Down sizing

I'm thinking of downsizing. I'd like to replace a Primare pre 32 preamplifier, Musical Fidelity M6 vinyl preamplifier and a vintage Tandberg TR 2060 receiver with a preamplifier that has a phonostage, pre out for a subwoofer and XLR in and out. I'd prefer SS but might consider tubes. I'm presently running my TT to the Musical Fidelity then the Tandberg. My computer goes to the DAC=>Preamp=Power amp. The problem is having to change up the speaker cables when switching back and forth from the Tandberg to the power amp. I want a preamp that can handle the analog vinyl and SS computer sides in one box. I like (near) analytical sound, but meaty and a precise sound stage. I don't care for a warm sound, so as close to neutral as possible. Budget 5K max used. Any suggestions? I've noticed some preamps have "Main Out" (Audio Research SP20, McIntosh C2200). Is that the same as Pre Out? Can I connect a subwoofer to a "Main Out?"


Neutral is the signature of the Sanders. Formerly line stage only now with built in phono stage. I would say the Main Out on any preamp should be the same as Pre Out.

No clue why you are moving speaker cables but I use a Solupeak P2 switchbox to select amps for a pair of speakers.





You can probably count the number of preamplifiers with really good phono stages on one hand, so you’ll be greatly limiting your options.  Honestly, how much space are you really saving by eliminating a separate phono pre?

I have 1 pair of speakers that are connected to the receiver or power amp by bi-wiring, (both receiver and power amp have A+B speaker capabilities). So when I'm spinning vinyl the pathway is:

TT=>phono preamp=>Tandberg Receiver.

When I listen to computer music files the pathway is:

computer=>DAC=>preamp=>Primare A32 power amp.

An all-in-one preamp conveniently combining inputs for the vinyl and digital would negate me having to switch speaker cables just because I wanted to throw on an album after listening to some digital tracks on the computer (or vice versa).

@fuzztone I don't see how the switch box would work with bi-wired speakers. But the Sanders looks interesting.

@soix I'd appreciate it if you could name those few preamps with a good phono stage. As I mentioned earlier, I'd be trading out the new preamp for 3 boxes (preamp, phono preamp, and receiver).


I have no idea how it sounds, but in for a penny in for a pound (meaning it's a full integrated).

Technics SU-G700M2 Grand Class Integrated amplifier with DAC and MM/MC phono input.  $2,699.99

I assume that phono input means it has a built in phono stage?

@jetter I thought about an integrated, but I don't want to give up separates, (preamp, power amp and DAC). I really like my DAC, it can upsample any music file to DSD 48/512.


So what are you down sizing? It sounds like you  want to get rid of your preamp and get another preamp. Wouldn’t that be a lateral move?

@curiousjim , I am presently running 2 systems. One vinyl, the other digital. Both systems share the same speakers. The speakers are bi-wired. So If I want to listen to a record after listening to computer files (or vice versa), I have to move speaker cables back and forth between the Tandberg receiver and the Power amp. I want to stop this.

System 1 Vinyl playing path:

Pioneer TT

Musical Fidelity M6 Vinyl Phonostage

Tandberg Receiver

System 2 Digital playing path:




Power amp

I want a new preamp that has: 

1)     Built-in Phonostage

2)     Pre out for subwoofer

3)     XLR in connections for my DAC and out connections for my power amp.

The new preamp with built-in phonostage would replace:

1)     Primare Pre32 preamp (has no phonostage)

2)     Tandberg vintage receiver

3:     Musical Fidelity M6 Vinyl phonostage

The TT would then be directly connected to the "new" Preamp/phonostage box. Both the digital and vinyl sides would be connected to the "new" Preamp/phonostage and play from the Power amp. No more speaker cable switching and eliminating the need for the Tandberg receiver. 3 old boxes gone, 1 to replace them all  :)

The Schiit Ragnarok in the Fully loaded version has both phono and digital input. You can connect both a computer and a tt to it.

It sounds great for its price but only has 60w so you may want to avoid very hard to drive speakers. 

Going up in price you have the Moonriver Audio amps.

Apologies to the OP, but I don't understand why you are running two separate amplifiers currently rather than simply running all your sources into your existing Primaire preamp. Is there something about the sound of the Tandberg Receiver that you prefer to the Primaire?

Post removed 

Re this comment:  "@fuzztone I don't see how the switch box would work with bi-wired speakers."  I somehow missed the reference.  Can you please identify the "switch box" to which you refer?  Thanks!

Does the Tandberg not have a pre or mail out?


If so, pre-put>power In. Speakers on the power amp.

All fixed.


Also look at the Parasound P6 or the JC2 BP - everything you are asking for in good price ranges. These are really will-designed kit at decent prices.

Fuzztone mentioned a switching device that lets him use one set of speakers between 2 amps. No the Tandberg doesn’t have a pre out. It has Tape1 Tape 2 and Phono.. 6 or 8 pin inputs that connect RCA or XLR. I used the Tandberg for the TT because the analog sound was lucious. The Primare is very good too so I’m ready to let everything go through it. Don't need anything with an onboard DAC. I like the one I have.

Looks like your primare pre and amp should do all that you want.  Plenty of IO. 2ch bal in, 2 out, 3 unbal in, line and pre 1 unbal out, you could run your phono pre thru primare pre?

I’ve run everything through the Primares in the past. Just wanted a touch of warmth added on the vinyl side which the Tandberg did. Would tubes help with that? What would be the downside of a tube preamp? Kind of dreaming of an Audio Research SP 20...

It seems to me a switch box would solve your immediate problem of switching speaker wires, just a matter of finding, or specifying, the right connections.

From what I’ve read about the Tandberg unit you have, I think you will be hard-pressed to replicate its sound.

As for down-sizing and changing up your system, that’s another matter. It seems like more manufacturers are offer phono stages on their integrated and pre-amps these days. I would identify manufacturers whose ‘house sound’ (voicing) appeals to you, check their product line for preamp offerings which include phono stages, and see how they’re reviewed. Contrary to some reports, I have found integrated phono stages from reputable manufacturers yield acceptable results with much easier system integration issues (one less set of cables). Unless you have a moving coil cartridge with special loading requirements, you should be fine with standard offerings. If not, you can always add a separate phono stage afterward that integrates better with your chosen power amp. 

I can sympathize with the itch to upgrade or ‘change-up’ to the system.* For me, it is an important part of staying engaged with the hobby. Personally, I think you chose well to develop vinyl and digital systems separately. Another ‘solution’ would be a second set of speakers. :-)

*I chose a tube power amp with solid state preamp; now I’m wondering what a solid state amp would sound like —with a tubed preamp. The grass always looks greener . . ..

My 3 cents (2 cents @ 50% inflation rate)

Thank you all for the advice and encouraging words. Seriously thinking about the switch box, but concerned if there will be any degradation in the sound quality or sound staging. My vintage TT isn't anywhere near top of the line and I don't listen to a lot of vinyl. But what I do listen to is mostly from my childhood and teen years. The Primare amp is great but the vintage receiver and TT produce a sweet musical analog sound like I haven't heard since those "younger years." As they say "a bird in the hand is worth 2..."