Tube Preamp for Dreadnaught & Aerials

What to you suggest? I'm looking for a tube preamp that can be operated by remote and has a HT bypass for a Theta Dread 1/Aerial 10T setup. Budget: $1500-$2500. I'd like to try tubes but a SS with a bit of warmth in the mid range would be okay, too.

Jas -

I would suggest if you listen to music at anything close to ref levels avoid tubes on the 10Ts. They require alot of juice to come alive. Don't get me wrong, I have tried some small tubes on the 10Ts with fine results at moderate levels, but they poop out as they go up. The Conrad Johnson Premier 8A's were the only amp I had good results from, but those, as a BARGAIN could be had for about $6K on the used market.

Try something like the McCormack DNA-225 amp. It is one of few in the $1,500 to $2,000 range that I felt were a good match. Again, this type of question is so VERY subjective and I am just giving you the experience I had, which could vary drastically from your results.

My other suggestion (which is would be my first choice in the sub $2,700 range is the Plinius 250. There is one posted now for about $2,500 with a minor scratch, but it seriously competes with the likes of Krell and Levinson, but with service in New Zealand, repairs, should they become necessary might add up!

That is my $0.02 worth.

Dan- I think he was looking for a tube preamp recommendation, not an amplifier... that being said, based on the original question, I would suggest Sonic Frontiers Line 3- fits all the parameters...
Does anyone else have a suggestion. BAT? Acoustic Research? I'd appreciate all suggestions.
Ja Hi
I got the Aerials 10t too.My system is Rogue M150 and ML 27.5 for driving bass.Pre is the Rogue Mugnum 99 all tube glory and remote control.Aluminum housing solid brick type.Spend around 1600$ on it used.9/10
Other pre I also use according to moods is an ARC LS3B Solid State.

PS.Once I drove my 10T with a CJ MV55 with amazing results.
Try a Musical-Fidelity unit, used BAT , VTL, Pass, Rogue Magnum 99, Meridian 502? , McIntosh,

Audition if you can. Almost a must, but what a system you'll have.
Hi Jas,

Don't know where you are now but I just came across this thread. I have been using the Sonic Frontier line-3, a very neutral tube preamp that does not sound tubey, to drive (bi-amp) the 5-channel dreadnaught I and into 10Ts.

The results were top-notched sound, very dynamic, detailed and non-fatiguing(confirmed by a couple of other audiophiles). I have never achieved a 'synergy' like this in my 15 years of pursuit of great sound. I attribute the keys to success to:

1. bi-amping: 10T's are well knownn to be power-hungry so once I did the bi-amping the system sounded completely different, it just kind of opens up, way up. Dreadnaughts are definitely high end bargains.

2. room acoutics: 10T's also demand big breathing room. I was surprised by their ability to 'project' sound stage almost as good as Watt Puppies.

3. The SF line 3 is so neutral that it simply gets out of the way for the sources (CD: Krell MD-10 and studio, LP: Rega 3 & Signet cartridge AM-40) to voice through.

I am using Kimber select interconnects such as 1120s and still trying out other different brands.

Good luck,

Eugene. Thanks for your imput. I have considered the SF line as well as the VTL 5.5. I've been trying to find a tube reamp that has balanced mains and CD input, IEC chord, a HT pass through feature, and silver, although the last item is negotiable. So far, I've located the VTL 5.5, and the ARC LS 16 in my price bracket (used, $1600-$2000). The SF line I believe fits too. Any I missed?

I moved into a new house this last weekend and had 2 20 amp circuits added in. That the new larger room adds an ease to the 1o-T's I hadn't heard before. Somehow, the bass isn't coming through, maybe the new wiring needs time and the speaks need a new placement (fits only been 3 days so I haven't got to tweaking yet), but so far so good.

I like Kimber and am thinking of trying them. I'm using Audience Au24s and Cardas Golden Ref now but am not sure if its what I'll keep. I need to put a preamp in place first, as the Proceed AV I use while not that bad just isn't going to cut it for music.
I'll check out the SF-3 next. Thanks for you input.