best transparent pre amp

looking for a pre amp that will allow an excellent source to shine through unobstructed. Neither add or detract from the signal provided.

Will be mated with SS amp.
I use a Bryston BP6 with my McCormack DNA 0.5 Rev. A and it's extremely neutral and allows the amp to display all the 3D imagery it's capable of. Really just sounds like the proverbial straight wire with gain. Passive also sounds like an interesting idea. I was going to suggest Placette but not sure how it would compare to the much less expensive Schiit mentioned earlier. Best of luck.
George is correct in that if a preamp imposes a coloration a passive control, even a very inexpensive one might be better.

It's not cast in concrete though- passives have problems of their own that have been expounded upon a lot over the years, just like active preamps.

If OTHO if an active preamp is free of many of the pitfalls that a line section has to face, it will be found to be more transparent.

The line section/passive control has 4 functions:

1) Control volume
2) select input
3) provide any needed gain (with a passive of course if set up right you won't been needing any)
4) control the interconnect cable from the preamp to amp.

It is 4) on this list that is the least understood- heck, most audiophiles don't even think that is possible and wind up buying some really expensive cables to deal with/prevent cable artifact. This is also the thing that passive systems don't do at all (essentially its mathematically impossible, and many line sections don't do very well with this either). But if the line section **does** prevent cable interactions from occurring, it is very likely to also be the most transparent; introducing the least coloration.
I always thought Stan Klyne made a great solid state pre amp; mine was a 6lx3p and it was a great pre amp.
Dvdgreco, if you do choose to go with an active preamp, I would think twice before choosing some of the models that have been mentioned. The concern in some cases being that their gain may be so high that you would be forced to use the volume control undesirably close to the bottom of its range. As was mentioned, the AMR 77.1 apparently has a full scale output of at least 2 volts, as most digital sources do, and your amp (assuming its sensitivity didn't change as a result of the "silver upgrade") will put 370 watts into the 4 ohm impedance of your 87 db/1W/1m speakers in response to an input of only 1 volt.

I note that the older Herron model you mentioned has a specified gain of 14 db, and the VTL model that was suggested has a gain of 13.2 (single-ended out) or 19.2 db (balanced out). And as with many CJ preamps, the ACT2 Series 2 that was mentioned has a VERY high gain, in this case 21.2 db. Those numbers are all too high for comfort, IMO, in relation to the relevant parameters of the rest of your equipment, although in the case of the Herron the issue may be mitigated by the 166 steps its volume control provides. I haven't checked the gains of any of the other models that have been mentioned.

I note, btw, that the currently produced Herron VTSP-3a provides an 8 db gain mode, in addition to a 14 db mode, and I have no doubt that it is a wonderful product. And like many other Herron owners I can attest to Keith Herron being an exceptionally wonderful person to deal with. However the VTSP-3a costs $6550.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al