What characteristics do you listen for when purchasing amps/preamps ?

Or any new addition to your rig. Hello all, and I wish everyone well. Many of you are aware of me through here, A’gon, and follow my posts....whether agreeing or disagreeing with what I speak about. As some time has passed since the loss of Jeff Beck ( RIP ), I have been listening to my cd collection by him, and other recordings he has appeared on, such as Roger Waters with his Amused To Death release. Also, scanning YT for anything he appears on. What a guitar player he was. And, his accompanying players as well. So, my question above is, what else ( other than the playing, and the musicianship ), is most important to you ?. How many of you listen as I do....to the musicianship ? I have been into this music listening thing for over 50 years ( professionally as well ), and have " consulted " for years. I have noticed, as time goes on, many folks placing sound staging ( width, depth, height, the placement of musicians on a stage or in a studio ), ambience retrieval, and the illusion of " being there ", or " they ( the musicians ) are here ", as the number one characteristic they long for. Of course, tone, coherence, dynamics, rhythm, having a dark, black background ( no noise ), flat frequency response ( speaker / room matching, or headphone listening ) ) and many other characteristics are appreciated, and sought after. Many of you know, where I stand on all of these, as my " most important to me " characteristics, and my stand, on the recordings themselves. I see so much buying, selling, buying selling, buying, selling, by so many, and I want to get a sense from others, " what are all of you searching for ? The truth of the matter is, what we are all searching for, imo, is a make believe simulation, and we use our memories, imaginations and experiences, to fill in the gaps, and to get us to that next level. I am not here to judge anyone. Emotionally, what gets you excited when listening to your rig ? Listening to Beck, and his playing cohorts, gets me excited........It is all about the music for me. BTW, I tried something new from my dispensary....and here I am...My best to all.....Always, MrD.


Are they consistent with different kind of speakers?

Flow, dynamics, extension, listenability, presentation.

Amps, Speakers: I have several very familiar CD’s I bring with me:

Duet: Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer, No More Tears (enough is enough). The blend and singularity of their voices is incredible (even if you don’t like them as artists), you hear differences readily.

Casandra Wilson, Blue Light Til Dawn. Either she sounds like Cassandra or ’off’ a speck, and a lot of dynamic music by amazing musicians to hear.

War of the Worlds, Jeff Wayne’s, with Richard Burton as narrator. Same as Cassandra, Burton’s distinctive voice: right on, or .... and a lot of dynamic stuff they created, Death Ray, .....

Friday Night in San Francisco: 3 guitarists, L/C/R assess imaging, distinction,  

others, but those always go with me.

CD Player: after you find the best amp/speakers using the same CD player, then try other CD players than the one used, but, switches, interconnects, level matching, the room, it’s hard.


Phono Stage/Streaming: I always say buy where you can return, and listen at home in your system.

Depth of the bass and kick drum, it does go nice and low. For smallish drivers, the bass is surprisingly very good, one speaker sits 4-5 feet from a corner, left speaker is next to where stairs are, bedrooms, hallway, bass is just a wee light on the left, so I have adjusted tone control, and added 2db via the preamps features. 

never heard such tight , flawless sound.  They sure make the cv D9’s sound like the bachelor speakers they are. 
bass is a whole nother r world with the cv 15” woofs

crystal clear midrange, with emotion and accuracy,..which they are!


non fatiguing at any,volume, ….yup, it is!


clean vocals from midrange and dome.

When I started this thread, I had to pick a topic, so I picked amps/preamps, although I should have put this under Misc Audio. I meant to ask to anyone who wanted to contribute here, " What do you strive for, in assembling / upgrading a system "? What are your most desired characteristics of a sound system ? I appreciate those who responded, but now, I feel the subject is now broader, hopefully interesting as well. If any of you feel I should repost under Misc, please let me know. Thank you all, and my best. MrD.

Its the mark of a good system that its very difficult to tell how loud its playing. This means (amongst other things) the amp/preamp must not have any unmasked higher ordered harmonics which the ear can interpret as harshness and brightness.