Just a curiosity, how is a preamp going to enhance my listening?
My source equipment includes a quirky Philips 963 SACD/DVD player to a Yamaha RX-V2095 (little brother to the more famous DSP-A1) feeding into a pair of Quad 12L monitors and a Aperion Audio 10" sub. Â ICs are Monster
and my cables are MIT. Â Not a bad budget hometheater system per se, but I had the opportunity to listen to similar midfi speakers--in this case, soliloquy 5.0s, which are smoother than my Quads but a little thinner on the bass, fed through a mismatched combo of a 75 or 100W Parasound Amp, Cambridge Audio 500SE CDP, and Krell HTS preamp. Â We fiddled with the amp and made it an all Cambridge setup and then changed the preamp to a midfi Denon halfway through the audition. Â The biggest difference, by far, was the Krell. Â It added depth to the sound and completely changed the performance of the speakers. Â So, yes, the garbage in/garbage out theory does make some sense. If you want to compare redbook or SACD vs MP3, I suggest finiding a recording of Hotel California and then comparing it to the Hell Freezes Over SACD Hotel California track on at least midfi equipment. Â The difference is staggering. Add a train of power components: Paradigm 100s with at least 100-200W, mediocre source, and you'll hear what I mean.