Tube preamp for a Bel Canto eVo2 Gen II

Don’t flame me for the mix & match system, I’m learning and growing as fast as I can. :-) I’m looking for a preamp (probably tube?) to go with a Bel Canto eVo2 Gen II. I’m thinking a “sweeter” tube preamp to balance out the potentially “dry” Bel Canto. Rest of the system is as follows. Musical Fidelity A3.2CD player, Spendor S9's.
Budget dictates $1000 - 1500 used for the preamp. Audio Mirror has some aesthetically pleasing preamps for very decent prices but I haven’t heard any in person. Other suggestions? Am I worrying too much about the eVo’s being “dry”?

Holding my breath until you reply,
Noexit Esq.
There is a CJ PF-R preamp for sale on Audiogon. It is SS but you would never know it by the sweetness and clarity of its sound. I have had one for years and although I moved it from main system to bedroom system, I would never give it up. It would be a nice counterbalance to a "dry" - sounding amp.

Noexit, I am very intereted in the result that you end up with.

I am looking at getting a tube headphone amp with pre-amp function for my eVo2i. I have found two candidates: Mapletree Ear++ and Cayin HA-1A.

Any other suggestions?
I would recommend a Grace Design m902 (or if you can find a model 901 used) headphone amp/pre-amp. While both are SS, they are among the smoothest, fullest, clearest, "musical" sounding pieces of gear that I have heard. Definitely worth looking into.
I have tested a handful of tube pre's on my SS setup and found the Manley Shrimp to match the best.Mind you my amps are not as dry as your BelCanto but mine are still on the bright side.
This pre seems to be very forgiving within a system...
And as a new unit it only retails for around $1800.00 new..
Matching is going to be a big problem!! for some pre's are a better match with their own seperates..Not the case with the Manley Shrimp.
I use a tubed Herron VSTP-1A/166 with an eVo4 II and I'm quite happy. Ed Morawski in his Positive Feedback review of the eVo2 ( ) used a tubed EAR 864.
The Bel Canto Evo 2, Gen II is neutral and accurate. It's also fast and detailed. I would not call it a dry amp.

I believe that Bel Canto used to recommend a minumim of a 10:1 ratio between the input impedance of the power amp and the output impedance of the preamp. You might want to check with them to be sure my numbers are correct and to avoid possible impedance mismatch problems.

I use a solid state preamp in my system, so I'll leave the tube recommendations to those with experience in that area.

Yikes Newbie & Jafox, much ado about nothing IMHO. I’m new to “high-fi” and if you preview my one and only other post you’ll see the roots to my question. I’m 99% sure I’m buying a Bel Canto amp and I’ll be using my Creek 5350R as a “preamp” for the time being and didn’t want to have the system sound like mush in the interim.
Perhaps you should wait until that morning coffee before you post. :-)

Proud to have rode the short bus AND learned that arguing in a message board is like winning a gold medal in the special olympics .......

Noexit Esq.
If you haven't already bought BelCanto eVo 2, you should seriously consider the eVo 4 model, IMO. It's just a little bit more expensive, but much superior in bass/dynamics department, rivalling the biggest SS amps here.

Just my 0.02c worth.
TAD-150 Signature - from Paul at

Great tube Pre-Amp that will compete with amp several times its price.