What preamp goes with sim audio w-5?

Just got a sim w-5 power amp and am using a woo audio preamp to drive merlin vsm speakers. What preamp would go well with this power amp. I recently started listening to vinyl and mainly listen to opera. thanks
Hi Pedrillo,

I have heard a variety of Sim Audio gear including your amp as well as the 2 integrateds in the series. Unfortunately I am not a big fan of the sim audio sound and have heard some decent sounding setups and some horrible sounding setups with simaudio ... it seems to me that engineering is more important than music as far as their design philosophy goes.

2 combo's through electrostatic speakers:

Sim Audio Equinox with I-5 integrated into a pair of Martin Logan Aeon i's with Ultralink interconnects (ic's) and speaker cables (sc's) throughout and powerconditioning and powercords (pc's) by shunyata (older hydra 4 with copperheads throughout) ... this system sounded very nice but became fatiguing when interconnects were changed to Harmonic Tech's best silver ic's with Cardass Cross sc's (higher resolution).

Cary 306 player through VTL preamp and into the W-5 with Cardas Cross ic's and sc's throughout also into a pair of Martin Logan Aeon i's ... no powerconditioning here but all pc's were copperheads. This was the worst system I've ever heard. Completely sterile (even more than Krell systems which I had previously thought to be the worst in that regard) with clean bass lean midrange and strident highs, no musical coherence present, zero involvement, good for outdoor pool parties perhaps. Very bad association of gear here.

2 more systems:

Andromeda player with the new pre and its partnering amp (W-7 I believe) with Cardass Golden pc's and Golden Cross ic's throughout entire system, into a pair of Dynaudio Confidence 5's, again no powerconditioning here ... second worst system I've ever heard (can't believe sim used it to showcase their gear at the Montreal show ... kind of made me wander what music the sim audio engineers listen to) ... me and my wife were not alone in our judgements and in fact we were the only 2 people left in the seats following our single song listening session ... very fatiguing and unpleasant in the near field.

Eclipse limited edition SE player into a reference VTL preamp and out into a pair of Aerospace 140 wpc OTL's driving a pair of Dynaudio Evidence Temptations, all cables cardas golden reference with powerconditioning by shunyata (hydra 8 with anaconda's on the digital front end and pre and taipans to the amps). Despite the impendance mismatch here (OTL's driving the Dynaudio's) I preferred this sound to many other systems I've come across ... very musical and refined with plenty of power and dynamics, mind you limited by the amp of course but still very enjoyable. I also heard this same system wired with shunyata ic's and sc's (aries and andromeda) and I must say it sounded very dissapointing compared to the cardas cables.

hope this sheds some light on your question, wish I could be of more help but unfortunately I stayed away from sim audio after what I heard at the show this year. If you like their sound, consider the sim audio p-5 pre, it may be a good match for you.

...a tube preamp!

I'm using a Simaudio W-3 and a tube preamp but UHF Magazine has nothing but good reviews about the W-5 and they use one in their Reference system with a Copland CTA-305 tube preamp.

For more info check out their web site;
I have to disagree with Amperidian here. Of course there is a certain amount of personal taste, but the description here is clear that amperidian likes a euphonic, colored, musical sound. In the most part, that's what tubes do. If you play a musical instrument, you'll know that the Dyn C4 / Andromeda, P-8 and W-8 combination sounds incredibly....neutral, fast, uncolored and most importantly transparent. This sound is the "real sound", the sound of instruments in "real life". The warm, mushy, overly rich in harmonics sound is certainly larger than life and pleasant at first, but six months down the road you'll be trading in your gear.
true to the point audio4ever, you also fail to mention that unless your cd collection comprises reference recordings only, you will quickly stop listening to music altogether with the sim audio setup you mentioned above.

As far as "euphonic, colored" sound goes ... well that's always up for debate. I prefer to believe that I am involved in the music I hear instead of feeling like I just walked into a surgery room ... a good analogy between the system I prefer and the one you describe above.

The Audio Aero Capitole MKII SE/YBA Passion combo I use is definitely fast,transparent and musical without sounding colored ... just go out and audition these 2 lines for yourself. They are not mushy or larger than life as described above, and most people who have had decent exposure to world class tubes know that they can sound just as good if not better than most solid state gear out there (go audition some Nagra, Lamm or Tenor gear, they mop the floor with Sim Audio in A/B comparisons).

I think my preference for musicality and emotion has been clearly stated ...furthermore tubes and solid state can - and have - mated very well in many systems here on audiogon. This goes a long way to show that tubes can reach certain qualities that may be lacking in some solid state technology and can be an integral part of many reference level systems.

I just completed the break-in period for the Sim W-3. Initially I was disappointed. Everything sounded harsh
and overly bright. After a month of use, I moved my speaker closer together and the dfetail just popped. I will agree, that the Sims show every flaw in the recording process. You actaully hear it all. Once I had an opportunity to listen carefully and think about it, it made sense. That is the point of the listening. I played a variety of music; classical, jazz, live recordings, etc.

Truth be told, I heard the recording not the equipment colored it, but as it ewas recorded. There was NO coloration. Which is why I love this maddening hobby. Again, it will come down to personal taste and preferences.

I am using the Conrad-johnson Pre-Amp 14PVLS(tubed to balance the SS), B&W Nautilus 805, Kimber Silver Streak, Analsys Plus Oval 9 interconnect. of course I realize that this can most definitely be improved upon (at a later date). But for the moment, i amgettingt e staging, detail and full effect of the recording and its flaws. The major flaws have to d9o with my speakers and the cable used with them. That I will deal with later.

Yes, I like the CJ with it. My suggestion is take the W-3 with you and listen to it with Pre-Amps at a good dealer. A great dealer will loan a unit overnight.

Good luck.

Preamps I have found are important to the over all sound in a system. So first off I'd recommend taking care in picking what sounds best to you.

The second thing is that different people have different tastes for what they like in sound quality, so be careful with what people recommend, because what they like is not necessarily what you will like. I won't make specific recommendations unless you can tell us what kind of sound you prefer. Is is fleshy, full sound, or warm sound, or neutral sound? Are you willing to give up a little bass response to get the above, or not? No preamp does it all.

I have the W-5 preamp, and auditioned a few preamps in my system. For me a tube preamp was the way to go. I found my system with all SS gear too much on the harsh/analytical side of sound when listening to CD's. As has been mentioned above, this setup only played a few reference CD's well, and was too unforgiving of most music.

So my first recommendation is tube preamps. Although with vinyl use, you may not consider a tube preamp even necessary.

As for the W-5, many people recommend a fully balanced preamp because they say the W-5 sounds best with a fully balanced signal. I went this way myself. So that will knock out a lot of preamps. Remember to look for fully balanced units if you go that way, rather than just preamps with an XLR output.

I have the Cary SLP 2002 (a fully balanced tube preamp) and am happy with it. It isn't tubey sounding like some preamps I've listened to, but it isn't quite as neutral as many of the newer 6H30 tube preamps are either.

Good luck

One must remember that a system only reflects what it is fed!If you have a high resolution component that is linked with flawed cabling ( Sim stuff is very sensitve ),then chances are you have bad sound.I feel sorry for manufacters who design tdc and phase coherent gear only to have it hooked up with cabling that not up to the task.Some people feel that you can use brands on different parts of the system,this really opens up all sorts of issues.I have 2 friends who run a sim W-5 LE source direct and use all Virtual Dynamics cabling and are Married to the amps.I think that if you like the sound of the Sim amp then the Sim pre would be the next logical choice.If you like the sound of tubes then the First Sound would be my next choice,since this gives you very good dynamics as well as 3-d images and resolution.E.GO is the owner of First Sound and is a consumate Genlteman to deal with-Take care Dennis
Thanks for your help to all who contributed, just thought I would mention that since starting this thread I had purchased a sim p-5 preamp and have to say I am very much so content. I am hearing alot of detail the bass is full reaches the lower octaves horns come through in life like fashion, when listening to opera at times it sounds close to what it sounds like in the concert hall on vinyl that is of course, and it has a wonderful sound stage. I most highly recommend this 2 chassis preamp and think that for the money used it's a bargain. Also should mention that it is fully balanced.
Just thought I would post here on my own thread that audio experience a2se sounds great with the w-5.