I'd spend my money on the MC42 unless you have power problems the Monster causes or can't cure. After you get the new pre-amp you can check your power situation again.
8 responses Add your response
Upgrade the preamp, no question. Unless your Monster is malfunctioning (and then I'd just unplug it), you're talking about a couple of levels upgrade on a component that every signal in your system runs through and which is most likely to interact even better with your amplifier than what you've got; while power conditioners/regenerators do make audible differences in a system, I have never heard one that would make a difference as big as what you're describing with respect to the preamp upgrade.
I agree with the pre-amp recommendations but I would also recommend considering the RGPC 400. At a considerably lower price you can buy them one at a time and see what you need to fix your power problems. I personally don't care for the Monster products (series filtration vs parallel with the RGPC). I saw a significant improvement with the RGPC products. My amps seemed much more dynamic and the bass was tighter. Of course I live in a townhouse with only a single branch circuit for my system, your situation may not be a limiting as mine.
Thanks for the responses. Seems like the pre-amp will be my next upgrade. I did consider the 2200 but it is a bit over my budget. Onemug, I do have my Amp plugged directly into the wall. It was recommended by Richard Gray Tech support. At first, I was kind of hesitated but when I confirmed with Mcintosh that it will not hurt my amp, I have my MC352 plugged directly into the wall since then. the sounds is a little more dynamic and the bass has a little more control. However, the dedicated outlet for my MC352 is 15Amp. With 350w/channel, 20amp outlet would be preferred.