You might want to investigate the Kora Eclipse, a tubed preamp with a built-in phono stage with 2 inputs, one for MM and one for MC.
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I have the LA100 Mk III and feel that it is a great preamp. I know that it likes a high input impedance on an amp, 100,000 ohms or higher to perform at its best. So it should be great with your 150,000 ohm input of the Cary. Check out the soundstage review of the preamp for some comparisons to other highly regarded preamps. Their comparisons are pretty accurate.
I hope all is well. You know what I'm going to recommend. The deHavilland UltraVerve or their new Mercury.
Resolution, tone, dynamics, it's all there. Plus excellent build quality. Things you are used to from the Supratek I'm sure. Kara and George at deHavilland are great. Customer service and support are outstanding
Well, good luck and keep us posted as to what you decide on.
Thanks for all the responses. To answer Metralla I think I can finance the two items by selling my Supratek. I thinking a Joule or Herron linestage for under $2K and a Camelot Lancelot Pro phono stage for $4-500 and I'm all set. Perhaps not quite the phono performance of the Supratek but pretty good and pretty versatile components that I can use with mm or mc.
You must put VAC Phi 2.0 Master Control preamp on your list. This preamp hasn't been reviewed, but it is superb. The phono stage included is incredible also. You can read a lot of reviews on Kevin's integrated Phi stuff which is basically the Phi preamp and 110 Phi stereo amp. Many VAC enthusiast swear this is Kevin's best preamp ever by a long shot.
I have owned and upgraded with VAC equipment and must say it is the finest I have owned. VERY musical. Call Kevin at VAC and ask for his input, he is very approachable and knowledgeable and HONEST. He is a vinyl lover and his phono preamp stage is fantastic as an fyi.
BTW, the VAC active line stage was way better than some of the "talked about" passive line stages.
Hey Jond. I can identify with your experience as my 4.5 mv grado reference would overload the phono stage of my syrah. Frustrating to be sure... I had to run the grado through the phono of the arc sp-10 and into the line of the supratek to enjoy my vinyl.Fortunately... I have a koetsu rosewood as well. I ended up trading my high output grado for the .5mv Statement and just love it. Are you THAT attached to the sound of the at440ml? Furthermore....not all mm cartriges have too much gain for the riaa stage of the supratek. Sounds like a very expensive proposition and down grade move in my books.... side ways at best! The joule is a very compentent preamp but nowhere near the level of the supratek in my experience. Have not heard the herron. I understand it's phono stage is very good and versatile as well but I rather doubt it's line stage would compare to the supratek. The line stage of the joule la-100 mk 3 is rather ordinary in my books. In my experience with vacuum tubes... the miniature 9 pin tubes[ 12au family triodes] cannot compete with their octal based equivalents [6sn7 family] in many critical areas of reproducing sound. Both the Joule and the Herron fall into that camp. Some food for thought???
Thanks again everybody but I've come to a decision. Just closed a deal for a Herron VTSP1A line stage and I am also going to pick up a Camelot Tech Lancelot Pro battery powered mm/mc phono stage. This should give me great sound and decent flexibility. I'm very excited and should have all the new gear here by the end of next week. Happy new year everyone!
Dannoh what preamps are you referring to? We need a brand name and model designation. As far as the tape inputs go, I concur, on all of my preamp I've run my cd player (primary source) in through the tape inputs bypassing the selector switch for a more direct signal path. The result seems to be a touch more transparency with no drawbacks.
Hello Jond, I'm a type of beginner here and in the audio higher ends, but have some personal experience with simple and well made stuff. You may already be familiar with Tube Audio Design (TAD). They seem to have a very well made remote controlled unit you ought to consider; the TAD-150, check it out at http://www.2baudio.com. You may find it interesting to review....Good Luck.