You might get better results by buying a meatier sounding amp.
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IMHO, try a Musical Fidelity X10 V3 tube buffer (~$275 used). I should allow you to experiment with different tubes which will affect the sound (Telefunken= neutral, tonally accurate, good bass; Mullard= warm, sweet, and smooth, Electro-Harmonix=, a good tube, modern day, highly available and CHEAP, and lots of others). It would be alot cheaper than purchasing a new line stage, and, if you don't like it (Stereophile magazine loved it!), sell it for little no loss. What have you got to lose? Happy Listening,
I used to own a Musical Fidelity A3cr preamp (it's one of the best preamps I've ever had), and I would not describe it as thin sounding. (I've never heard the amp, though.)
What kind of source are you using? Your money might be better spent here.
If you do want to compensate for it with the preamp, I would suggest something from Cary or Conrad Johnson, or perhaps a Rogue 66.
I believe Musical Fidelity is known for a more neutral sound rather than a meaty, robust, non-thin sound. I could be wrong. The power rating does not in itself give an indication to the fullness of the amp's sound. You don't need to go to tubes for this.
Another member recently wrote of matching a BAT preamp with a Bryston amp in this thread. Bryston's are very neutral and accurate amps. The BAT added some welcomed warmth and fullness for the member who paired the two. A BAT preamp might be worth investigating.
Tvad, that's right, at least in my case the MF couple is not meaty robust at all. I took a look at the BAT but is out of my budget.
Sorry, I should have stated that I need a pre with remote. The AES look interesting, what about a VTL 2.5 or Audio Research SP16L? has anyone listened to these? Any other recommendations? Thank you all for the suggestions.
Rkumar, in comparing the Cary SLP-88 to the MF A3cr preamps, the MF is more neutral, detailed, and better high frequency extension vs the Cary (stock tubes) which has more "fullness" at the expense of a little detail, and slightly less bass.
I've heard similar Revel speakers and thought that they sounded a little thin when I listened to them (I believe there was a switch on the back that adjusted treble boost or something -- I assume you've played with this, if it exists on this model). I think that the best thing you could do for yourself right now is to borrow different components (including sources, speakers, and amps) to better determine what you're looking for.
Another alternative is to look into a tube amp or tube integrated (one of my favorites is the Jolida 302b, but I've also heard good things about the Cayin). One of these might provide more of what you're looking for.
You want a full very three dimenscial tube preamp?Try a Juicy Music Bluberry extream for $1795.00.I heard one at a friends house with khorns and was very impressed.Well worth the money and they are hand built,one at a time.Plus the owner is a square shooter.Do a search under Juicy Music and you will find the site.They have reviews there from sixmoons if I rember right.
I would try a different source if I were in your shoes.I haven't spent any time with your DAC,but the source could very well be the root of the problem. I'll suggest a Electrocompaniet ECD-1. I've been auditioning a modified version of this Dac(thanks to a friend) using a passive volume pot. No tubes in the system at all.The sound is VERY full bodied and slightly warm with no hint of detail lost.It seems to do this without getting strident or bright.The soundstage is stable and wraps around you ...if your speakers image properly. This is a very well balanced dac..never calling attention to just one part of the music.
Good luck with your hunt!