Mr C

Which 2 Channel Pre-amp (with Ht Bypass) ?

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I currently have an Onkyo 875 as a pre-amp to my Elektra Theatron 7. Very happy with the home theatre sound, but looking to upgrade for improvement in 2 channel music via my Cambridge Azur 640C CD player. I just took delivery of the Paradigm Signature S6 front speakers and the C1 centre ... I have been hit by upgraditis !!

I have done some reading on 2 channel pre-amps (with HT bypass) and have read reviews of the Bel Canto Pre3 preamp. It is around $2500 RRP .... are there any other pre-amps of a similar ilk worth considering ?

Any views would be appreciated.

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That belcanto pre is a beauty. I have heard it myself a couple times on visits to SGR. If I didn't already have my Stello unit I would be looking into getting one of those pre's + the belcanto dac.

You can get them through Audiomarketplace -> see here

Theres a few guys on SNA that have them and swear by them.

I currently have an Onkyo 875 as a pre-amp to my Elektra Theatron 7. Very happy with the home theatre sound, but looking to upgrade for improvement in 2 channel music via my Cambridge Azur 640C CD player. I just took delivery of the Paradigm Signature S6 front speakers and the C1 centre ... I have been hit by upgraditis !!

I have done some reading on 2 channel pre-amps (with HT bypass) and have read reviews of the Bel Canto Pre3 preamp. It is around $2500 RRP .... are there any other pre-amps of a similar ilk worth considering ?

Any views would be appreciated.

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The Belcanto Pre3 is another good option as a simple 2ch pre-amp with HT bypass feature, I'm currently using a Rotel RSP1068 AV pre/ Benchmark DAC1pre Belcanto Pre3 then Elektra Reference 2ch power amp. You will want to obtain the descrete remote codes as the basic remote supplied doesn't have them, I have them in Pronto ccf format if needed, the Belcanto Pre3 can be purchased new for under $2000 if you look around.

JDH.

That belcanto pre is a beauty. I have heard it myself a couple times on visits to SGR. If I didn't already have my Stello unit I would be looking into getting one of those pre's + the belcanto dac.

You can get them through Audiomarketplace -> see here

Theres a few guys on SNA that have them and swear by them.

Edited by JDH

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That belcanto pre is a beauty. I have heard it myself a couple times on visits to SGR. If I didn't already have my Stello unit I would be looking into getting one of those pre's + the belcanto dac.

You can get them through Audiomarketplace -> see here

Theres a few guys on SNA that have them and swear by them.

Why would I need the Bel Canto DAC ?

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Why would I need the Bel Canto DAC ?

Sorry didn't mean that you would.

Was referring to my own setup. My Stello is a DAC/Pre in one unit. If I were to upgrade to the Bel Canto Pre I would need to Buy another DAC.

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Sorry didn't mean that you would.

Was referring to my own setup. My Stello is a DAC/Pre in one unit. If I were to upgrade to the Bel Canto Pre I would need to Buy another DAC.

Ok ...

It seems that the Bel Canto Pre3 is a good value 2 channel pre-amp. Is there anyone who will argue that there is a better alternative ?

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Ok ...

It seems that the Bel Canto Pre3 is a good value 2 channel pre-amp. Is there anyone who will argue that there is a better alternative ?

I'd suggest to try and demo in your system if possible. there are definte charecter differences between pre's in various systems and the importance of pre and power matching is very underestimated I think. best to get some quality time with the device to make sure its what your after and gives you the benefit your looking for given the money outlay :)

good to explore other alternatives too for perspective.

there is also this just released cambridge audio 840e 2ch pre with ht bypass

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summary.php?...E+pre+amplifier

I believe it is priced at the $2k mark and would appear from a look at the specs info and pics a very well engineered product :)

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I'd suggest to try and demo in your system if possible. there are definte charecter differences between pre's in various systems and the importance of pre and power matching is very underestimated I think. best to get some quality time with the device to make sure its what your after and gives you the benefit your looking for given the money outlay :)

good to explore other alternatives too for perspective.

there is also this just released cambridge audio 840e 2ch pre with ht bypass

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summary.php?...E+pre+amplifier

I believe it is priced at the $2k mark and would appear from a look at the specs info and pics a very well engineered product :)

Thanks Al ...

I don't see any mention of HT bypass with the Azur 840E.

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Thanks Al ...

I don't see any mention of HT bypass with the Azur 840E.

hi mrc, most defintely, if you follow the link,

Azur 840E pre amplifier features

Fixed level inputs allow the 840E to provide the front channel amplification when integrated with home cinema systems that use an AV processor

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I currently have an Onkyo 875 as a pre-amp to my Elektra Theatron 7. Very happy with the home theatre sound, but looking to upgrade for improvement in 2 channel music via my Cambridge Azur 640C CD player. I just took delivery of the Paradigm Signature S6 front speakers and the C1 centre ... I have been hit by upgraditis !!

I have done some reading on 2 channel pre-amps (with HT bypass) and have read reviews of the Bel Canto Pre3 preamp. It is around $2500 RRP .... are there any other pre-amps of a similar ilk worth considering ?

Any views would be appreciated.

I know what I am going to say is going to caused a bit of bother for local retailers. But I am actually looking seriously at the option of importing pre and power amp from China. I know there is certain risk in doing this but the cost and performance on offer with these chinese products are much higher than brands such as CA and Belcanto purchased locally. I am pretty keen in getting Meixing Mingda's MC2A3 pre-amp and some tube monoblocks. I have heard plenty of stories about importing valve amps from China, most of the retailers I have spoke to usually were against the idea and citing warranty issues, voltage issues and lacks of local support. I also spoke to some long time users of these imported Chinese hifis and most of them found no problem in running their imported system in Australia even without the step down transformer.

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I'd suggest to try and demo in your system if possible. there are definte charecter differences between pre's in various systems and the importance of pre and power matching is very underestimated I think. best to get some quality time with the device to make sure its what your after and gives you the benefit your looking for given the money outlay :)

good to explore other alternatives too for perspective.

there is also this just released cambridge audio 840e 2ch pre with ht bypass

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summary.php?...E+pre+amplifier

I believe it is priced at the $2k mark and would appear from a look at the specs info and pics a very well engineered product :)

I can IMO vouch for the BelCanto (PRe6) sound with the Elektra however you've also go to take into consideration your speakers and room.

When I got the BC, the CA 840e was a mirage - 3 delayed release dates was starting to verge on the ridiculous.

In saying that it was an option that I desperately wanted to audition.

Even if you have to pay in full to take whatever it is that you're auditioning home, once again IMO it's well worth doing so. Do try more than one Pre as you could compare it to speakers. Different Pre's will do different things to the soundstage, location of vocals, and may put their slant on different ends of the sound spectrum. Like your lovely Paradigms, your ears will tell you the Pre that's right for you.

Good luck in your quest!!

Azz

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I'll also give the BelCanto a thumbs up.Although I've never owned on,Bel Canto were one of those sit up a listen type experiences I had a few years back driving some Mezze Utopias.

Also you may want to google Hugh Dean and his Aska amps,another Melbourne based guy who makes a very nice sounding unit.

Then again maybe another used Elektra pre may come one day again??

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If interested I purchased my Bel Canto Pre3 from this HiFi dealer in Sydney (who is also a member on this Forum) for under $2K (cash price). Had the oppertunity to fully demo in my system too and provided the more featured Bel Canto universal remote which had all the discrete codes I was after for the Pre3.

http://www.audiosupermart.com/store/index....5baa0731c1a80dc

JDH.

Ok ...

It seems that the Bel Canto Pre3 is a good value 2 channel pre-amp. Is there anyone who will argue that there is a better alternative ?

Edited by JDH

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If interested I purchased my Bel Canto Pre3 from this HiFi dealer in Sydney (who is also a member on this Forum) for under $2K (cash price). Had the oppertunity to fully demo in my system too and provided the more featured Bel Canto universal remote which had all the discrete codes I was after for the Pre3.

http://www.audiosupermart.com/store/index....5baa0731c1a80dc

JDH.

PM sent.

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I can IMO vouch for the BelCanto (PRe6) sound with the Elektra however you've also go to take into consideration your speakers and room.

When I got the BC, the CA 840e was a mirage - 3 delayed release dates was starting to verge on the ridiculous.

In saying that it was an option that I desperately wanted to audition.

Even if you have to pay in full to take whatever it is that you're auditioning home, once again IMO it's well worth doing so. Do try more than one Pre as you could compare it to speakers. Different Pre's will do different things to the soundstage, location of vocals, and may put their slant on different ends of the sound spectrum. Like your lovely Paradigms, your ears will tell you the Pre that's right for you.

Good luck in your quest!!

Azz

If you pay in full to take it home, is there some iron clad guarantee that if you don't like it that you can get your money back ?

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If you pay in full to take it home, is there some iron clad guarantee that if you don't like it that you can get your money back ?

depends on what you have negotiated with the retailer. no retailer is obliged to take anything back if you purchase something and jsut change your mind on a purchase or its not to your liking or something. if they have some return policies thats purely down to their own company policies. however many hifi and specialist retailers realise the dificulty in choosing and buying product and will help by lending you their demo units to try inhome. each will have their own special requirements. len wallis for instance now days will let you buy an item with 30 days evaluation to return if not to your satisfaction to swap with anythign else in thri store or a store credit. other stores will lend you demo units over night or a few days durign the week or over a weekend or more exteneded period depending on what they have instore.

most will usually ask you to pay upfront for the item jsut incase you leg it and many others will either take a credit card scan or photocopy of your driving licence. very rare these days a shop will let you jsut walk out with an item. unless you are a long standing customer well known to the store. some stores even if interstate will hapily make possible a home demo as long as you pay for the cost to transport to you and back.

there is a sticky re demoing at home covers the ins and outs and benefits pretty well.

http://www.dtvforum.info/index.php?showtopic=52805

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I don't see any mention of HT bypass with the Azur 840E.

My local hifi store offered me a new 840E for $1500, with minimal haggling. I just posed the question, whats your best price? This should be the price you aim for, or better, if looking at the 840E.

The 840E doesnt just have bypass, it goes further than that, and is actually much more configurable. It maintains memories for every input, which include volume settings.

This allows you to configure any input, to use in bypass mode. You can label that input, and set the volume which is then calibrated in to your HT system mix. This is all then set to memory, whenever you select that input, it is effectively running in bypass mode.

It's a nice unit, that I plan to evaluate when I'm ready, unless I get distracted by other units on the 2nd hand market. The local hifi store I mentioned above, allows me to buy, try and return for an agreed period of time (which isnt all that long).

I would suggest though, that you continue to spend more time with your speakers, elektra amps, and cambridge cdp (running through the onkyo). Understand what aspects of the sound you are looking to improve upon, or reign in, then find a preamp that delivers the sound - that pulls it all together for you.

I've heard the BelCanto, it's very very neutral and transparent. This may, or may not be the ideal match, to everything else already running in your system.

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My local hifi store offered me a new 840E for $1500, with minimal haggling. I just posed the question, whats your best price? This should be the price you aim for, or better, if looking at the 840E.

The 840E doesnt just have bypass, it goes further than that, and is actually much more configurable. It maintains memories for every input, which include volume settings.

This allows you to configure any input, to use in bypass mode. You can label that input, and set the volume which is then calibrated in to your HT system mix. This is all then set to memory, whenever you select that input, it is effectively running in bypass mode.

It's a nice unit, that I plan to evaluate when I'm ready, unless I get distracted by other units on the 2nd hand market. The local hifi store I mentioned above, allows me to buy, try and return for an agreed period of time (which isnt all that long).

I would suggest though, that you continue to spend more time with your speakers, elektra amps, and cambridge cdp (running through the onkyo). Understand what aspects of the sound you are looking to improve upon, or reign in, then find a preamp that delivers the sound - that pulls it all together for you.

I've heard the BelCanto, it's very very neutral and transparent. This may, or may not be the ideal match, to everything else already running in your system.

Thanks Millsy for your advice.

Clearly it is looking like coming down to a choice between the Bel Canto and the 840E.

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