Best Full-Function Preamplifier

Consulting the collective wisdom on the best preamp with built in phonostage (MM/MC). DAC not required but OK if it has one. Below $20K retail. Must be a no compromise solution--outstanding linestage and a flexible, great sounding phonostage that would not make you wish you had separates. Thoughts?


I would recommend the Mola Mola Makua preamp. It can be purchased as a line stage or with a phono stage and/or a DAC stage. The beautiful thing about this preamp is that it is super transparent, neutral and very dynamic. The cherry on the top is the option of an absolutely wonderful sounding phono stage (same circuit as the Lupe stand alone phono stage). And if so moved, the optional DAC card is the finest I've heard (same circuit as the Tambaqui stand alone DAC). 

Preowned Vinnie Rossie L2 Signature with DAC and phono modules. $11K perhaps?


A quick scan of this Audiogon Forum reveals over 45 threads about 'Accuphase voltage conversion' - necessary if you import  a used piece from Japan into NA or Europe. Otherwise one can monkey around with transformers, @dodgealum does not strike me as someone who wants to spend time chasing equipment and mods to perhaps save a dollar. You maybe projecting.

The new distributor has service in CA and TN for gear they sell only.

As far as the fully balanced C-2300 goes it is better than the two preamps it replaces according to Accuphase, borne out by my listening and lab tests. The AD-60 is based on the C-47. Relevant is the use of FETs for MM and bipolar for MCs. The knock on some of the other big box names mentioned is that their included phono stages are basically from an A/V receiver.

The company has been successful for 50 years and has a succession plan. Its latest lead designer comes from Yamaha semiconductor. 

Yamaha C5000... impossible to get a better full-function pre under 20k, ime...about a 120 hours of burn-in is required to make it drop jaws.

I understand though.. the run of the mill audiopheulele wouldn’t look at it because ’Yamaha’ couldn’t possibly make him feel all that ’elusive’. There are plenty of other blank crap shooters with all the elusive marketing in that price bracket for such elusive elves. 😁

Hello @psnyder149 great comments on Bill at gtt audio.  He is a great guy and has amazing equipment.  He has commented that the Makua (and Tambaqui) are  the stars of the MM lineup.  Your set up is similar to one of mine, in that I had Classe amps with my Makua / Tambaqui.  But ever time I went downstairs to my Audionet electronics with Tambaqui it just ‘sparkled’ more!  So I replaced the Classe amps with Audionet Max amps and oh my!!! Now I hear the true beauty of the Makua w Tambaqui.  This system uses Revel Salon 2’s and Rel carbon special subs.