I am leaning towards this selection
ARC LS3, SP8, SP6
Some Macintosh model
I have had the following.
Rogue Magnum 99
Blue Circle BC3 Despina
Conrad Johnson Premier 2
and others I can't even think of right now.
I think an original CAT could be had at near the price.
How about a Sonic Frontier SFL2 ?
I love my Musical Fidelity A3cr. I think it is a great pre at that price range. The 3.2 is suppose to be better and could still be had for a grand.
I know that I already responded to you but, look seriously at the Tube Audio Design 150. I listen to 70-04 rock on my Adcom 600 and good recordings like Eagles, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac and others sound really good through Vandersteen's. I also have the 2Cesignatures. I also suggest the power cord that Paul gryzbeck sells with the TAD-150. I have compared fie other preamps including the ARC SP 9 MK 2 with Amperex tubes and the TAD 150 beats them all. I have not heard the Sonic Frontiers or the Audible illusions but, you can pick up a brand new TAD-150 with warranty for $700. My setup is so transparent on some recordings its scary....
Hi Eagleman, yes we have discussed this pre before. I am reluctant if you know what I mean. I know you mean well and I believe you love this preamp. I am just having a hard time thinking this could be for me. Does he offer home trials ?
Why should I believe that this preamp assembled in China for $700 can be better than a ARC LS3 or a SP8 or even a Sonic Frontier SFL2. I can't imagine that being possible without A-B comparison. I don't know about this one.
There is a Wright Sound Lab WPL20 available on AudioGon for ~$850 (not mine!). This is a hand-built, full-function, two-chassis tube unit that is something very special. I liked it more than some very expensive preamps that I had compared it with. I've also had several very good conversations with its designer, and I feel he stands behind his stuff to a much greater exent than most that I've encountered.
I narrowed it down to 2 choices. The ARC LS3 and a SP8.
I believe I might have just made a deal on a SP8.
For under a grand, EE Minimax INHO the best UNDER 1000 FOR EVEN USED.
Scott-I dont know if you know this,but Mark O.(Rogue) has a new 2 tube,remote preamp out.
He has a new tube amp out also.
The new preamp is of the same high caliber construction of his other products.
The new preamp has the 2 tubes coming up through the top cover,surrounded by a chrome cage.
It comes with the usual heavy,steel milled remote.
It might be worth giving Mark a call or e-mail.
He's a great guy and will give you personal attention.
As a side note.I wouldnt under estimate Chinese audio products.
Before you choose the SP-8, you should find out if it is MK II version. The MK II is much better than MK I. How does it perform? Lets just say that my vintage 60s preamp beat it by far in both phono and line stage. Not to mention the vintage preamp only cost around $400.
I do agree with you about the Chinese preamps and amps. The ones I have auditioned are not very clean sounding lack of body and transparency.
The new Rogue is not listed on the site.
Read the reviews here on audiogon. Also, Paul modifies these preamps once they hit the states. Buy what your instincts tell you but, as a fellow Vandersteen owner I am just letting you know that this particular preamp is a good match. Also, Paul does offer an in home trial. Contact him for specifics. As far as Chinese components there are several companies offering very fine quality for your$$$. Remember that labor is quite a bit cheaper over there and this could translate into more bang for the buck.... If you are listening to 60 and 70's rock, you need the Pre to be able to separate the music so that it doesn't sound compressed. The TAD-150 has a huge 3D soundstage. Curious to see what your final decision is.
Scott-Rogue has already shipped out their new amp.
The preamp is shipping next week.
The integrated the end of Feb.
No,these new products are not on the Rogue site yet.
If you want to see good pics of the amp and preamp,look at the bottom of the AudiogoN home page at the CES pictures Albert Porter took.
Both amp and preamp retail for <$1K
The integrated,Im not sure.
would consider a bat...they make high quality gear that is very flexible and relaible. there customer service is second to none.
would consider the the bat 3vki(with remote) for under or around $1000. over a $1k take your pick....vk30 (bargain imo), vk30se,31se,50se etc...
cant go wrong with any of them.
I need to make a correction.
I gave the wrong retail price for the new Rogue tube amp above.The retail price is $1395.00
The new preamp is $995.00 as I stated.
As long as Im here,I will share what I found out about the new Rogue line.
Its called the "TITAN SERIES"
Atlas power amp 60 WPC
EL-34 12ax7 12au7 built in bias meter.
4 and 8 ohm taps
Two 6SN7 tubes
Built in solid state phono stage and head phone amp. Heavy steel mil.remote
Cronus Integrated amp 60 WPC
EL-34 12ax7 12au7
Built in solid state phono stage and head phone amp.Heavy steel mil.remote.
Scott-I really think you should check out the new Rogue preamp.
It may be a great match for your M-120's
You know as well as anyone, Rogue offers great bang for the buck products.
Just so you know, I ended up buying an ARC LS3.
And with that decision came some spare money because they are so cheap. I went on ebay and bought some vintage Infinity speakers. Well, we will see how this time goes. You never know, there may be another LS3 on the for sale list in a few weeks.