Would adding a pre back into the system eliminate


some extreme glare?
I recently switched from a tube pre to just using a Bel Canto 2.5 straight to the amp. It has more detail but is very revealing as far as terrible sounding cd's. I have also lost the robustness that it had. I have to turn it up quite a ways to get on top but by that time it is too loud. I think I am going to need another pre to take care of that. I still have some mid range glare though that is excruciating. Mostly voices. I am including a list of my setup. I don't know if it is my speaker cables, or lack of pre. I should have good sound with the BC 2.5 and amp I think, but with out purchasing individual components and seeing I don't know. I would appreciate any thoughts. Normal living room, carpet, drapes, pictures, etc.
McCormack UDP-1 love it, plays dvd audio and good cd's with excellent sound.
Silnote Poseidon Sig digital to BC 2.5 huge upgrade from what I had
Harmonic Tech Magic Link II xlr to amp maybe even more so than above
PBN Custom amp dual mono 160w/ch class A/B
DH Labs Silver Sonic Q 10 speaker cables
NHT 3.3 speakers.... plenty capable,they sound great.
jerryaudio
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Thanks Cdrc, for the response and confidence. I sold the pre though. I wasn't sure if it was what was needed or possibly spkr. cables.
Jerryaudio,
Cdrc suggestion is the best course of action, direct comparison. As you're probably aware, this is an often covered topic(check the site's archives for proof). You'll find many advocates of either of these two approaches. Listen and decide using your system.
Best of luck.
Charles,
This is not a disaster but a journey and we have all been there. Trial and error is what we do naturally so no harm has been done. You most definately will want to add a preamp again to increase dynamics, preferably a warmer but detailed one.
Would adding a pre back into the system eliminate some extreme glare? Jerryaudio

No but it could mask it, and if it masks it, it will no doubt mask other things as well such as your new found detail.
Your experiment was a good one going direct from your Bel Canto 2.5 into your amp, as you say you have more detail, but what that's also unveiled is the hardness that something else has. This could be the amp, speakers or a even very live room. This is where you should look to cure the problem, not just throw a preamp into it that may mask it and the detail as well.

Cheers George
Jerry - I'm wondering if a Cardas 300B Microtwin IC in place of the Harmonic Tech Magic Link would help. Can often be found used and much less expensive to explore than a new pre-amp. I found this cable very musical and good for taking the edge off a very resolving but sometimes harsh CDP. After settling in, it did not seem slow or congested to my ear. I'm trying a Cardas Parsec IC now but am not yet sure I prefer it to the Microtwin. I'm still fighting too much gain but that's another issue.
I agree with Georgelofi above.
I've seen passives exhibit glare in the past- usually some sort of interaction with something else in the system. Passives are very sensitive to cables- much more so than preamps; as others have suggested it appears that you answered your own question.
No but it could mask it, and if it masks it, it will no doubt mask other things as well such as your new found detail.
Your experiment was a good one going direct from your Bel Canto 2.5 into your amp, as you say you have more detail, but what that's also unveiled is the hardness that something else has. This could be the amp, speakers or a even very live room. This is where you should look to cure the problem, not just throw a preamp into it that may mask it and the detail as well.
Why not just buy a boom box? If a boom box has poor SQ, getting an amp, speakers, cables ... is not MASKING a problem but ONLY adding a preamp is?

He doesn't have a passive anywhere, his Belcanto 2.5 dac has a fix or variable 100ohm RCA or 200ohms XLR output impedances.
But his Belcanto 2.5 dac does have "24Bit Volume Control"

Cheers George
I don't really understand why Cdrc would go out of his way to attack a designer/company who believes in pre-amps while suggesting to add one back in, but so be it... as others have pointed out, he is correct that the only real option is to start swapping out components/cables and see what happens.

I have not tried them, but a common recommendation when dealing with cables is to try the Cable Company since they have used wires and will give you a nice home trial (http://www.thecableco.com/).

Good luck,
Chris
Thanks for all the input. I believe that what I have now is revealing a) a weak link or b)may be that the thinness from just a dac may be causing the amp to strain at the higher volume required to get some sort of body into the music. I hope anyway. I hope the addition of another preamp will provide the substance I'm missing. I'll see soon.
Cdrc,
Your puns are really tired.
Jerryaudio,
What you describe is the fundamental crux(dilemma) of this recurrent topic.
The fullness, substance, body, dynamics and tonal density (flesh on the
bone) aspects that many listeners cite with the addition of an active
preamp.

Either you'll view it as simply added coloration and not true to the source.
Or
You will view its addition as vital music information that completes the
sonic signal otherwise missing without the active preamp.
That's your individual call to make.
As this and previous threads have demonstrated, there are passionate
advocates on both sides.
Charles,
I agree.
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Hi Jerryaudio,
Do you have a particular replacement active preamp to try or are you as yet undecided? There are numerous fine choices available, you're in a good situation.
Charles,