What is the best vintage preamp?

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 18928 times.

boidos

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 3
What is the best vintage preamp?
« on: 14 Oct 2009, 10:32 pm »
Hi, I am looking for a vintage preamp with a phono stage from my system.  I am using a altmann byob and ZU druid speakers.

I heard a yamaha c-2a and it sounded great.  What vintage preamps are regarded as some of the best?  Anything 15-20 years and older is ok?

My budget would be up to about $1500USD.

Wayner

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 6749
Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #1 on: 14 Oct 2009, 10:45 pm »
A Dynaco PAT-5 modded by AVA would be on my list.

Wayner

*Scotty*

Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #2 on: 14 Oct 2009, 11:04 pm »
You might want to take a look at picking up a used Superphon preamp. There is a Superphon Dual Mono Revelation  Basic for sale that appears to have been recently refurbished by Stan Warren on Audiogon, see link   http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?preatran&1260419324&/Superphon-Revelation-Basic-dua These preamps punched way above their weight class when they were new and if this one has been refurbished it should hold it's own with some of the more expensive offerings currently available.
Scotty

timind

Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #3 on: 15 Oct 2009, 12:02 am »
The original Nakamichi CA5 is an outstanding piece. I have owned a couple of Yamaha preamps, not in the same league. The parts/build quality of the CA5 is amazing considering its age.

boidos

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #4 on: 15 Oct 2009, 12:09 am »
Interesting!  I have a nakamichi ca5 preamp at the moment..I quite like it. I thought a yamaha c-2x would be quite a bit better? 
Maybe I should be looking for a nakamichi ca-7 instead?

timind

Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #5 on: 15 Oct 2009, 12:29 am »
I never opened up the Yamaha hi end pre, not sure why, but did open up a C-800X (model# ?). If you open up the CA5 you'll see what I mean.

TheChairGuy

Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #6 on: 15 Oct 2009, 03:11 am »
Especially for phono...dual mono is the bomb :thumb:

As it happens, I have the very preamp that my bud Scotty mentions....a Superphon Dual Mono...for sale.  It was updated by Stan Warren in 2001 with Blackgates and just given a check up at my local audio-video repair guy (nothing wrong with it, just wanted to give it a check up for $49.95)

I'm sure the Yamaha is good...and I've thought about the Nak you have, too.  But neither are dual mono and, as mentioned, DM is just great for phono (all other things equal - which they never are).  I can vouch for the Mitsubishi DA-C20 as a fine (dual mono) preamp with good MM and MC stage, as well.

All these preamps need cap swaps after 20+ years if not already done.

Apologies Brad for the blatant marketing schtick :oops:...I was literally going to put it in the Marketplace tomorrow. Mine is the regular Dual Mono (not Basic) - the better of the two versions Superphon made in '87-88.

A brief intro to it is in my recent ad for some Quad speakers sold yesterday: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=72536.0

Thx (and quite sorry for the opportunistic turn!), John

Thol

Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #7 on: 30 Dec 2009, 04:46 am »
IMHO — A Melos GK 1+1. Good Things: A very neutral, uncolored, detailed, sound that preserves delicacy and nuance. A fantastic, fully configurable TT head amp. Outboard twinned power supply. Tubes that are old TV type that are not difficult to source and last a long time. Should not be expensive if you find one: Bad Things: Rare. Zero support. No documents. The power supply will need to be completely rebuilt, so you had better be into DIY. The latter will need a huge fan added onto the chasssis, that is unless you want to watch the PS melt back into a puddle in a year or two (don't now what Melos was thinking of!). If this does not turn you on, get a Conrad Johnson. Not as charming, but mechanically more straight on. The Melos is eccentric and a PITA, but it is the best thing around next to having no preamp at all — and that is my idea of a good preamp. It should act like it isn't there! The Melos is the closest thing to a passive attenuator that I have ever used — a galactic difference from say a stock PAS-3 Dyna!

drphoto

Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #8 on: 30 Dec 2009, 05:04 am »
From what I understand CJ will happily refurb vintage gear. No idea of what it cost. I think their vintage gear tends toward a more warm traditional tube sound rather than being completely neutral. I like it myself. My first decent rig in the mid 80's was CJ.

I seem to remember that there is a shop in Vegas that repairs Melos, but I can't remember the name.

werd

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3679
  • Hot Librarians Overdue ?!! HL 2014
Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #9 on: 30 Dec 2009, 05:10 am »
The marantz 7 still holds up very respectably.

TONEPUB

Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #10 on: 30 Dec 2009, 05:11 am »
I don't know if it's the BEST, but I've had good luck with the ARC SP9.  You can usually buy a ver clean mk.2 version for about 700 bucks.  Good phono stage too.

CJ PV-12 is another favorite, about 900 with phono.

If you feel like spending 2500, the ARC SP-10's are awfully nice too!

As Werd said, the Marantz 7 is great too.

Threshold FET-10, isn't bad, about $800

Some of the Early Mark Levinson preamps were awesome too.

Lots to choose from.


Thol

Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #11 on: 30 Dec 2009, 06:39 am »
Drphoto wrote:
Quote
I seem to remember that there is a shop in Vegas that repairs Melos, but I can't remember the name.
To my best knowledge, they are long gone. All Melos pieces are orphans. Years ago, after bankrupted Melos ended up in the hands of receivers, all the docs went on auction. [I thought about brokering them]. They were presumably snagged by someone and thereafter vanished. Even the shop you mentioned was using notes and the memories of Melos ex-employees. CAVEAT: The Melos is great, but get one cheap  — and be brave! If it's cheap enough, you can afford to be brave. I've had mine since the days when Melos still supplied parts with a hand-written letter! :green: :thumb:


Wind Chaser

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3475
Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #12 on: 30 Dec 2009, 08:25 am »
I don't know if it's the BEST, but I've had good luck with the ARC SP9.  You can usually buy a ver clean mk.2 version for about 700 bucks.  Good phono stage too.

That's a very good recommendation, even by today's standards. :thumb:

gerald porzio

  • Restricted
  • Posts: 412
Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #13 on: 30 Dec 2009, 01:13 pm »
Marantz 7C

OzarkTom

Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #14 on: 30 Dec 2009, 01:26 pm »
Marantz 7C is very hard to beat.

DustyC

Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #15 on: 30 Dec 2009, 03:13 pm »
Marantz 7C

I would have to agree on the Marantz. Of all the stuff out there, this one has the mystique that is reflected in a high "want factor" and price. All the others mentioned are pretty good choices but some of them are still fairly new. (to me vintage is at least 30 years old.)  :wink:

rollo

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 3062
  • Rollo Audio Where Home demo rules
Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #16 on: 30 Dec 2009, 03:52 pm »
Hi, I am looking for a vintage preamp with a phono stage from my system.  I am using a altmann byob and ZU druid speakers.

I heard a yamaha c-2a and it sounded great.  What vintage preamps are regarded as some of the best?  Anything 15-20 years and older is ok?

My budget would be up to about $1500USD.

 The question is what vintage Preamp will synergize with you existing components. There is NO best Preamp IMO. What is best for you may not be for someone else.
  Secondly , not knowing the sound you like adds another issue. Are you into tubes ? SS? If you can get access to a tubed pre and SS pre then quessing is out of the equation.  With your setup I would look for a CJ PV10A. Great MM phono stage a bit of flavor to the table and the advantage of changing tubes and sonics. If you are a neutrality type of guy Nelson Pass Klyne SK5A might suit your needs or a TVC [ passive].
  Have fun trying. There are good suggestions so far but first decide your preference and narrow the chase.


charles
   

viggen

Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #17 on: 30 Dec 2009, 10:37 pm »
I used to have a Nak CA7II.  It synergized wonderfully with a Mapleshade powercord.

The pre really opened up once the Mapleshade is plugged in.  And, it ran very cool.  With other powercords, it ran very warm.

doug s.

  • Restricted
  • Posts: 6581
  • makin' music
Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #18 on: 31 Dec 2009, 04:56 am »
another melos fan here.  i wouldn't give up my modded ma333r for anything.  the service issues are true - if yours goes bad, there is presently no one readily awailable to service them.  will guering, who used to run melos audio restorations after melos folded, has joined the ancestors.   :cry:  gary dodd may be able to repair them; i understand he got ahold of some of melos' schematics.  the only hope is that mark porzilli has threatened to open a new melos repair/refurb/mod operation; he was one of the original melos designers.  but, he is hard to get hold of...  i am on his mailing list about it, but i haven't heard anything from him for ~6 months.  here's a post about it on audiokarma.org:

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=134280

in spite of it all, if i were looking for another top-notch pre for a first-rate system, a melos would be at the top of my list.  and, regarding rollo's comments, whil i agree in principle, i cannot think of any system where a melos won't fit in and excel.  it simply does everything right, imo - soundstaging, dynamics, detail, extension, timbre, you name it...

doug s.,
unabashed melos "fan-boy"  :green:

ps - i tried an ar sp9-mkll a while back, when i wanted to try tubes; i much preferred my rather ordinary sounding adcom gfp-1a i then owned...

pps - i saw this on the a/a (line stage only):
http://trade.audioasylum.com/ca/ca.html?ca=23500

bacobits1

Re: What is the best vintage preamp?
« Reply #19 on: 31 Dec 2009, 03:02 pm »
I loved the MFA Magus B I had it also had a good stock phono.
Some said the A sounded better. This is a nice pre if you can find one
even refurbed.

D