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Old 12-08-2014, 12:15 AM
jax4736 jax4736 is offline
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Default dCS Vivaldi with or without preamp?

Interested in feedback on this topic. Contemplating a Vivaldi stack in 2015, and have my eye on a good preamp too. I still want to use my analog sources....is the Vivaldi's sound harmed by the addition of a preamp- even a world class one?


Considering D'Agostino or Ayre KXR Twenty preamp.
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:24 PM
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Hi Jax, I had the chance to audition the Vivaldi stack some two years ago plugged direct into D'ag stereo amp and honestly that configuration did not totally convinced me to pull the trigger right then and there---Let's just say, not moved. Came back to that Dealer six months later when they had the partnering D'ag pre in, everything went much better! Unlike during first encounter, I was no longer in scrutinizing mode for any of those infamous audiophile stuffs, but simply sat down and savored the presentations which to me (and a friend--who ended up buying the dCS stack) were overall more musically involving, convincing and believable. So yes, imo, even with SOTA digital rig, a top-notch preamp can/do make a difference, for the better in most cases.
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:24 PM
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Definitively with a pre-amp! Until recently i had the vivaldi stack and it played much better through a pre-amp. If you can afford both the dcs stack and a preamp, dont hesitate. Personally i never like a dac directly into the amps. Always sound more natural with a preamp.
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:06 PM
TLi TLi is offline
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I have the Vivaldi stack. Playing directly to amps will give you slightly better resolution. It can be a bit abrasive and dry at times. I use ARC reference 10 and prefer the sound with preamp over direct connection. I enjoy the music more with Ref 10.

Playing it direct makes me harder to fall into the music and forget the equipment. A tube based preamp should be a better match to Vivaldi.
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:17 PM
jax4736 jax4736 is offline
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Thanks for all the feedback. I'm guess I'll keep with my original plan for the analog preamp & add the Vivaldi later. I can't justify the transport, as I have few SACD's and use a Mac laptop as my main source (backed by a QNAP NAS).

I simply like the flexibility of the analog preamp; I have analog sources like reel to reel tape and LP and am not really interested in moving to a 100% digital setup.
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Old 12-10-2014, 04:54 PM
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Did snapped a pic during that first audition :
IMG-20121209-00610.jpg

On second, too busy helping friend negotiate price.
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Old 12-11-2014, 08:54 AM
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I'll have to agree with everyone above. A great preamp is welcome.

Speakers: Rockport Altair 2
Preamp: Robert Koda K10 Amp: Ayre MX-R
Cables: Transparent Opus MM2 Spkr, Opus Gen 5 Interconnect
Power Shunyata Triton/Typhon, Anaconda Zitron cords (x9)
Digital dCS Vivaldi DAC, Transport & Clock w/ Transparent Reference XL Digital cables
Phono: Grand Prix Monaco TT, Schroder LT arm, Jan Allaerts MC2 Finish & Lyra Atlas, Nagra VPS/VFS
Racks: Grand Prix Audio Silverstone F1 (x2)
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:41 PM
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Here is another opinion. I'm running the Vivaldi DAC/UpS/Clock without a pre-amp and love it. I only use a single input to the Vivaldi hardware - my Mac Mini. I don't play head banger music that might benefit from a pre-amp. Mostly classical and acoustic jazz. The lower output of the DAC (2VDC) is adequate for all I listen to. The sound is sublime. Would it be better with a pre-amp? I am not motivated to find out since the set up I have meets all me emotional needs.

Cincy
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cincy2 View Post
Here is another opinion. I'm running the Vivaldi DAC/UpS/Clock without a pre-amp and love it. I only use a single input to the Vivaldi hardware - my Mac Mini. I don't play head banger music that might benefit from a pre-amp. Mostly classical and acoustic jazz. The lower output of the DAC (2VDC) is adequate for all I listen to. The sound is sublime. Would it be better with a pre-amp? I am not motivated to find out since the set up I have meets all me emotional needs. Cincy


Sounds like you have good impedance matching between your DAC and your amps even when DAC signal is attenuated. In my view, that's the main advantage of a preamp (electrically speaking).

Last edited by cma29; 12-11-2014 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:22 AM
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jfrech jfrech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cma29 View Post


Sounds like you have good impedance matching between your DAC and your amps even when DAC signal is attenuated. In my view, that's the main advantage of a preamp (electrically speaking).
You know that is a good point you're making. Cincy is using Transparent cabling, it could be a reason he is getting excellent results going direct...


Speakers: Rockport Altair 2
Preamp: Robert Koda K10 Amp: Ayre MX-R
Cables: Transparent Opus MM2 Spkr, Opus Gen 5 Interconnect
Power Shunyata Triton/Typhon, Anaconda Zitron cords (x9)
Digital dCS Vivaldi DAC, Transport & Clock w/ Transparent Reference XL Digital cables
Phono: Grand Prix Monaco TT, Schroder LT arm, Jan Allaerts MC2 Finish & Lyra Atlas, Nagra VPS/VFS
Racks: Grand Prix Audio Silverstone F1 (x2)
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