Used Pre-amp advise please....

It turns out that I need your advices once again...
I recently just upgraded my B&W N805 to a pair of Dunlavy Alethas (and decided to put them in my living room which I believe is big enough to accomodate them). My current system (tight-budget system):
Jadis JD-3 CD
AudioNote DAC 2
Krell KSP-7B
Krell KSA250
Cardas Neutral Ref & Nordost BlueHeaven RCA
Cardas Quadlink cable speakers
I am quite ok with the system until I heard the combination of Conrad-Johnson PV10a with my Krell, which turned out to be very musical, detail, and sweet (lack of bass & soundstage, a bit lean). A huge improvement over my krell ksp-7b.... Since I virtually have spent all of my $ for the Dunlavys, I could not afford a better pre than a used one (my Ksp-7B is only worth $550 at my dealer). My current choices are: CJ PV10a ($750), CJ PF-2 ($800) or Sonic Frontier SFL-2 ($1000). My concern is the CJs are quite low-ends (non-replaceable power cord) while the SFL-2 is quite old (1996, and the comp have been brankrupt). Any sugestion among those pre-amps? Thanks in advance....


From what i can remember the Sonic Frontiers is a hellava nice piece and is a good buy for the money. The only problem I see is it is pretty neutral for a tube unit. The lean problem you describe may be better served with either C/J unit. All pieces described are exc choices.I wouldn't worry too much about vintage.....They are all built to last...
Not sure what you were looking at with the CJ pre-amps. But I have a PV10a and it has a replacable powercord. Great support from the folks at CJ as well. I've been happy with mine for several years. I also have 805's and a McCormack DNA-1 deluxe amp. Great soundstaging. Covered the base issue with a REL Strata III sub. Others here on the 'gon have also recommended the BAT 3MKi it might also be another piece to consider. Good Luck.
You should be able to get a PV-10b line stage for what you are looking to spend. However I would try to move up to a Premier 10 or 14 if you can swing it financially. As someone said I would not worry to much about vintage as CJ still services everything they make / made. I don't know who services sonic frontiers as they are out out of business as I understand it. So that would sway my decision. People who still own sonic frontiers would know the answer to the service question.

Im currently an owner of an sfl2 and can attest to its quality of sound and build. This is a fantastic preamp built like the proverbial tank. It uses 8- 6922 tubes and I believe service thru anthem-sonic frontiers is still available. feel free to email for any questions but i know you wont be sorry if you pick one up.
NO text
Under 1000$ used,don't loose your time and money:go passive
IMHO the SFL-2 is the better match for your system (Flavor aside). As Thorman points is the most neutral which I would want in my system if I had the Krell/Dunlavy combo. It also has the balanced outs for your Krell and will be quieter along with better bass.

$1,000 may be somewhat optimistic for the SFL-2?

Hi Dave,
I also just got an offer of VTL TL-5 (not the current version of TL-5.5) for $1000, do you think the SFL-2 better than the VTL TL-5? Thanks a lot (you have been very really informative to me, i really appreciate it). Also, thanks a lot for everyone...
Don't know Atjandra888. I really was not trying to say that the SF was better than the CJ...more that I think it's a better match with the components you now have.

Adding a smaller amount of tube signature while retaining your amp and speakers fine bass qualities would seem the larger over-all gain.

Maybe someone who has experience with the VTL will pipe in some info on it.

My experiences with the SFL2 have been extremely happy ones. It does so many things right and seems to synergize well with many amps. The build quality reeks of class , just plug and play !
As Sogood points out, 1000 is optimistic...these units stack up to the heavy hitters out there.
Good luck Adinata
There is an Aronov LS-9000 preamplifier currently on sale, with an $800 asking price, that should make you very happy, as it is not a compromise despite its reasonable price as a used Audiogon item.
You can do your own trading here on Audiogon, and come out with a more amazing preamp to enjoy well into the future.
Why not have the best bass, soundstaging, and dip ypur toes into the tube waters, all at the same time?
"ypur" equals "your" in the strange world of non-touch typists :>)
Suggest you consider Audible Illusions Modulus 3A, VTL Ultimate (if you can find one), and used Convergent Audio Technology preamps.
I would suggest an ARC Sp-14. Has a killer phono stage and a very nice FET linestage. ARC products are built to last and they support everything in their line ever produced. You should be able to find one on Audiogon or Ebay for around $1000. I think it is pretty close to the best and a screaming bargain. Different kind of sound than CJ house sound. ARC is precise, detailed, harmonically correct, has plenty of "bloom", possess good dynamic shading but tends more to neutral versus euphonic like CJ. In addition if the preamp does not work well in the context of your system, you should not have any problem reselling it for what you paid for it.
I have Audible Illusions Modulus 3 which has be modified by the Audible Illutions Factory to a Modulus 3A (very easy and very simple) with all the factory notes and documentations. Hardly used. I will soon put up for sale.
Ok, I've never owned the speakers----BUT--- the speaker wires are 12/15 years old and weren't all that good;back then.---I did own the wires and have upgraded many times since---all for the better.-- Try to borrow some wires from a friend and see what you hear??
Avguygeorge is right. I have owned the Quadlink 5C cables too and upgrading to Cardas Cross and then TG Audio's HSR speaker cables has been an big step up each time. I've never heard your amps or your speakers but would still tell you that your Dunlavy's deserve better!