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Preamp advise opinions needed

Esra

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2011
59
19
18,545
I got an offer for a preowned Denson B200 Preamp and also could try it at home.As the Preamp-section of the Audiolab 8200CDQ is not the best you can get (which I use now) i thought it could be a good idea to upgrade with a Preamp or Integrated with good Preamp section.I want to use Audiolab Mono Amps at the end.Also thought about Tubes.

Well,first impression,yes the denson B200 does a noticeable better job than the 8200CDQ for my ears.More precise in bass,airy and bigger soundstage with more rounded,refined treble.To keep it short,I like it.

For the offered price i could also get e.x. a creek evo 50(which the dealer does´t recommended by the way) or Arcam A19 brand new,so it´s not really cheap imo .The Denson is about five years old but in good shape.

What do you think,is that a good deal?Is the Denson a good Pre?Any other ideas?
 

Al ears

Moderator
Esra said:
I got an offer for a preowned Denson B200 Preamp and also could try it at home.As the Preamp-section of the Audiolab 8200CDQ is not the best you can get (which I use now) i thought it could be a good idea to upgrade with a Preamp or Integrated with good Preamp section.I want to use Audiolab Mono Amps at the end.Also thought about Tubes.

Well,first impression,yes the denson B200 does a noticeable better job than the 8200CDQ for my ears.More precise in bass,airy and bigger soundstage with more rounded,refined treble.To keep it short,I like it.

For the offered price i could also get e.x. a creek evo 50(which the dealer does´t recommended by the way) or Arcam A19 brand new,so it´s not really cheap imo .The Denson is about five years old but in good shape.

What do you think,is that a good deal?Is the Denson a good Pre?Any other ideas?
The Densen B200 is / was a good flexible preamp that originally sold for around $1500. (Note it is Densen by the way).

I am not quite sure why the dealer could not recommend the Creek Evo as it is brilliant. He wasn't trying to push you towards the A19 was he??

Not too sure why you were looking at these if you intend getting monoblocks.
 

Overdose

Well-known member
Feb 8, 2008
279
0
18,890
Esra said:
Well,first impression,yes the denson B200 does a noticeable better job than the 8200CDQ for my ears.More precise in bass,airy and bigger soundstage with more rounded,refined treble.To keep it short,I like it.

What do you think,is that a good deal?Is the Denson a good Pre?Any other ideas?
I think you have answered your own question.

As for recommendations, consider a Benchmark DAC1 Pre.
 

Esra

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2011
59
19
18,545
No the dealer wasn´t pushing me towards the Arcam and although his shop is official dealer for creek too (within other brands) he said he was somehow dissapointed with the new creeks as they should not sound as good as previous models in his opinion,he said something like lifeless and unemotional.He much more think the Densen would be the device I was looking for and wanted me to demo myself being sure I wouldn´t bring it back.It is good indeed and upgraded the sound more likeable to my taste but I am not wowed maybe due to my expectations and the price.Sadly he hadn´t the Creek in stock for comparison

I mentioned the Creek and Arcam just for price comparison for forum and initially thought they could maybe ad the desired sound flavour.I have to try I guess.I already have the monoblocks and want to use them of course since they sound very neutral and would transport the sonic flavour of a preamp very well besides the pedigree they have.
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
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Arcam and Densen are completely different sounds? One is about HF zing and pinpoint accuracy whereas the other is all about a warmer presentation. I would suggest the Densen if Audiolab is your poison, but try living with it for a couple of days before you commit.....
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
0
0
Arcam and Densen are completely different sounds? One is about HF zing and pinpoint accuracy whereas the other is all about a warmer presentation. I would suggest the Densen if Audiolab is your poison, but try living with it for a couple of days before you commit.....
 

Esra

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2011
59
19
18,545
I didn´t felt the Arcam was HF zing and pinpoint accuracy,quite good balanced,maybe even a little bit dull with wrong (dark)speakers as I remember.Now using the Preamp section of the 8200CDQ going into the 8200MBs is more like that what you describe.

The Densen ads little halo,air so say bigger soundstage and more refinded/rounded treble,bass is little less punchy but more precise,to sum up it´s more precise,refined and lifelike but in same time still warmer presentation as the Audiolab Pre like you wrote,hard to describe.

I am not sure if this little halo the denson ads is a good thing in long term and would let me search for a other device again later.Beside this and price(800 pound/1300 USD) I like it.
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
0
0
The type of sound you describe liking could also be delivered by Cyrus. There are a couple of Cyrus Pre DAC's for sale with dealers at the moment for £699, reduced from their RRP of £1250. Do a Google shopping search and it should pull them up for you. The great thing about Cyrus is the upgrade path as and when budget allows.
 

Esra

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2011
59
19
18,545
I can imagine that there are many other devices i could like,for more or even less money.Thank you for all your opinions.I am open for further opinions.

Sadly it´s difficult to get access to all brands.Usually it´s easy to demo main stream products in each price category.E.x. I could not demo Benchmark or Cyrus,EC (which i would highly like to demo) easily.Even Exposure,Creek,Audiolab,Rega,Roksan just to name a few are hard to demo in my region,I am lucky that I have few dealers nearby who carry these brands and other smaller Audio company but as said not even close to all.Densen is also absulutely rare and i could only demo by coincidence.

By the way I could make a audition to the Roksan Darius S1 first time (again coincidance), very nice sound with Roksan Caspian and somehow special looking but pricey.Many ways lead to audio heaven...and in fact you need more than a system according to your mood...but tell Mrs.....:shame: :)

after few hours,curious i am and time i had, I did some experiment trying to emulate the sonic character of the Densen with the PEQ (which is very nice) of my Yamaha RXV 2700.Having 4 Monos and 4 speakers of same make and 2 Squeezeboxes did things easier to compare and run parallel.Although both systems didn´t matched 100% same at the end, i would say i could do a match of 80%-85%.Halo i could get with distance settings and the main sonic character of the densen with a good dip -4db at 2,5Khz and -1db at 3.1Khz,slightly bump around 100hz/125hz +0.5db.Adjusted the Q´s and partly overlapped et voila... Maybe i could adjust a little better but hardware differences still there.Densen combo was slightly smoother and slightly better treble resolution at the end.I adjusted distance settings towards my ears as the denson was a bit too much for my taste in halo presentation.Quite amazing what you can do with a PEQ if you have a reference to compare.Now I will return the densen for sure as the sonic difference is not worth 800 pounds imo.Difference is only noticeable if you compare directly,none is better than other, just a little different.Wanted to share ...
 

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