As a classical music lover and concert-goer, I find that many recordings benefit from tonal correction. More than a few have steely violins, some jazz discs have too much bass, and many others sound best just as recorded. The too-bright ones are notable, as I listen mostly to CD and often find CD sound slightly irritating in the violin or cymbal range. Holt's Law, while not inevitable, applies often enough to be important here.
My front end is currently a Meridian G98 player, used as a transport into a Tact 2.2X digital preamp, which includes a digital equalizer. I have noticed several recent reviews of CD players that are said to sound considerably better than older units. (For example, the Bryston and the Esoteric X-05, which even does SACD.) It is tempting to try one of those new CD players, replace the Tact with a conventional preamp (my room is acoustically treated), and enjoy.
But then I'd lose the transparent, remote controlled, tonal correction abilities of the Tact.
I am dubious about giving up tone controls. Are there any first-rate conventional preamps with tone controls?
Suggestions or comments -- including other approaches to resolve my digital unhappiness -- would be welcome. (With my musical interests and limited space, I don't think moving to LP would be a good approach.)
P.S. The rest of the system is a Bryston 14B SST, a pair of Revel Ultima Studios, and a pair Fathom F112. The Tact is a digital preamp, tone control, digital crossover, and room-correction unit.