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Best pre-amp for Quicksilver V4 mono's (newest KT150 version)

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  • Best pre-amp for Quicksilver V4 mono's (newest KT150 version)

    Just purchased a pair of Quicksilver V4 mono tube amps, the newest KT150 version. Will be arriving this coming Wednesday.

    Single ended
    Input impedance is 100 K ohms
    Input sensitivity is 1.5 volts

    Now need to purchase a nice pre-amp. Would like to get the most 'bang for buck' by getting a very nice condition used pre-amp.

    On my radar so far is:

    EAR 868
    Audible Illusions M3b or L3a
    Herron VTSP-360

    I have had 2 different AI M3a pre-amps in the past, so I am very familiar with Audible Illusions 'sound'... not sure what is the differences between the AI M3b and AI L3a, besides the M3b having phono stage options and the L3a remote controlled volume?

    No experience with Herron or EAR, but from what I have read EAR, if compatible, may be the best performing?

    Suggestions greatly appreciated.

    Also would like to hear from other V4 owners.


  • #2
    Hi Rick. I really like Mike Sanders amps, ever since the Philips 8417 monos - still have a pair - so congrats on on your new amps. I've talked with Alan Habib, not sure if he still owns Audible Illusions. Never owned one, so no not much help there other than he's a good guy to work with. Not sure of your price range, I'm guessing around $4k-5k?

    Have you considered Conrad Johnson? Maybe a used ET-5 or ET-3 or going back further to a later Premier series like a 17LS. Perhaps an Audio Research Ref-3, predecessor to the 5SE. I don't know this part of the market that well and I'm trying to prime the pump so your thread doesn't go unanswered - hopefully others will chime in. Steve Lefkowicz may be able to help.


    • #3
      I owned a few nice pre but stopped flipping when I heard my First Sound Mark 3. It is now. 3SI. No remote but I rarely miss it.
      PAP Trio 10/Voxativ & PAP Trio 15 Horn speakers, Ampsandsound Casablanca monoblocks, First Sound Audio Mark 3SI preamp,
      Mojo Audio Deja Vu server, Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC, The Linear Solution Ethernet Switch, Blue Jeans Ethernet cablling,
      Akiko Corelli, Custom power strip direct wired to panel with OFC copper wire. Inakustik Ref Air 2404 Speaker cable. Genesis and Inakustik NF2404 Air Interconnects.


      • #4
        I own a pair of V4's balanced that I use a Aesthetix Calypso that is fully balanced in circuit design and most importantly with never a problem. I cannot think of a better pairing for your system and the company is great with customer support. What speakers are you using or plan to use?


        • #5
          I bough the Audio Note M3 Phono Balanced last year and I am continuously impressed by the utter lack of noise and big dynamic presentation and overall quality. The amp ranges from $6,900 to $11k depending what features it has like Phono Stage (which is superb) or not. But AN's are boring to look at. Still I really like the dual volume stepped resister ladder volume pots.

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          One of the other amps on my runnner up list was the Melody Valve Audio 101D preamp - no phono stage. But looks cool. Big warm valvey sound while the AN is more neutral.

          Click image for larger version

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          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


          • #6
            I know a few people wit that EAR 868, and it's no coincidence that they have great sounding systems!
            Steve Lefkowicz
            Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback


            • #7
              Why not a Quicksilver pre-amp. No issues with compatibility, pretty transparent and it won't cost you a lot and you can buy music with the rest of the money.
              Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,