what pre-amps to try


Hello all, I am trying to build a moderate system using used Parasound Halo, JC-1 mono blocks. I think I would like to pair with a tube pre. I get a little confused on the compatibility issues. Some of the specs are greek to me.(impedence} So I am wanting to know what preamps are a good match electronically for the JC=1s. I know sound is completely subjective, just want to avoid incompatible components. I am looking for a list of things to try/consider. Balanced inputs a must. My speakers are Tyler Acoustics Woodmere II, all streaming, HD Tracks or CD(Oppo 105), so no phono necessary. Let's say $3000.00 budget, used if fine, thanks for any suggestions, Mizike.  
mizike
According to Stereophile's measurements the input impedance of the JC-1 is 48K unbalanced and 91K balanced.  That is high enough to be compatible with the great majority of active preamps, and even many passive (unpowered) preamps.  Also, the JC-1's measured gain of about 28 db for both the unbalanced and balanced inputs is likely to be suitable under the great majority of circumstances.

Good luck.  Regards,
-- Al
  
Aesthetix Calypso with NOS tubes can be found used within your budget.
Thanks Almarg, I did not want to get excited about trying something that would not be a usable match. Sounds like almost anything is a possibility?
Parasound preamp
I would consider Audible Illusions LS1a as one option.  The upgraded (Factory) Jolida Fusion is another. Obviously, there are others. The used market opens greater possibilities.

I am currently using a Jolida Fusion with my BEL 1001MK5. I like the concept of using a tube pre with SS amp. Especially with digital front end.
That was my thought also Mesch. I was just not familiar enough with details of compatibility to know what to consider. Thanks for your input, Mizike.
Mizike,
I would give serious attention to the Atmasphere UV-1 preamplifier, . When you take into consideration the Designer  and his company's pedigree this UV-1 could be a very exceptional product. The output impedance is only 400 ohms and would be easily matched with your power amplifier. It utilizes the 6SN7 tubes which is a good choice IMO.
Charles, 
I agree that the UV-1 is likely another fine candidate,  I failed to mention that as I have never owned or heard one. The LS1 also used 6SN7 tubes.  Also FWIW both are made in the US. And as I consider this, the UV-1 is far less expensive I believe, allowing for some serious tube rolling. In addition, I believe Atma-Sphere can make one designed for your input needs. 

I'm in love with my Classe CP700. What I like is A LOT of detail over many pre's I've tried and it's very versatile ( Two sets of balanced outputs as well as two sets of RCA outputs) Also, mine has a very nice internal phono stage that is no slouch. I know you said you didn't need a phono stage. You never know though and this is a bonus if you want to resell. I see one on Audiogon right now. It doesn't have the internal phono stage. I bought mine for under $3000.00 with one. Happy hunting. Joe

We had a whole very enjoyable day trying different things on Ed (Edgar)Krammer’s (reviewer for 6 moons, Australian hifi and Audio Esoterica) system which consists of an AMR CD-777 flagship CDP a pair of Parasound JC1’s and a pair of Wilson Alexia’s.

Preamps we had on hand were Supratek Grange, Nuforce all discrete flagship Reference P20, and a passive preamp.

All were used via the rca inputs on the JC1’s as we were only using 2mt interconnects and also didn’t want the extra circuitry of balanced inculded the signal path, as the AMR is tube output and TDA1541 convertor and therefore really single ended anyway even though I think it has token balanced outputs.

The one that came out on top was the passive, by quite a margin, for top to bottom transparency, drive, and top (delicacy) to bottom (tight) extension.


Cheers George

I am thinking that the Classe is SS, not tubed. I believe that mizike is heading in the right direction mating a tube pre to a SS amp. 
Krell Illusion II, awesome!
Herron VTSP-1 or VTSP-3. Used can be acquired for $3K with a little luck.  Upgrade to current levels for great performance.
There is a slightly newer post with similar request, the poster was a little better at phrasing his request than myself. A lot of good info there also, thanks everyone, Mizike.
hi Mizike,
you should give Coincident Linestage a try. Its impedence (500ohm) will match with the amp too. it is available for around $3800 to $4100 used. Charles(charles1dad), Grannyring, Agear and others had recommended me before and i have heard it, it is very very hard to beat for almost any preamp up to $18000. i would have bought it but i need a finer volume control on both channel so i reluctantly skip this pre. Please look into my thread "18k for tube preamp" about 2 years ago. The coincident linestage sounds very natural, it is not overly syrupy or lean. it is good at preserving tiny audio signal compared to other higher priced preamp, you will hear more background music than other pre. it does bass very well too and only slightly behind TRL Dude(dude is king in PRAT). it will match well with JC-1 amp because it also has wide airy soundstage, higher frequencies sound smooth and liquid and not sterile at all. You may look at as a long term investment which you will not need to upgrade for another 4-6 years. Even right now, it is still on my list for a second preamp if i decide to setup second system.
Charles, are you going to recommend Mizike the Coincident preamp?
Phillip,
I agree with your very positive impressions of the Coincident Statement,  it is superb in my opinion. It is  about as natural and transparent as one could desire.
I did not  recommend it as it is priced above Mizike's stated price range 
Charles, 
You might be able to find a used Atma-Sphere MP-3 for that price.
With the specs of your amp, yes most preamps will mate well with it. If you want to go under $2k, the Musifa Bella LeAnna, has a low output impedance and is a tube unit sold direct. You can see it listed here on Audiogon.

Disclaimer; I am associted with Musica Bella Audio/Response Audio