Preamp/Tuner/Remote Recommendations

Discussion in 'Solid State' started by TomBig58, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. TomBig58

    TomBig58 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Chicago
    I recently came across a listing for a Luxman TP 117 that was part of a mixed stack with a couple of amps I really didn't need or want. He lowered his stack price but I procrastinated and it was gone. The flexibility and connection options on that pre are amazing. Is it any good? Good phono stage? I like that it has two pre outs. I don't like that some functions are available ONLY by remote!
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    So I got to thinking I would like a nice 2 channel preamp with decent onboard tuner and a remote to couple with my Adcom GFA-545II and maybe another amp. I listen to a lot of radio while doing whatever around the apartment and a remote would sure come in handy to crank up the good stuff and turn down the commercials without walking over there. Skipping a song on a cd is another thing I would love to do remotely even if I have to match manufacturer for a disc changer to use the same remote. It also MUST have a decent phono stage!

    Another that piqued my interest was a Carver CT17 I suppose because it's Carver and I thought it would be fun to play around with the holography feature. Some net info said the newer CT24 had issues so I dismissed that model. Does the CT17 fall into that "later models Carver crap" category? This model is 5.1. is there a comparable 2ch pre and is it any good?
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    Are the Adcom preamps any good?

    I'm looking at mostly $125-$200 used on CL and I used ebay just for info. I've never purchased gear on ebay and don't need to start now. I did see a Yamaha CX800U that was just so clean and sexy with it's hidden controls I love it. Is it worth twice some of the other models? No tuner on it though and it's another A/V model while I'm looking for two channel only.
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    I'm in no hurry I just wanted to get some opinions and ideas here before I post anything WTB over in Barter Town. I don't want to go high end here and I know you guys have some good "bang for the buck" knowledge. Maybe some Pioneer "Elite" series models?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. the skipper

    the skipper Amateur Curmudgeon Subscriber

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    Personally, I'm running a NAD 1600 tuner/preamp and it seems to me that it's all I need. A good tuner, more than decent MM/MC phono section (designed by Thomas Holman, of THx fame), a multitude of inputs, remote control and the ability to connect it to any power amp you like*. It has a big brother, the 1700, which mainly adds selectable crossover frequencies.

    *In my case an 80 wpc NAD 214 driving a pair of DCM CX-21's or simply a pair of Sennheiser 580's directly
     
  3. lico

    lico Super Member

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    2,011
    Luxman TP-114 (little brother to the TP-117) has a nice phono stage and decent tuner, finding one with a factory remote would be the hardest part. But all the functions on it are accessible without the remote too, unlike the 117.
     
  4. TomBig58

    TomBig58 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The units I posted were just a few I stumbled across used for sale. I don't know why I didn't research any NAD. Right now I'm using an NAD 7130 receiver as a pre with the 545II Adcom driving a pair of Kef 105.2's and it sounds great. Much better than when I was paired with an HK 870 amp. After I posted I looked in BT and see someone is offering the NAD1700 pre-tuner with a couple of NAD 2400 bridgeable amps (no remote :-/) That seems like a real nice combo. I got a great deal on my Adcom and it sounds great but it's not bridgeable. The Kefs are rated to 200 watts, are not bi-ampable, and even though it sounds great as is I like the flexibility of having amp(s) that can be bridged to a dual mono setup. I'm not sure this is true but I was told I need to push at least 150 watts through the 105.2's to "really wake them up".

    It's nice to get at least one vote of confidence on the Luxman series.
     
  5. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    The best ever tuner/preamps don't have remote or digital displays. the Luxman TP 114 is for my mind the best non McIntosh tuner/preamplifier out there. But the McIntosh MX 113 is my favorite SS tuner/preamplifier and the MX 114 is comparable but no AM tuner.
     
  6. lico

    lico Super Member

    Messages:
    2,011
    Now there's a vote of confidence on the TP-114. I like mine - haven't listened in awhile to it but sounds great with a Lux M-117 as power amp.
     
  7. lico

    lico Super Member

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    I don't think you need bridgeable amps you got decent power already, and if it sounds good stay with it. Bridging usually needs a 8 ohm load to get the rated power (which is OK with your KEFs but maybe not all speaks).

    Nothing wrong with using a receiver either as tuner/pre IMO.
     
  8. TomBig58

    TomBig58 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    Funny it was the thought of the Luxman TP117 that I missed out on started me to thinking "boy, it would be nice to have a remote control model". It's nice to see that the 114 is well regarded as they can be found relatively cheap. To throw a monkey wrench in the works I notice the Luxman doesn't have an MM/MC phono stage. While not an issue now it might be in the future. If I do decide to experiment with an MC cartridge in the future I have "non remote control" options at my disposal already including the NAD 7130 receiver I'm using as a pre now or a Mitsu DA-P30 that just sounds a bit "off" to me tonally even though it has low, mid, and, high tone controls.

    It's interesting you mentioned the power. It does seem to me that the 100W adcom is power enough for the Kefs. One of the things that set me off in this "more power" direction was, when I got the Kefs I found that my MCS 3125 ( 115wpc coservative) receiver couldn't push the 105's like I thought it should. I love that receiver so I'm thinking my next step with IT is to take it to a service tech and have it gone over to find out why or if it seems to be underpowered. I totally did not expect the Adcom to push them better than the 3125.

    My thinking about bridgeable amps is that the KEFs aren't bi-ampable so someday I might try mono-block L&R channels. I like playing with stacking some of my other speakers too if the mood arises.
     
  9. FWIW, Logitech remotes work with NAD, Luxman and other brands of equipment.
     
  10. TomBig58

    TomBig58 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    While I AM a vintage guy with the recently reaquired "sickness" and will certainly not pass up a good deal on the Luxman, a good NAD, a Nak Stassis, or any of the other good recommendations thrown out here and elsewhere if they come my way, I'm pretty sure I'm going to pull the trigger on my first piece of new equipment since the 70's when I purchased my "where is it now?" HK 430 and Phillips 212 TT.
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    Emotiva BasX pt100 you can buy it direct from Emotiva for $299. Sure it's a bit more than I planned to spend but it will bring me into the 21st century with it's quality DAC and digital inputs.

    All along in my recent mid-fi journey I had an eye (ear) toward digital inputs into my 2 channel setup and this has everything I was looking for plus the digitals I would need to add on anyway. Sure I've been playing my ipod thru aux inputs and streamed some through a $10 BT dongle from Parts Express but now I can get serious about the serious amount of music I have on an external hard drive from back in the file sharing days. When it's all said and done I think it will be less expensive for me to go this route.

    It was all the positive reviews online and especially the review from right here on AK that tipped the scales. Now if I can just bring myself to sell off some gear to justify the expense....

    Here's the link to the AK'er review http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/emotiva-pt-100-review.735317/
     

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  11. Freddymac2

    Freddymac2 Super Member

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    When all is said and done, please come back and give us the Pluses and Minuses after a long, serious evaluation.
     
  12. TomBig58

    TomBig58 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Chicago
    Will do. I'm going to visit a hi-fi shop or two to see if I can demo one, then probably order online. In the meanwhile I have plenty of knobs and buttons to play with. I'm a long way from a final location and arrangement but I am quite set up for audition purposes. The speaker selector with volume pots and two source inputs is my friend for now. Eventually it will fall by the wayside along with the temporary rack (yes I put casters on it) and I can do some proper cabling. I do appreciate the big KEF's have casters too. I have a few other speaker sets to play with so for now it's just mix and match fun. Believe it or not my TV and HT setup is in the same room on an adjacent wall and I kind of have a mix and match setup in my home office too also bookshelf speakers....the joys of living alone. YES those are Bose 301's I got over the weekend from my brother in law just because I had never heard them and I figured I would give them a run. My first impression is they have their place but not in my serious listening area. That big furniture looking thing in the middle is the speaker base for a 70's vintage armoire console that's patiently waiting to get reunited with it's upper half. At close to 200lbs you know I have that sucker on a moving dolly for sure.
     

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