Recommend a preamp for Denon Dl 160


I recently purchased a Denon Dl 160 moving coil cart and although it sounds good it was not what i expected. I did some research and it seems I need a preamp to get me the 1k ohm load I need. I have a Technics Sa-ax 530 av control stereo receiver, A Realistic lab 400 turntable, and some V4 Paradigm Titans. The real problem may lie in that I am using an av receiver however cds and tapes sound ok through it-but not through its phono stage. Any recommendations for a nice preamp for around $250 new or used.
davidnboone
It came with a protractor and I did that b y lining up with the mark shown. I have heard numerous praises over this Cambridge but the build quality was in question by some. But you really cant buy tank for less than $250 probably. Does this Azur amp allow me to make the 1k ohm adjustment?
The creek should work with this preamp, the Creek OBH-18 MM..is a great upgrade on your sound system.
I'm currently using a Cambridge 640p with a Denon DL160 and find it to be a very good match. In my opinion the 640p has a nice build quality for the price. It's been reliable and functioned without issue. It can sound a touch dry and may not be the best fit for a system that's already on the lean side. I'm not familiar with your system components however.
I'm pretty sure I read in the cartridge manual that it should be loaded like an MM cartridge at 47kohms. Where did you get the 1kohm figure?
Davidnboone,

I read the posts on Vinyl Engine about loading the DL-160 at 1k ohms. I don't doubt there's an audible difference between 47k and 1k, but I wouldn't make a mountain out of a mole hill. I'm not dismissing the thread, but I question whether loading is the most important thing to consider. Is it worth trying? Sure, but it's more important to get the fundamentals right so you can actually hear these subtle differences.

The DL-160 needs 46 dB of gain to get the best signal to noise ratio. You can get by with less, but read the KAB Phono Preamp Calculator to understand why 46 dB is ideal. If I'm reading your Technics spec sheet correctly, the input sensitivity of the phono preamp is 3 mV. This is equivalent to 38 dB which means you're missing 8 dB of gain. This shortcoming is in addition to any questions about the sound quality of the Technics phono section.

The DL-160 doesn't have enough output for most MM preamps. It's a "low output" High Output Moving Coil. A typical MM puts out 5 mV. The DL-160 puts out 33% of that. When you play vinyl, you're probably turning the volume up quite a bit more than when you play cds.

The Cambridge 640P and Creek OBH-18 are not ideal matches because they don't offer enough gain for the DL-160. A better match would be a Musical Surroundings Phonomena which allows you to adjust between 40-60 dB. It also allows you to load between 30 ohms and 100k ohms. This gives you everything you want from a technical perspective, but the Phonomena isn't a warm preamp (neither is the Cambridge or the Creek).

For a warmer, richer, more involving sound, I recommend a tube-based design. Here are some suggestions: Antique Sound Lab Mini Phono II (about 45 dB), Hagerman Cornet2 (44 dB), Wright WPP-200c (60 dB adjustable), WPP-100c (60 dB adjustable), EAR 834P (49 dB). The ASL Mini Phono II is a hidden gem. You can get it for $309 from Galen Carol. I've seen it used for as little as $150. It'll be an enormous improvement over what you have now.