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  • Preamp Advice?

    I want to get a new preamp to drive an Audio Note (Kondo) Ongaku. The best choices I know of are the Audio Note UK M3 and M5 with a phono section, but I don't like the sound of the tubes in their current designs. I prefer a slightly sweeter sound. I do have some contstraints:
    • I need a fair bit of gain, at least 65dB in the phono section and 18dB in the line section.
    • I do want an all-tube design, single-ended, and all Class A.
    • I have an MC SUT so I only need an MM phono section.
    • If I could have remote volume control, that would be great.
    • I don't have room for a separate power supply or ant second chassis (or a separate phono stage).
    • My upper limit is about $15,000 but I would prefer keeping it under $10,000.
    Let me know please if you have any ideas or suggestions. Thanks.
    Transrotor Rossini Turntable w/Jelco SA-750DB
    Audio Note Io Gold Cart. w/AN-S9 SUT
    Audio Note CDT-Four Transport/Woo WDS-1 DAC
    Ayre QX-5 Twenty Dig. Hub & 13” MacBook Pro w/Roon w/Melco N1A NAS
    AN OTO Phono SE Signature Int. Amp w/AN-E SEC Silver Speakers w/Murata Super Tweeters
    Purple J-Corder 1520 R2R and Nakamichi Dragon Cassette Deck
    PSAudio P10 AC Regen./Equi=Tech Bal. Transformer
    Harmonic Technology, Audio Note, Kondo Sound Labs, Stealth, AQ Cables
    Woo GES w/Sfax SR-507 Headphones

  • #2
    Originally posted by Galileo View Post
    I want to get a new preamp to drive an Audio Note (Kondo) Ongaku. The best choices I know of are the Audio Note UK M3 and M5 with a phono section, but I don't like the sound of the tubes in their current designs. I prefer a slightly sweeter sound. I do have some contstraints:
    • I need a fair bit of gain, at least 65dB in the phono section and 18dB in the line section.
    • I do want an all-tube design, single-ended, and all Class A.
    • I have an MC SUT so I only need an MM phono section.
    • If I could have remote volume control, that would be great.
    • I don't have room for a separate power supply or ant second chassis (or a separate phono stage).
    • My upper limit is about $15,000 but I would prefer keeping it under $10,000.
    Let me know please if you have any ideas or suggestions. Thanks.
    I think an Atma-Sphere MP3 meets all your criteria if you add the remote option. It is a balanced Class A design and I am pretty sure you can drive single ended amps with no issues. Check with Ralph. I recommend you get all the other upgrades (VCap CUTF caps, Caddock resistors, dampening package, etc.) as long as cost doesn't become an issue...I have an MP1 which I've had for years. I keep it current. Ralph Karsten is the best. I have an Audio Note level 3.1X II Balanced DAC. I could not possibly be any happier....
    Primary 2 channel stuff: Atma-Sphere MP-1 Mk 3.3, Pass Labs X600.5 amps, Aerial SW 12 subs, True Sound Works Ultimate Apogee Divas, Dunlavy SC4s, VPI HRX Reference w Avenger mag drive and Reference footers, Gimbal Fatboy, Yamaha GT2000 for Mono, Miyajima Kansui, Miyajima ZERO, Fidelity Research MC-201 & 202, VPI ADS, Vendetta Research SCP-1, Audio Note UK- 3.1X II balanced DAC, Meridian Sooloos, Western Electric Speaker wire, mostly diy balanced interconnects, Furutech Power Cords

    Comment


    • #3
      Your amp is an integrated amp isn’t it?
      SP-10 MKII table with custom power supply designed and built by Peter Noerbaek with an SME 3012R with Dyna XV-1S cartridge, VPI Avenger table with rim drive and JMW -12-3D arrm with Lyra Etna SL cartridge, Zesto Andros 1.2 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers with a pair of Def Tech Ref subs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mep View Post
        Your amp is an integrated amp isn’t it?
        Yes, that's right, but I plan to replace it with separates.
        Transrotor Rossini Turntable w/Jelco SA-750DB
        Audio Note Io Gold Cart. w/AN-S9 SUT
        Audio Note CDT-Four Transport/Woo WDS-1 DAC
        Ayre QX-5 Twenty Dig. Hub & 13” MacBook Pro w/Roon w/Melco N1A NAS
        AN OTO Phono SE Signature Int. Amp w/AN-E SEC Silver Speakers w/Murata Super Tweeters
        Purple J-Corder 1520 R2R and Nakamichi Dragon Cassette Deck
        PSAudio P10 AC Regen./Equi=Tech Bal. Transformer
        Harmonic Technology, Audio Note, Kondo Sound Labs, Stealth, AQ Cables
        Woo GES w/Sfax SR-507 Headphones

        Comment


        • mep
          mep commented
          Editing a comment
          If you are selling your amp, why are you asking for suggestions for a preamp to go with the amp you are selling?

      • #5
        Originally posted by Letsmakeadeal View Post

        I think an Atma-Sphere MP3 meets all your criteria if you add the remote option. It is a balanced Class A design and I am pretty sure you can drive single ended amps with no issues. Check with Ralph. I recommend you get all the other upgrades (VCap CUTF caps, Caddock resistors, dampening package, etc.) as long as cost doesn't become an issue...I have an MP1 which I've had for years. I keep it current. Ralph Karsten is the best. I have an Audio Note level 3.1X II Balanced DAC. I could not possibly be any happier....
        Yes, I've three AN DAC's, the DAC 4.1x Balanced, the 4.1x Balanced Signature, and the 3.1x/II balanced with AN CDT-Four transport. I thought the 4.1 Signature sounded a little to refined. The 4.1x Balanced was nice but still not right. Now I have 3.1x and I love it.
        Transrotor Rossini Turntable w/Jelco SA-750DB
        Audio Note Io Gold Cart. w/AN-S9 SUT
        Audio Note CDT-Four Transport/Woo WDS-1 DAC
        Ayre QX-5 Twenty Dig. Hub & 13” MacBook Pro w/Roon w/Melco N1A NAS
        AN OTO Phono SE Signature Int. Amp w/AN-E SEC Silver Speakers w/Murata Super Tweeters
        Purple J-Corder 1520 R2R and Nakamichi Dragon Cassette Deck
        PSAudio P10 AC Regen./Equi=Tech Bal. Transformer
        Harmonic Technology, Audio Note, Kondo Sound Labs, Stealth, AQ Cables
        Woo GES w/Sfax SR-507 Headphones

        Comment


        • Letsmakeadeal
          Letsmakeadeal commented
          Editing a comment
          COOL. I have several pairs of tubes to try in the DAC but it sounds so good (and I'm generally not a Digital kinda guy), I just haven't mustered the energy to roll. I am kinda giddy about how digital is sounding now! Whole new world to me. What people say about these DACs is 100% true. I am using Amperex 7316s and a Tungsol Rectifier right now. Killer. I've only had the 3.1X for about a month or so. Just can't get over how great it is.

      • #6
        I have an M7 phono preamp made by Kondo San which I would consider selling. Let me know if you have any interest.

        Comment


        • #7
          If you know specifically how you want the Audio Note M3 made - like if you want an older one but new - talk to your AN dealer and have them build specifically what you want. Audio Note you typically have to order in advance of them building it - and thus they can custom make you one. You will pay extra but it might not be too bad and you will get EXACTLY what you want.

          I am looking into buying Audio Note Empress Silver or Silver Sig or Niro monoblocks - they are all 2a3 monoblocks I just can't decide how much I want to spend as the Niros are getting into Honda Accord territory. LOL

          But they will change out parts and can give you any of the RAAL colours on the amps and speakers now. So unlike everyone else that sells you 3-4 colour options you have like a thousand now. I am think of Gold Leaf for the Empress or Niro which seems fitting.

          If you are looking a bigger tone preamp - more stereotypical tube sound - check out the Melody Audio 101D preamp - No phono stage. Big bodied preamp. It doesn't have the name cache of a lot of brands bit IMO it's better than most

          Senior Reviewer at dagogo.
          Speakers: Audio Note AN E/Spx HE Alnico, & AX Two, KEF LS-50, Wharfedale Vanguard, Tannoy CR650
          Pre: Audio Note M3MKiii Phono Balanced
          Power: Kingko KA 101, Rotel RB 1050
          Analog: Audio Note TT2 (two motor), Arm 1(V2), IQ1 MM
          Digital: Audio Note DAC 0.1x, Line Magnetic 215CD & 502CA DAC
          Cables: Audio Note Vx silver and Lx copper ICs, AN-Spe spker cables

          Comment


          • #8
            Congrats on moving from an Integrated amp to separates! One thing you might consider are separates from the same company, so they are voiced the same, and connect to each other via balanced interconnects.

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by Galileo View Post
              I want to get a new preamp to drive an Audio Note (Kondo) Ongaku. The best choices I know of are the Audio Note UK M3 and M5 with a phono section, but I don't like the sound of the tubes in their current designs. I prefer a slightly sweeter sound. I do have some contstraints:
              • I need a fair bit of gain, at least 65dB in the phono section and 18dB in the line section.
              • I do want an all-tube design, single-ended, and all Class A.
              • I have an MC SUT so I only need an MM phono section.
              • If I could have remote volume control, that would be great.
              • I don't have room for a separate power supply or ant second chassis (or a separate phono stage).
              • My upper limit is about $15,000 but I would prefer keeping it under $10,000.
              Let me know please if you have any ideas or suggestions. Thanks.
              65dB of gain in the phono stage is MC range, not MM.
              Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Shelter 501 Mark II Cart (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Teac A3300SX R2R, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, DIY Silver Interconnects

              Comment

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