Which preamp........for sonic bliss????

I am presently redesigning a new system (as I plan to move into my new home I have decided to have fun with a new two channel system)

A little background.....my previous system was a great tube set-up (or great for me....maybe modest by others standards). Anyway it was Dunlavy SC-IIA Signatures (the 6' towers) with Cary CAD-50 MK II monoblocks, a Thor TA-1000 Mk II preamp and a host of other components (all of which will stay.....I'm just reworking speakers, preamp and amp).

Here'e the current system thus far.....Avalon Radian HC speakers and Krell FBP 200M monoblocks. I'm looking for a terrific preamp to drive everything. A few audiophile friends suggested I go with a solid state preamp to drive the Krells and Avalons appropriately.

Here's a couple of the contenders:
* Edge Signature 1
* Levinson 380
* Sim P-5
* Pass X-1

Would like to stay under $2,600 used ....by am open on price.

Has anyone heard the Edge (or comments on the other 'contenders')?

All other comments, thoughts and suggestions are welcome!

Many thanks,
I would add the Superphon Revelation 111 to your list, $1900.00 gets you one great preamp. It bettered the Pass X1 in my system. Quailty parts thruout, Jenson 4 pole caps, Dact stepped volume control, Vampire Jacks to name a few. This preamp just lets the music flow natural and uncolored.
Have you looked into the Supratek preamps? They have some strong proponents (including myself). See the "best preamp under $10k" thread.

Having owned the Pass X-1 and Levinson 380, I can tell you that the Levinson isn't even close to the Pass sonically. It takes a few minutes to get used to the operating system of the Pass, but it is a very good preamp.
bent audio noh (uses)

Bent is also coming out with a new model soon as well.

If the rest of your system is up to snuff, a TVC is killer.
Dave, As you know Ive ordered a new Modwright SWL 9.0SE pre amp.It is a 5687 tube based pre of course. At $2200. new ..this unit is designed to stack up to the best competition, sonically, up to ~ 8K! Not your typical "tube" sounding pre here based on others whom I have spoken with..Dan at Modwright Instruments can assist you as to compatability with the Krells, but I think they mate well with most anything, based on the reviews on 6Moons.

It would be good to hear of others who have the 9.0SE and thier comments and if they could make a recommendation to assist you here. BTW..as the new owner of your wonderful CAD-50M MkII monoblocks...I love them...Thanks!!--Ken
Hi Dave,

I received an e-mail from Ken, who told you about the ModWright 9.0SE. Let me say right from the start that I have had over 14 preamps, about 10 of those in the last few years, and I never found just the right one, somewhat like Goldilocks, until I got the ModWright. I had the great pleasure of driving down to Dan Wright's home and getting one from the man himself. He is an absolute prince, and a genius to boot! This preamp is a keeper, and will satisfy even the most hard to please audiophile. Check the reviews at 6moons and also EnjoyTheMusic in their Superior Audio section. When they say the ModWright can compete with the VTL 7.5 Reference, believe them. This preamp is a dream, and should cost much,much more.
Tubes are a pair of 5687 that cost little compared to the ubiquitous 6SN7, and one does not need a costly pair to get the absolute best from the preamp. Dan voiced it well with the stock tubes, and there is no need to tube roll. Try that with other tubed preamps. My Cary SLP98's sonic signature changed with any and every 6SN7 I fed it, and I could never get it to my liking. Not so with the ModWright..It has excellent build and parts but be sure to give its due as far as break-in time.
Take it from a man who drove his wife, family and himself to the edge (well, tongue in cheek) on the quest for the elusive preamp. I have stopped looking and have no regrets at all. I have heard nothing at it's price point, or at 4-5 times that, that will give you the satisfaction the ModWright does.

My thanks for your patience, and letting me babble to you.
Hello Dave!!! All the pre amps listed are no doubt quite good.You should also consider the Jeff Rowland Synergy 2i.I used this pre amp with a FPB 200c and was very satisfied with the sonics.Should work great with the Avalons.By the way, my Avatars are GREAT!!! Good luck....
You guys are the BEST!!!!

I was away from e-mail for a few days and it was terrific to get all your feedback!

'9rw'....thanks for the 'head to head' on the 38 vs the Pass. I had heard the 38 was a little dry, but hearing it from someone who has heard both was just what I needed!

'Bgrazman', 'Loudandclear' and 'Fazoid' ....many thanks for your additions! I have read great things on the Suprateks, am unfamiliar with Bent Audio and was unaware that Superphon was making new products again. I guess the old adage is true......the more you think you know, the less you really know. I look forward to checking these out.

Ken (Kehut) and Bob (ZKidd)....how can I not check out the Modwright?!?!?! Ken....your comments on other components has been 'right on the mark' (and you're a great guy to boot). Bob....you should be a reviewer! I think I just got more out of your post than the last 10 reviews from Stereophile/Absolute Sound (they send so many mixed messages, you don't know whether they're reccomending them or not!)

Mike (mrcyn) ....glad to hear the Avalons are still making great music for you! As you can see, I couldn't leave them for long (just toooooooo good a deal on the Radians for me to pass up!). You also read my mind, as I was thinking about the Rowland Synergy IIi (and it's the most striking looking preamp of the bunch!)

Once again, this was my first forum post and I continue to be lucky to appreciate all the feedback from friends and members.

You're welcome. I neglected to mention that while the Levinson 380 left a lot to be desired, the 380S is a whole different animal. But it was also a lot more expensive. In any case, there are lots of good choices. The Audio Research LS25MKII is another one worth auditioning. Enjoy.