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Entry level audiophile pre/power amps72Canadian
Feb 12, 2002 10:42 AM

I am considering getting into the entry level audiophile arena. After a lot of research I have narrowed down my choices to the following:

Pre/Power Combos:

Pass Labs: X2 pre/X150 power (6.5 List)
Musical Fidelity A3cf pre/ A300cr power (4.8 List)
Or to really blow the budget :X2 pre/X250power (8.5 List)
Is there Mcintosh/Levinson products that compete in this space?

I would appreciate your advice.

re: Entry level audiophile pre/power ampsPaul L
Feb 12, 2002 10:10 PM
You can add Classe' and Monarchy on the list.

Paul Lam
P.L.C.Lam Consulting Inc.
re: Entry level audiophile pre/power ampsChuckd55
Feb 13, 2002 12:07 AM
Levinson 383 integrated -very fine $6,500 only somethinglike 120 watts
I've heard McIntosh separates for $6,000 - sound nice but not as transparent as what you already have listed
Classe more of a take-charge , forward sound than M-F, but also supposed to be tube-like unlike Krell S.S. (fatiguing?? sound)
Feb 13, 2002 7:07 AM
There are great McIntosh products at that level. The MC202 amp and C41 pre-amp make for a great combination at around $6500. I disagree with the previous post that McIntosh is less revealing than your other choices. To me McIntosh is a little warmer, a little more tubelike than your other choices, but every bit as clear and revealing. McIntosh is very very musical and the construction is rock solid. Definitley worth listening to in your range.
I concur on McIntosh amps.Rush Power Windows
Feb 14, 2002 7:43 AM
If you want an excellent, revealing, and musical amp you should look at the MC162 (about $2K) and Hovland preamps. McCormack also makes some killer amps for the money.

What size speakers will you be driving, and what is their efficiency ratings?
My suggestion: Musical Design ampsjsujo1
Feb 19, 2002 8:38 PM
Their upgrades are incredible, and most balanced sound around.
check them out:
Depend on other equipmentXenith
Feb 21, 2002 10:35 AM
hi there,

i think it depends a lot on equipment you have. for example, i wouldn't couple up classe with B&W audiophile speakers - amps are too laid back for it. just remember to try a few variation to see which components go 'hand in hand'. you might want to look at Electrocompaniet - all their stuff I have listened to gives audiophile sound at far cheaper costs than ml, krell, rowland etc.
Electrocompaniet isn't laid back?Chuckd55
Feb 21, 2002 11:40 PM
That's not what the reviews I have read said.

And I A/B's side by side McIntosh MCI C15 pre and MC162 power next to Adcom GFP 750 / Krell 3avi (?) / Bryston 3B
and McIntosh was very noticeably veiled compared to the other three.

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