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I experienced similar dissatisfaction with the VTL 2.5 & even the 5.5. However the Adcom (I've never heard one) is Stereophile class A isn't it? Was it warmed up thoroughly Sib? I mean powered on for at least a full day? If not that could explain the grain.
Regarding the BAT: I'm very curious to try one, but I do have one question? Does anyone know the "step-size" of the volume control's step-attenuator? If it is in 2dB steps then that's much too coarse. If only 1dB or even 0.5dB steps, then that would be worth my trying.
Bob, I know that the Adcom is a Sterophile Class A, but my ears were not swayed. I think it a great solid state Pre-amp. However, I think that I have been bitten by the "tube bug" and will have problems accepting anything other than a tube pre-amp. I'm trying to get greedy by having the best qualities of tubes (the warmth and for lack of a better word "musicality")with the dynamic range and solid bass of good solid state. This may be something that just does not exist in my price range. However, can't hurt to ask.
I bought the melos after hearing Doug's glowing reviews of this product. It has all those qualities your looking for. I paired it with a good solid state amp and it sounds wonderful. Doug, i received my Newform's last night, and yes they live up to all the hype ! The sound is amazing. Brought my system to a whole new level. But those damn things are big! Must have a lot of room to set up. Also check the classifieds, i just saw a pair last week. It will save you the 2 mo, wait.
I too am tube-bitten and have a CAT pre and Cary monoblocks. Total happiness, however... I listen to all types of music, including bizarre digitally generated electronic stuff with extreme low frequency information. How to get those low rumbles? The answer is a good subwoofer. Let the tubes do what they do best, use solid state for the ultra low stuff.
Sibelius, I also own 1.6's and am using a Music Reference RM5III preamp which pleases me mightily with a very taut and well extended bass. I couldn't be happier with this pre and it only uses one 6922 in the line stage and two 6922's in the phono stage. It sells for 2k new and can be had used for less than a grand. It's design has been relatively unchanged for a decade and is noted for reliability.