Good Preamp for Adcom GFA-5400 $500 new or used

Hello all,

I am searching for a pre amp to mate with my Adcom Power amp, a GFA-5400. I would like if it has a full function remote as well. I have stated a price above, but if it is worth it I could go a bit above.

Here is my present setup:
Hafler DH-100 pre amp
Adcom GFA-5400 power amp
M-Audio Super DAC 2496
Sony D-EJ955 as transport
B&W DM601 speakers
Cable Talk interconnects
Ixos Gamma speaker cable

I miss the convenience of a remote control even though I enjoy the sound of my system(although a touch harsh up top at higher volumes, it is much better than what I previously had).

I have considered some preamps, which are:
Adcom GTP450, GTP500, GTP502
Parasound Halo C3
Anthem TLP1
B&K PT3 and PT5

I am looking for something to smooth out the top end without losing any detail or dynamics in the process.
I am leaning towards the GTP502 at present.

I unfortunately don't live in a place where I can audition anything worthwhile (St. Vincent, a barely known Caribbean island), so that leaves me to the reviews and opinions of other more experienced audiophiles like yourselves.

Any suggestions would be welcome for a good pre or even any other component that looks too out of place in my setup. (I plan to get a cd player soon as well. I am fedup with a meddlesome sony changer I have so I am using the discman in the interim)

Anyone please?

Is my choice of poweramp that bad as for one to think it does not warrant a preamp of such calibre? or has this question been asked a thousand times?

I would really like a suggestion on this as I am quite ready to upgrade now.


I'm not that familiar w/the Adcom Tuner/Pre-amps but I too have been giving them some thoughts lately. They would match up well cosmetically w/ your preset amp and they would have the convenience of a tuner/pre-amp w/remote. Nice.
You might give some thoughts to Nad's 1600/1700 tuner/preamps.(They had a few wonderful features, such as an excellent designed remote, bass/treble turnover points(1700) and "bass eq") If you don't need a tuner, an Acurus R11 remote pre-amp is very nice. Rotel's 995 pre-amp is another possibility an then adding a matching tuner (RT-940) later. My feeling is that you should follow your instincts and buy an Adcom and if things don't sound like you expected, resell and try something else.
It would seem like the obvious choice might be an Adcom preamp. A few years ago I had an Adcom GTP-550 and an Adcom GFA-555 II amp that worked quite well together. I also enjoyed the convenience of the remote, which is something you might miss if you get a preamp without one.
Generally speaking, most audio companies build their amps and preamps to work well together. Consider that when you make a choice. Good luck!
Thanks for the advice guys. I think I will try the GTP-502 and hope for the best.

I wish I could audition but I have no such luck in this place where I live. For me to audition any relatively good gear I have to travel to at least Barbados or Trinidad, and the stuff there is expensive unless I could get it duty free!!

So I am buying blind so to speak!!

Anyway As I said, I will try the GTP-502 if it is still available.

Personally, in the $500 range, I would go passive. There are a few things you have to watch out for...
since the source (I presume it's a cd player) is driving the amp you need to match the output impedance of the cd with the input impedance of the amp. Also keep the cables as short as possible.

There are some very cheap (under $300) used passive pre-amps I like (Creek, Mod Squad to name a few).

Good luck.
I have decided on the Adcom GTP-502.

I like the look and I would appreciate the convenience even if it is not a big sonic improvement over my current setup (Though I hope that it is a big sonic improvement!!).

I think I would love the remote as none of my current gear has a remote!!

I would have liked some opinions on it though. I cant listen and need to depend on the opinions that you guys provide.

I know its not high end but I am looking at the best I can get for the dollars in terms of convenience and sound and at less than $300 I think it is a goo deal.