Thoughts on Placette Preamps?

i am considering an in-home trial of the placette passive pre to replace my current meridian preamp. other stuff in my sys includes a 508.24, vk-75, and avalons. any thoughs on compatibility?

has anyone tried the placette stuff and NOT liked it? also, their units are typically paying the 80% surcharge for balanced worth it, whether in general, or in my system in particular?

I'm not sure how sensitive VK75 is but its input impedance is great to use it with passive preamp like Placette. On your digital end make sure that it can throw some sufficient voltage ~3V with preferably no DC component. Having these conditions met, you can benefit a lot from passive preamp in comparison to active one.
I am in a similar situation, I have a VK-60 powering Avalon’s, and seriously considered the Placette passive pre. Though I decided that the 80% more was not justifiable just to use balanced cables, I have heard only good about these unit and with the home trial there is nothing to loose, besides shipping of course(but that is cheap insurance). I am unfamiliar with your CD player(no personal experience with it) but most true enthusiasts agree that a system sounds better going through a pre(of some sort, not sure if passive fits in this league or not...) no particular reason, it just does, one of those unchallenged audio rules. I was not sure between the BAT amp and the power hungry Avalon’s if the passive pre was the best set up, I have a feeling that the volume will need to be cranked a good deal of the time, which is not flattering to the rest of the system. But hay it is a free in home trial, it may be worth a little time to get a component that will work very well. Good luck and let us know how you make out. ~Tim
i own the Placette Remote Volume Control pre with 1 output.It is very dynamic sounding with a wide soundstage..I 've used it with just a cd player and used it as a remote with my Audible Ilusion pre-amp..very nice piece
I am using a Placette balanced volume control between my Theta Gen Va and my Music Reference RM-200. It blew away my CJ Premier 14 and a Audio Researce LS-15.
I realy forgot about BAT -- they have either balanced or SE outputs in their regular configuration. Placette has also balanced out versions and I would recommend to stay with one output device either balanced or SE.

In order to take the most advantage of having passive preamp please MEASURE before you build!

Find out an output level of your CD-player with manufacturer or user manuals and sencitivity, input impedance of your amplifier. You have to have +-1V above the input sencitivity of your amplifier for uncompromised dynamics.

For example if your input sencitivity is 1V and the output of your CD-player is 1.5V then you'll most-lilely need extra 7dB of voltage gain and have to avoid using passive preamp.

There is a decibel conversion table you can check at
I own the passive line stage ($1400) and it is the best "preamp" I have heard under $4k. I have tried many (Krell KRC-3, Mark Levinson 380, Conrad Johnson PV14, etc.) and this was the only one that didn't muck up the sound in some way. On my 200wpc solid state amp it sounds great but I tried it on my friend's 10wpc tube monoblock based system and it was a little *too* transparent, his CJ tube pre was a much better match. With the 30 day in home trial, why not try it out?
Considering the high quality level of your system, the Placette Passive will absolutely stun you. If you really want to hear what your system sounds like, you must give it a try. Since I put the Placette into my system (heavily modified Dan Wright 9000ES, Classe CA-300, Harmonic Tech, Spendor SP1/2s, Velodyne ULD-15 IIs), I find myself unable to sample various tracks on multiple CDs. Once I put on a disc, I'm so amazed at the sound of each cut, I end up listening to the entire CD. I attribute much of this to the fact that the Placette actually lets me hear the 9000ES, which, after Dan's work, is a super source for both redbook and SACDs. The Placette is highly recommended, as are the mods performed by Dan Wright. Give yourself some very happy holidays ;-).
thanks for all the replies. i am still debating between trying the placette and just getting a used BAT tube preamp (5i, 30, or 50). i just like the functionality and appearance of the BAT preamps and it would probably sound great running fully balanced with the vk-75. also, i read that the higher end BAT's use vishay resistors, which is placette's claim-to-fame. decisions, decisions...

blackie: you mentioned that the placette sounded a little "too transparent" with a tube amp...what did you mean? was it harsh on bad recordings or something?
What I meant was that his amps were voiced with a tube preamp in mind so when we tried it with the Placette the small tube amps sounded a little thin and bright. When we replaced it with the warm sounding CJ tube preamp the the tonal balance was more natural.
...the only thing you won't do with passive is to couple it with SET tube amp -- the major nonsence!
A little too transparent in straight language means too underdynamic. That is the case when you have output of source less or equal to sencitivity of amplifier. SET amps have extreamly low sencitivity of ~1.9V and have a very low gain ~10dB. It means that you need a good 4V from your source output.
BATs claim to have a different story. I'm 100% sure that they've got much higher input sencitivity and much higher gain. So it's not about tubes or SS in that issue. SS amps might even have a disadvantage of lower input impedance which is much harder to match with passives.