source first then a new preamp.
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What's your budget on a pre? Do you want vintage or new? Do you need a built in tuner? Do you want tubes or solid state? Do you want remote? Phono stage built in? I think you need a pre before a cd. My choices (remember I don't know what you need) are classe or B&K. Both have amazing clarity and quality. You can get a really nice pre for $250 to $500 with built in phono if you need. The other thing you may consider is a Mac pre or pre/tuner???
Sorry for being so brief in my thread. A tuner would be nice. I have heard great things about tubes but I don't know much about them (reliability, maintenance etc...) From what I understand, I believe I would be happier with tubes, even though it would be a bit of a learning curve for me. I am willing to spend 1K-2K. Phono is not necessary. McIntosh would be a good choice but I'm not sure I'd get anything decent given my budget. If I had to wait a month or two I could probably raise my budget to 3K for the right piece of equipment.
If you like your speakers, I'll guess you do. Get rid of the MC352 to free up some more cash...thats "WAY" to much amp for those speakers...100 watts a side is overkill.
If you like MAC...stay with MAC tubed gear.
Pick up a tubed integrated or tube amp and tube preamp of your choice with a lot less power.
You should have enough cash left over for a nice cd player...or transport and DAC of your choice.
You will still have enough power to blow the roof off, and a lot better sounding system to boot.
People have been driving Klipsch loudspeakers with high powered McIntosh amps for years. In fact, it's considered a classic combo. So, simply because a loudspeaker doesn't require a lot of power doesn't mean a lot of power won't have a nice effect on the sound.
I believe you'd regret selling the MC352.
There is a VAC Standard preamp for sale. $1200. That's an unbelievable price for a piece of VAC gear. I recommend you buy it. I have no relation to the seller.