Question Pre-amps

MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
Afternoon all,

So as I try to be patient waiting for my new speakers to be sent out (Acoustic Energy AE1 Active) upgraditis strikes!
Next on my list is most likely to be a new (or secondhand) preamp. For this my max budget is likely to be £500. It needs to have at least two digital inputs (1 optical) and 1 line level input for a turntable. Ideally it would have balanced XLR output and a remote for at least source and volume.
From what I've found adding that line level input makes things harder. For a bit more an Audiolab 8000a is a possibility but why pay for the power amps?

Thoughts & recommendations?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
It's only really worth having a pre-amp with balanced XLR if the amp itself is also fully balanced.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
Or your active speakers do 😊
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I missed that. I'm a very passive person. ;)
 

MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
Hah, these will be my most active for a while.
 

DT79

Well-known Member
Some absolute bargains to be had with high end AV processors of yesteryear. They have loads of digital and analogue inputs and are great for stereo too. Arcam AV8, AV9, Tag McLaren AV32R, that type of thing.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
Funnily enough that’s how they’ll run for now. I’ve got an old Pioneer that I really like (copper chassis, gold metal case etc) but it’s getting old so wondered what might come next.
 

DT79

Well-known Member

MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
That last one’s an interesting bit of kit.
 

Alter3go

Member
Don't you need a specific phono stage for your TT or can high-end preamps do that in general? Do you put all your sound through your preamp or just certain devices? What's your amp btw?
 

MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
Hi. No I use a separate phone pre-amp (a Project Phono S) so that goes into a line level input. I’d like all to go through this pre-amp hence the want for digital and analogue inputs. This should upgrade DACS used for CD and streaming.
Currently I use a Pioneer VSA-E08 but if I get a specific preamp I can ditch the size and heat of the power amps.
 

daytona600

Active Member
AE1 are excellent speakers for £1000 even better with the right source
£650 bit over budget
Great sound & huge spec list & match speakers with black or walnut finish
Phono stage (MM/MC), Line In on board
5 digital Inputs: 1x USB, 2x optical, 1x coax, 1x Bluetooth (aptX)
Top grade AK4490 D/A chip (32-bit PCM 768kHz / DSD256)
Up to 32bit/768kHz asynchronous USB (XMOS technology)
DSD64, DSD128 & DSD256 (DSD over PCM)
Up to 24bit/192kHz for optical & coax inputs
5 selectable digital filter characteristics
3 selectable sound modes
Headphone output on the front (6.3mm)
High-end ultra low phase oscillator with superior noise rejection
RCA line level solid-state analogue output stage
Ultra linear & ultra low noise circuitry
Available in silver or black with or without side panels in Eucalyptus, Rosenut or Walnut


.

..
viewfile (2).jpg
 

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MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
Please forgive the off-topic tangent, but I still remember hearing the original AE1 in the late 80s. I was astounded by how good this little pair of speakers hooked up to a stack of Krell sounded.
The originals were pretty power hungry weren’t they?
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Have a look at the Emotiva PT100. In budget new but occasionally come up second hand.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
AE1 are excellent speakers for £1000 even better with the right source
£650 bit over budget]
I’d certainly consider a secondhand one of those. Generally like Project stuff.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
Getting very impatient for mine to turn up now.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
At least there's a UPS order to collect them today. They just didn't bother :facepalm:. Not been the best customer experience so far but I'm trying to remember the deal I got!
 

MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
I'd love to hear what you think of them when you get them
Just received my AE1 Actives in cherry wood veneer. Well anything that comes with white gloves to handle has to be off to a good start?

F23C0084-5EFA-4D4F-A9AF-9EA0BDA0456B.jpeg


They’re a beautiful thing and the wife thoroughly approved of them, phew!
I’m using these with an old, expensive, Pioneer processor and either vinyl, cd or streaming. They’re sat on weighted Atacama stands. Positioning was easy. Out in the room by a couple of feet with free space around them and toed in to the listening position. Tweeters around ear height as usual. I replaced the supplied interconnects but only so they’re shielded being near mains cables. The replacements were pretty cheap.

65D636E8-7D68-4F58-9A88-BB900CB52B95.jpeg


Sound? They are remarkable. To my ears in my room with my sources the best way I can describe them is invisible. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and it’s like being in the sweet spot at an iMax. A huge wall of sound envelops you. Massive detail and totally transparent. Don’t skimp on the quality of your tracks. Very, very impressed and worth all of the quite a lot of pennies.
 

DT79

Well-known Member
Just received my AE1 Actives in cherry wood veneer. Well anything that comes with white gloves to handle has to be off to a good start?

View attachment 1328444

They’re a beautiful thing and the wife thoroughly approved of them, phew!
I’m using these with an old, expensive, Pioneer processor and either vinyl, cd or streaming. They’re sat on weighted Atacama stands. Positioning was easy. Out in the room by a couple of feet with free space around them and toed in to the listening position. Tweeters around ear height as usual. I replaced the supplied interconnects but only so they’re shielded being near mains cables. The replacements were pretty cheap.

View attachment 1328445

Sound? They are remarkable. To my ears in my room with my sources the best way I can describe them is invisible. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and it’s like being in the sweet spot at an iMax. A huge wall of sound envelops you. Massive detail and totally transparent. Don’t skimp on the quality of your tracks. Very, very impressed and worth all of the quite a lot of pennies.
Sweet. AE know what they’re doing and the AE1 Actives have always intrigued me.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
Was rather worried. Never had actives or this expensive but turns out amazing.
 

oscroft

Member
Just received my AE1 Actives in cherry wood veneer. Well anything that comes with white gloves to handle has to be off to a good start?

View attachment 1328444

They’re a beautiful thing and the wife thoroughly approved of them, phew!
I’m using these with an old, expensive, Pioneer processor and either vinyl, cd or streaming. They’re sat on weighted Atacama stands. Positioning was easy. Out in the room by a couple of feet with free space around them and toed in to the listening position. Tweeters around ear height as usual. I replaced the supplied interconnects but only so they’re shielded being near mains cables. The replacements were pretty cheap.

View attachment 1328445

Sound? They are remarkable. To my ears in my room with my sources the best way I can describe them is invisible. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and it’s like being in the sweet spot at an iMax. A huge wall of sound envelops you. Massive detail and totally transparent. Don’t skimp on the quality of your tracks. Very, very impressed and worth all of the quite a lot of pennies.
Excellent, it sounds like the investment and the (presumably nervous) wait paid off. And those white gloves - that's a sign of class!
 

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