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Old 21st February 2012, 01:49 PM   #1
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Default Pre-Amp Mods - Suggestions

I am in the process of trying out some different equipment in my dedicated 2 channel system. I am in the market to purchase a Pre-amp, a Cd player, and possibly a Dac. I want to see if I can take a relitively inexpensive pre-amp and make some midifications to it in order for it to perform like a more expensive pre-amp. I realize that I could go out and buy a new high end pre-amp and not have to worry about all of this, but hey, that woudn't be very fun now would it!

Right now I am looking at the Parasound 2100 or possibly an older Bryston 1B or maybe even a McIntosh C26. With regards to each of those pre-amps that I just listed, which would be the easiest to mod and morph into something that is on par with a 2k to 3k pre-amp?

If I go with the Parasound 2100, which mods do you recommend I do in order to achieve a substantial improvement in SQ?

Same questions go for the McIntosh and Byrston? Or are there any other pre-amps that I could use as a base platform in order to achieve my goals? Budget for the mods (not including the actual pre-amp it self) is 400 to 700 dollars.
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Old 21st February 2012, 08:43 PM   #2
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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One you can get the schematic of, one that has basically good topology to start with, one that is modern enough. I would go 2100, but that is just me. I have seen Aragon, Acrus, Threshold, Peauraux and a host of other fine preamps out there go for quite reasonable money.

Me? I just picked up a Nac-C5, which is actually a Nelson Pass design after Nac bought Threshold. I may take a look at the power supply, and I may just keep my paws out of it.

What makes you think you can make it as good as John's $5000 version without spending $5000? That last 5% is really hard. Power line conditioner for a start I guess.
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Old 21st February 2012, 09:12 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply tvrgeek. Is there anyone you might recommend that I have do this work? Any businesses that specialize in this sort of thing? I will look into modding the power supply, but what about upgrading the caps or anything else like the volume control? I am kind of new to this and am still learning. Thanks!
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Old 21st February 2012, 11:15 PM   #4
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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Not aware of any business like that. No one could afford it. The pieces you are looking at are not easy part swap level. They already did that. A lesson from an old race car build book: It had a picture of a McLaren CANAM car. Simple caption said " OK, so what are you going to do better?"

You should look up the series of POOGE articles. What you are thinking about is how to bring up price or age impaired stuff to near the level of the pieces you are looking at. Going from there you really have to think what you know the guys that have been designing preamps for 40 years don't. I never underestimate the "what if" from a different perspective. Tough to start at the top. Caps and volume controls are not the difference.
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Old 21st February 2012, 11:35 PM   #5
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I had my Sony E80ES preamp modded by Joseph Chow of Audio Horizons. You can check out his website for his list of mods.
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Old 18th November 2012, 03:41 PM   #6
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I would suggest buying a Conrad Johnson preamplifier and getting it modified at RHB Sound Dezign. The owner is Bob Backert, he is awesome. I went out and got a nice C-J PV-12 on Audiogon. Bob's mods on that preamp actually blew me away. Both power supply and gain stage. Their website is Preamplifier Modification RHB Sound Dezign Preamp Mods

Another is Unlike RHB Sound Dezign, they mod just three specific units: the Jolida Fusion preamp, the Peachtree Audio preamp, and the Quad QC-24. Underwood's mods focus more on replacing parts, although they do install new designs in some of their mods. RHB's mods focus more on new design, but they also do some parts upgrades.

Good luck.
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