Pre-amp recommendations?

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 12272 times.

superflyback

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 14
Pre-amp recommendations?
« on: 25 Jan 2022, 08:14 pm »
On the verge of purchasing my first WT table and I need to upgrade my pre-amp (currently using a Black Cube). Is anyone using either the WTL RIAA or Phono Stage pre-amp? I spoke with Don Better (from whom I will be buying the table) and he recommended the Lejonklou Slipsik 7 which also looks great. That's right at the top of my budget but if it's the best choice I can justify it.

Would love any insight into any of those three options, or any other recommendations! I'll probably be starting with the WTL TLC with plans to upgrade at some point in the future. Would love to eventually try some MC carts but I don't necessarily need an amp that can do both, I could get a SUT if that's the best fit.

Thanks!

mick wolfe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1250
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: 26 Jan 2022, 05:28 pm »
Since you're buying the WTL turntable from him, ( Don Better) will he let you audition the Slipsik 7 vs. your current Black Cube? Really the only way for you to truly determine if the Slipsik justifies its fairly stiff price. I think you're on the right track for the most part. The WT cartridge looks to be based on the Nagaoka 150, so you're in good company there. Choosing an SUT for low output coils in the future is also the road I would take.

superflyback

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: 26 Jan 2022, 06:41 pm »
Since you're buying the WTL turntable from him, ( Don Better) will he let you audition the Slipsik 7 vs. your current Black Cube? Really the only way for you to truly determine if the Slipsik justifies its fairly stiff price. I think you're on the right track for the most part. The WT cartridge looks to be based on the Nagaoka 150, so you're in good company there. Choosing an SUT for low output coils in the future is also the road I would take.

Good question, and thanks for the idea! His site says he doesn't allow returns of any kind but I'm not sure how strict that is in a case like this.
« Last Edit: 27 Jan 2022, 06:04 pm by superflyback »

mick wolfe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1250
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: 27 Jan 2022, 05:29 pm »
Yeah, I think you'd need a phone conversation at the least to clarify that policy. Sounds pretty draconian on the face of it.

mick wolfe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1250
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: 27 Jan 2022, 05:51 pm »
BTW, what are you currently using for a line stage?

VinceT

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 610
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: 27 Jan 2022, 05:53 pm »
If that WTL cart is based on the Nagaoka 150, lots of people like the inexpensive IFI or Schitt pre amps with the MM Nagaokas.

Youtube has lot of reviews on that cart and pre combo

You can save your cheddar for a cart and pre upgrade down the road.

superflyback

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: 27 Jan 2022, 05:58 pm »
BTW, what are you currently using for a line stage?

Currently using a Lehmann Black Cube Statement into my Denon receiver.

mick wolfe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1250
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: 28 Jan 2022, 04:49 pm »
In light of that, I'd probably hold on to the Black Cube and seriously look at upgrading your amplification. You could probably find a nice integrated for a little more than you were about to spend on a Slipsik 7. I believe that approach would yield the greater all around improvement.

superflyback

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: 28 Jan 2022, 06:29 pm »
Thank you mick! I’ll look into that. Open to any recs you’d have there as well!

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: 28 Jan 2022, 11:56 pm »
I would also consider Lounge Audio phono preamps.  Stereophile did a nice review of the standard LCR MKIII.  I heard the LCR Silver in my system with a Thorens TD-145 TT and a Nagaoka MP-200 cartridge.  The silver is a step up from the MKIII and it sounded great, musical, resolving and huge sound stage.  I would consider stepping up to the Gold for $750.

https://www.loungeaudio.com/lcr-series

Although, I too would consider an upgrade to a nice integrated amp instead.  You might want to consider the AVA HiFi Control amplifier depending upon your speakers.

What is your budget?

superflyback

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: 29 Jan 2022, 02:50 am »
I would also consider Lounge Audio phono preamps.  Stereophile did a nice review of the standard LCR MKIII.  I heard the LCR Silver in my system with a Thorens TD-145 TT and a Nagaoka MP-200 cartridge.  The silver is a step up from the MKIII and it sounded great, musical, resolving and huge sound stage.  I would consider stepping up to the Gold for $750.

https://www.loungeaudio.com/lcr-series

Although, I too would consider an upgrade to a nice integrated amp instead.  You might want to consider the AVA HiFi Control amplifier depending upon your speakers.

What is your budget?

Yeah, I’ve heard great things about Lounge.

I’ll look into the AVA. The only complication is that I need something with bypass because I’m using the same speakers for my TV (my house is too small to have two systems).

With that in mind do you think an integrated amp would be a better investment SQ wise than upgrading my pre-amp?

Budget is tough for me to determine because as you can see I’m very new to this world. I was thinking something in the 1000-1500 range for the preamp so maybe a similar budget for the integrated.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: 29 Jan 2022, 12:42 pm »
Yeah, I’ve heard great things about Lounge.

I’ll look into the AVA. The only complication is that I need something with bypass because I’m using the same speakers for my TV (my house is too small to have two systems).

With that in mind do you think an integrated amp would be a better investment SQ wise than upgrading my pre-amp?

Budget is tough for me to determine because as you can see I’m very new to this world. I was thinking something in the 1000-1500 range for the preamp so maybe a similar budget for the integrated.

Frank can probably add a HT bypass switch.  He has done it before so give him a call.

I would consider a Peachtree Nova 150.  Their amps us newer technology and are better than before.  Cambridge Audio CX-81, Marantz PM8006, Audiolab 6000 to name a few.  The Peachtree for sure has HT bypass.

https://www.peachtreeaudio.com/collections/amplifiers/products/nova150

mick wolfe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1250
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: 29 Jan 2022, 05:23 pm »
Thank you mick! I’ll look into that. Open to any recs you’d have there as well!

Integrated amp choices would strongly depend on your current speakers.(don't remember you mentioning them unless I missed it) I'm pretty firmly in the tubes/separates camps, so my experience here is limited.  A couple of my friends who do favor integrateds are in the Luxman camp, but that's a bit out of your budget. That said, looks like I. Greyhound Fan has offered some good options for you to check out.

superflyback

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: 29 Jan 2022, 07:39 pm »
Frank can probably add a HT bypass switch.  He has done it before so give him a call.

I would consider a Peachtree Nova 150.  Their amps us newer technology and are better than before.  Cambridge Audio CX-81, Marantz PM8006, Audiolab 6000 to name a few.  The Peachtree for sure has HT bypass.

https://www.peachtreeaudio.com/collections/amplifiers/products/nova150

Great advice, I'll look into them. The Peachtree looks really nice.

Integrated amp choices would strongly depend on your current speakers.(don't remember you mentioning them unless I missed it) I'm pretty firmly in the tubes/separates camps, so my experience here is limited.  A couple of my friends who do favor integrateds are in the Luxman camp, but that's a bit out of your budget. That said, looks like I. Greyhound Fan has offered some good options for you to check out.

My current speakers are Hsu HB-1 Mk IIs (and a Hsu VTF 1 mk2) which I've had for about 10 years. Not the highest end speakers but I like them pretty well. My plan is to try and invest in each new element in such a way that I'm not getting anything I'll have to rebuy later - I don't mind buying a great amp or pre if I know it's the only one I ever need to buy (as long as my space and budget don't change drastically) - although I know that is fundamentally problematic without knowing what the end result setup will be.

But all of that is to say that I'm open to upgrading everything, speakers included, as I go. I don't have the budget to do that at the moment but I don't mind the speakers being the bottleneck for a little while until I have the cash to upgrade. I'm aware that means I'll have better gear than I can hear for a while, but since I have kids (which means placement etc. is a bit of a compromise for the time being) and my budget only accounts for so much, I'm okay taking my time.

Would that change your advice re: amp and pre-amp? The Hsus are not terribly hard to drive, so I could potentially wait on either or both until my speakers would make the most of them.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: 30 Jan 2022, 12:07 am »
Wow, speakers would of course be my first thought to upgrade and then electronics.  But speakers could be the most expensive to upgrade.  It looks like you have a pretty good phono preamp.  If you are happy with your current speakers and have the upgrade bug, do the integrated.  Something like the new Peachtree Nova could power most speakers and be comfortable paired with higher end speakers.  Then you would need to match speakers with the electronics vs the other way around.  The Peachtree would not handcuff you with power since it is 150 wpc at 8 ohms, 300 at 4 ohms and can handle speaker impedance down to 2.5 ohms.

superflyback

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: 30 Jan 2022, 03:04 am »
Wow, speakers would of course be my first thought to upgrade and then electronics.  But speakers could be the most expensive to upgrade.  It looks like you have a pretty good phono preamp.  If you are happy with your current speakers and have the upgrade bug, do the integrated.  Something like the new Peachtree Nova could power most speakers and be comfortable paired with higher end speakers.  Then you would need to match speakers with the electronics vs the other way around.  The Peachtree would not handcuff you with power since it is 150 wpc at 8 ohms, 300 at 4 ohms and can handle speaker impedance down to 2.5 ohms.

Yeah I know they are a bottleneck for sure. My issue at the moment is that with two toddlers I need speakers I can keep out of harm's way, so mounted bookshelves are my only option for a couple years at least. I'm a little reluctant to get something more expensive in a similar size when what I suspect I really want are some floor standing speakers. But I could be wrong!

mick wolfe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1250
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #16 on: 31 Jan 2022, 05:42 pm »
Well, from reading reviews only, the HSU HB-1/HSU sub combination seems to be fairly decent. Certainly appears to be an excellent value at its price point. I would continue the search for an integrated as a priority. Try to find something you can audition in home with a return option. I even see more than a few possibilities over at Amazon. Some that have been mentioned already.

superflyback

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #17 on: 31 Jan 2022, 06:46 pm »
Well, from reading reviews only, the HSU HB-1/HSU sub combination seems to be fairly decent. Certainly appears to be an excellent value at its price point. I would continue the search for an integrated as a priority. Try to find something you can audition in home with a return option. I even see more than a few possibilities over at Amazon. Some that have been mentioned already.

Thank you Mick! I will. I was looking at the Parasound HINT which would probably be overkill for me at this stage but could grow with pretty much any setup I throw at it. The NewClassic 200 and Peachtree Nova 150 both look good as well.

Speaker wise I've started looking into the Falcon LS3/5A MoFi editions (or Q7 kit) which are apparently terrific and are about the same size as my current bookshelves, so it makes for an easy swap. Would definitely want a better amp in that case though.

mick wolfe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1250
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #18 on: 31 Jan 2022, 08:00 pm »
The Falcon LS3/5A is quite possibly the best of the LS3/5A litter. I was looking at the Q7 kit myself at one point, but then ended up building the GR NX Studio Monitor instead. That said, if the Falcon is your direction, I'm guessing they won't play as loud as your current HSU's or be a perfect match for the HSU subs. You might find yourself seeking a pair of REL T0 Mk.III's subs to better match the Falcons. IOW, you may be opening a bigger can of worms than you thought. If you're looking for a speaker roughly the same size, consider the ATC SCM 7. It's less expensive than the Falcon, will play louder and "might" have a better chance of working with your current HSU subs. Also note that both the above speakers are quite a bit less efficient (83-84db) than your current HSU's.

superflyback

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Pre-amp recommendations?
« Reply #19 on: 31 Jan 2022, 09:08 pm »
The Falcon LS3/5A is quite possibly the best of the LS3/5A litter. I was looking at the Q7 kit myself at one point, but then ended up building the GR NX Studio Monitor instead. That said, if the Falcon is your direction, I'm guessing they won't play as loud as your current HSU's or be a perfect match for the HSU subs. You might find yourself seeking a pair of REL T0 Mk.III's subs to better match the Falcons. IOW, you may be opening a bigger can of worms than you thought. If you're looking for a speaker roughly the same size, consider the ATC SCM 7. It's less expensive than the Falcon, will play louder and "might" have a better chance of working with your current HSU subs. Also note that both the above speakers are quite a bit less efficient (83-84db) than your current HSU's.

Interesting, thanks for the info. I had gotten the impression that the Q7s might play slightly more nicely with a sub because of the deeper bass and lack of 120Hz bump, but I'm also entirely ignorant about that (esp in regards to my specific sub), and of course can't audition them. The ATC SCM 7s look great, I'll do some more research on them.