trying to system match a pre-amp

Hello, I have a primaluna 3 that is in a system with a pair of primaluna 7's running the top end of a recently modded von schweikert VR4's and a moscode 600 running the bottom, along with a pair of self powered Entec 12's sub woofers.I'm having a issue with the pre-amp not having enough gain. I have the primaluna 7's on the 4ohm tap which helped match the output of the upper & lower cabinets. But the pre-amp runs out of gas. any HELP? or suggestion on a better pre-amp with higher gain. the PL3 has 14db

IMO, I would seriously look at a Manley Labs Jumbo Shrimp. This preamp outputs at 200 ohms which will drive those Primaluna 7's to musical nirvana! And the Manley sounds fantastic. It is my reference after trying many preamps from Modwright, BAT, McIntosh, Primaluna Prologue 3.


Matt M

Try the primaluna and mooscode by themselves and see how they sound.
Many of the line stage preamps that have been produced over the years by Conrad Johnson have gains in the mid-20s.

Can you be more specific, though, as to what "running out of gas" means in this context? Also, what is/are your source component(s)?

-- Al
you can turn the volume knob all the way up, and the audible sound doesn't get any louder after 3/4 setting. As for components: krell CD , musical fidelity A-5 cd, sota star sapphire w/ VTL phono stage
That doesn't sound like a gain problem to me. After looking at the specs and measurements for several of these products (the gain of your PL3, btw, is either about 10 db or about 12 db per John Atkinson's measurements in Stereophile, depending on whether it is the Prologue or Dialogue version), and after doing some calculations, I'm thinking that what might be happening is that at the 3/4 volume setting you are maxing out the voltage swing capability of the PL7s.

Keep in mind that in a passive biamp configuration (i.e., without an active crossover "ahead" of the amps, which apparently is what you have, aside from a high pass filter that may be associated with the Entec sub), both the high frequency amp and the low frequency amp have to output voltages corresponding to the full frequency range of the signal. So the PL7s in your setup will have to output just as much voltage as the Moscode, while presumably having a much more limited maximum voltage capability.

If that is the issue, the PL7s will be clipping on high volume peaks with the volume control turned up beyond that 3/4 setting, especially with the CD sources. Perhaps that clipping is soft enough, though, that you haven't perceived it as such.

-- Al
That's why I suggested you try each amp separately. If everything works as it should with 1 amp, then you'll probably need the active xover like Al suggests. I should have added in my first post, when you try the amps individually, run them full range. Power the whole speaker, not just half like they are now.