I just upgraded my bedroom pre-amp from a Parasound P/FET-900II and/or Bottlehead Foreplay to a Proceed Pre, and could not be more satisfied with the change. It is so nice to have nice remote control, balance control, polatity, mute, etc. balanced I/O, and individual input gain control, to top out the features. Feels like putting on a new watch.
The saxophone on Mark Levinson's "Live Recordings at Red Rose Music" CD (SACD) just breathes into the room, and warms the heart.
Before the pre, however is a Ah Tojeb! Marantz 38 special, which just makes the piano sound very much "tinny," and not at all as a decent piano should. I am sure the piano was not an over-played low-model Yamaha, but that is almost like it sounds on CD.
To round out the system is a trusty Rotel 980BX amplifier connected to my stalwart (rear) pair of PSB Status Golds, once part of a 5 PSB Stratus Gold / 5 Velodyne F1500 less-bass "shy" home theatre, and now repurposed around the home. :)
While the PSB's might ask for a more pricey amplifier, and the speakers themselves might want to be replaced with a more modern design for bedroom use (more friendly aesthetically), the "missing" link in the system I feel is the DA converter in the Tojeb/Marantz CD player, giving that quite tinny piano sound, almost as if cheap earbuds were in play...
Does anyone have any matching suggestions for a CD player, or else some Logitech squeezebox like device? I can live without tubes in the system, for maintenance / performance issues, but would like to have some affordable and musicially sounding sound in the room!
A second 980 might be a wise upgade, or a 990BX, but I'd like to see what I can do at the source to give the full frequency range a chance to come out, without mar.
Staxguy / Vancouver
You'd be suprised how much an upgrade a Red Rose Music SACD/CD is, on just about any hi-fi system, compared to just about any other disk in my collection, audiophile or not. Recent experience has bore that out, on a nice new Bryston 28Bsst2/pre/dac and Focal Scala Utopia only coming to life, sound wise above what I'm used to with lesser, on that disk. (Plug for Mark Levinson!, lol. www.redrosemusic.com - SACD's)