3 (option)
AtmaSphere New Music Preamplifier MP1 Mk. III (option)
Audio Horizons TP 2.1 (option)
Audio Research LS26
Audio Research Reference 3
Audionet Pre G2
Audiovalve Eklipse
Ayre KX-R
BAT 51 SE
BAT 52 SE
BAT REX
Belles 28A
Cary slp05 (on special order)
Classe CP700 and CP500
Esoteric C03 PreAmp (new)
Jeff Rowland Capri (option? 1 Bal-XLR, 1 Unb-RCA std)
Jeff Rowland Concerto (std)
Jeff Rowland Criterion (std)
Herron Audio
Mcintosh C500
Music First Audio MK II Preamplifier (TVC)
Music First Audio Reference Preamplifier (TVC)
Pass Labs XP20
Plinius Tautoro
Promitheus Audio Reference Ccore TVC (option)
Rogue Audio Hera
SimAudio P7 or P8
Sonic Frontiers Line3
Supratek Dual Cabernet
VAC Phi Beta
VTL 7.5
YS Audio BALANCED A2
No problem at all Zephyr. Let's ask Guido to look at the back of his Capri. I thought I saw two balanced outs, but I may have counted an In.

BTW, just curious, how do you plan to use the second outputs? Will you be comparing amps or running a long run to another room, or what?

Dave
I vertically bi-amp using two Edge NL 12.1 amps. I need two simultaneously active balanced XLR outputs as my NL12.1's are built with XLR inputs and I'd like to avoid using one pair of RCA->XLR converters not to mention the benefit of utilizing two balanced outputs as opposed 1 bal and 1 un-bal. The Classe CP-700 I utilize does a great job currently in this regard...
My Capri has one balanced output and one single ended output. As pictured in the link.

http://www.jeffrowland.com/Capri-back.htm
>>then you'll need to read them completely and try to understand what you're talking about before opening your mouth<<

Hey Dave,
Seems you ought to heed your own advice regarding the balanced output question.

Good luck to you.
Looks like my Capri has only 1 single pair of XLR balanced outputs. Manual seems to confirm only 1 pair of balanced outputs. Strike Capri for this application. Criterion won't have these limitations. . . at a uhrn. . . charmingly different price point.

G
Own up Bill, I did.

Dave
Every post is the same Bill.

nag this and Nag that.

Over and over and over.

Take a breath.

(smiles!) Guido
Guys....thanks for all of the help and extra info on the Capri to confirm what I had found online. Have a great weekend!
Ah well. . . you've got to admit that. . . it was "A Valiant Attempt" . . . to say it with the old game of Zork! G.