Improving my Preamp

I’m looking to improve my dedicated two channel preamp 

Right now I’m using Parasound Hint6 as preamp I know is (integrated) but looks much better than P6 😂😂😂

My budget is $4K-$6K

i really want to try TUBE PREAMP with my Solid State Amps 

Right I’m thinking about this 3 preamps 

1.Audio Research REF6

2. Audio Research  LS28 and

3. SimAudio Moon 8P 

My current set up: Klipsch Cornwall IV Klipsch EPIC CF4 and focal chorus 807V W

SimAudio moon evolution W7 amp SimAudio Supernova CD/DAC

Classe Audio  CA-2300 amp Parasound Hint6 Cambridge Azur 851N DAC/Streamer

and Pair of SVS SB16 ultra  

I need at least 2 set’s  of balance XLR inputs


PLEASE I’m not interested in any TUBES AMPS thanks 🙏 




Audio Research Reference 6. I have owned previous lower en ARC preamps, Reference 5SE (6 years)… and for the last couple years Reference 6SE. I can’t recommend it too much. For nearly forty years I paired these with Pass solid state amps.

My journey to real musical enjoyment started with an ARC phono stage and culminated in all ARC gear. You can see it in my profile. I used to owned some Sim Moon equipment, it is very nice, but you are not going to get the natural musical sound out of it you will ARC.

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Just wondering how McIntosh C2600 and C2700 will compare against Audio Research REF6?

Try a Luxman CL-38Uc. I have one and it works perfectly. Right in your price range.

It replaced an AR Ref 6 pre and AR Ref 3 phono

I’m also looking for a preamp in a similar price range (for me its under 10K preferably under 8k).

I’ve looked at LTA, Heron, mcintosh C22/c77, Luxman, Alnic( alnic’s stuff imo is not attractive at all) and Pass.

I’d prefer a tube pre but getting low enough gain and hum is an issue for my system (LaScala’s 105db ). this could be in issue with your speakers as well. one option it a transformer volume control. but you lose some flexibility and volume range control as its a stepped volume control, and probably no remote.

Heron wont sell to me being in Canada.

Right now i’m leaning towards a Luxman CL38 or McIntosh C22 ( C22 and C70 are the same just different face plates), both are full featured and do everything i’m looking for. but that said there are some stellar SS pre’s that are still in consideration.

I also considered Pass’s entry level pre but it just didn’t do better than my vintage Sansui ( Ca 2000 fully restored) other than having a remote. So the hunt is still on.

note; i need a remote, 2 sets of outputs, lower gain to have usable volume range and a good phono stage would be nice but not a deal breaker. 

I’ll be following this thread to see what else gets recommended.

Hum should be non existent for and good tubed anything. Always max out your expenditures on a preamp. It is the real centerpiece and sets the tone of your system. Audio Research Reference +++ Really detailed, musical and natural. Built to last a lifetime. Contemporary Luxman are really highly regarded as well as Conrad Johnson, and VAC.

I have owned three VAC preamps over the past 15 years. For your requirements you could consider the VAC Renaissance 5. I used one with an Ayre VX5/20 Solid State power amp with excellent results using the 2 balanced inputs and balanced outputs.  They can be acquired used in your stated price preference.