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Advice & Help - Want to add vacuum tube pre-amp to existing B&O system with Beolab 9

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Groovyme
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Groovyme posted on Tue, Jun 20 2017 8:09 AM
Hello everyone, I am new to BeoWorld. Need some advice and assistance here for potential upgrade of my system.
Below is the system I have been using for quite a number of years:
# Speaker: Beolab 9
# TV: Beovision 10-46 (connected to Beosound 3200 with Beolink)
# System: Beosound 3200
# Turntable: Pro-ject Carbon Debut Esprit 
# Phono Amp: Clearaudio Nano V2 Phono (connected to Aux of Beosound 3200)
# DAP: Onkyo DAP (connected to Aux of Beosound 3000)
# PS 4 connected to Beovision 10 (seldom use, for game and blueray sometimes)
# Apple TV connected to Beovision 10 (for Netflix)
These days, I listen vinyls (both old and new) most of the time. If not vinyls, then I go to my DAP.  To do so, I have to change the Aux plug-in in Beosound to switch between turntable and DAP.
Now I want to upgrade the turntable and also want to switch to vacuum tube pre-amp. 
For the turntable:  I am more decided to switch to Clearaudio Concept (MC) / Clearaudio Performance (MC)
For choosing the pre-amp, that’s where I have some questions and need some advice from the experienced members here. 
My main question is, I don’t want to part with my Beolab 9 (I love it a lot). I also want to keep the Beovision. For the Beosound 3200, the ideal is I can keep it as a CD player.
I have read through the discussion forum here, and understand that I can connect my Beolab 9 with any pre-amp or power amp with pre-out channel. 
The following is my 2 choices for the pre-amp:
(1) McIntosh C2600 (tube pre-amp with phono stage) - Well, I know this is very expensive and I saw post here saying it is not necessary.  In fact, McIntosh is my dream item for many years… plus good thing about it is it has built in Phono stage which supports Moving Coil. 
(2) Octave Audio V70SE (this is a tube int amp but with line out, also with phono stage and supports MC). 
May consider buying a streaming media bridge / player later for playing digital high resolution music (like DSD format music, Tidal etc)
My questions:
(1) Any advice of what to choose? Using a Pre-amp to connect the Beolab 9 is better than using an int amp (through pre-out)?
(2) To connect the McIntosh pre-amp or Power amp (pre-out) to the Beolab, I supposed cables goe from its “Main Output" (balanced or RCA) of McIntosh pre-amp (or "pre-out" RCA channel) to Beolab 9 directly? And cable can be found with Steve’s Soundsheavenly I guess.
(3) Trickier questions: Any way to keep and use my Beosound 3000 as a pure CD player and connection with the Beovision TV? The problem is I don’t see there is any line out except the connection to Beolab. 
(3) How to connect my Beovision TV to the system? 
Many thanks for any advice and help.

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Millemissen
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Hi Groovyme and welcome to Beoworld,

sorry, but I'll have to be honest here.

Sell your BL9's and get a pair of the BL5's - that would be an upgrade worth spending money on.

P.S. Or start saving for the coming BL50's ;-)

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

linder
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linder replied on Tue, Jun 20 2017 3:25 PM

Groovyme:

Hello everyone, I am new to BeoWorld. Need some advice and assistance here for potential upgrade of my system.
Below is the system I have been using for quite a number of years:
# Speaker: Beolab 9
# TV: Beovision 10-46 (connected to Beosound 3200 with Beolink)
# System: Beosound 3200
# Turntable: Pro-ject Carbon Debut Esprit 
# Phono Amp: Clearaudio Nano V2 Phono (connected to Aux of Beosound 3200)
# DAP: Onkyo DAP (connected to Aux of Beosound 3000)
# PS 4 connected to Beovision 10 (seldom use, for game and blueray sometimes)
# Apple TV connected to Beovision 10 (for Netflix)
These days, I listen vinyls (both old and new) most of the time. If not vinyls, then I go to my DAP.  To do so, I have to change the Aux plug-in in Beosound to switch between turntable and DAP.
Now I want to upgrade the turntable and also want to switch to vacuum tube pre-amp. 
For the turntable:  I am more decided to switch to Clearaudio Concept (MC) / Clearaudio Performance (MC)
For choosing the pre-amp, that’s where I have some questions and need some advice from the experienced members here. 
My main question is, I don’t want to part with my Beolab 9 (I love it a lot). I also want to keep the Beovision. For the Beosound 3200, the ideal is I can keep it as a CD player.
I have read through the discussion forum here, and understand that I can connect my Beolab 9 with any pre-amp or power amp with pre-out channel. 
The following is my 2 choices for the pre-amp:
(1) McIntosh C2600 (tube pre-amp with phono stage) - Well, I know this is very expensive and I saw post here saying it is not necessary.  In fact, McIntosh is my dream item for many years… plus good thing about it is it has built in Phono stage which supports Moving Coil. 
(2) Octave Audio V70SE (this is a tube int amp but with line out, also with phono stage and supports MC). 
May consider buying a streaming media bridge / player later for playing digital high resolution music (like DSD format music, Tidal etc)
My questions:
(1) Any advice of what to choose? Using a Pre-amp to connect the Beolab 9 is better than using an int amp (through pre-out)?
(2) To connect the McIntosh pre-amp or Power amp (pre-out) to the Beolab, I supposed cables goe from its “Main Output" (balanced or RCA) of McIntosh pre-amp (or "pre-out" RCA channel) to Beolab 9 directly? And cable can be found with Steve’s Soundsheavenly I guess.
(3) Trickier questions: Any way to keep and use my Beosound 3000 as a pure CD player and connection with the Beovision TV? The problem is I don’t see there is any line out except the connection to Beolab. 
(3) How to connect my Beovision TV to the system? 
Many thanks for any advice and help.

You and I have a similar setup and I am considering McIntosh C2600 which is currently $7000 USD.  Yes it is not necessary but it will connect to everything you listed.  There is no need for an amplifier because your Beolab 9s has an inbuilt amplifier.  This is a 2 channel preamp and will probably work for the TV if you are only using 2 channels but I am not really sure.  Most lovers of B&O probably would never consider this because of the design differences.  McIntosh is definitely a design that almost looks out of place with Bang and Olufsen.  Some would say McIntosh is very retro looking.  However because of uncertainty of the direction of Bang and Olufsen products the C2600 or something like it is an option.  Others will most likely disagree. 

alee
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alee replied on Thu, Jun 22 2017 7:08 PM

I'm considering the McIntosh C2500, so if you get the C2600 and it works well and sounds good, I'd love to know.

rxcohen
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I have a similar setup in spirit - BV11-55 with BL1s, BS9000, McIntosh turntable and Sutherland 20/20 phono pre-amp. I went the McIntosh route with the MHA100 for the integration, that also gave me a top of the line DAC and headphone amp (which I really needed). Connecting to the MHA100 I now have the BS9000 used only as transport, and leveraging the much better DAC of the MHA100; Turntable/phono for records; MAC for digital music. One cable out to the BV11 from the MHA100, and i am done. I looked previously at the McIntosh tube amps, but did not make sense in terms of working with the B&O setup. Hope this helps...

 

BV11-55, BS9000, BL1, BL19, Transmitter 1, Beo4, Beocom 6000, BeoTalk1 200, Sennheiser HD600, McIntosh MHA100

linder
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linder replied on Thu, Jun 22 2017 10:22 PM

alee:

I'm considering the McIntosh C2500, so if you get the C2600 and it works well and sounds good, I'd love to know.

The reason I am considering the C2600 is I want to play digital music also.  The DAC can process almost any digital format including DSD.  I really love vinyl LPs but not all music is available on LP.  Basically the C2500 should sound the same as the C2600.

 

alee
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alee replied on Fri, Jun 23 2017 4:59 PM

Yes, I know they would probably sound the same, but forgive me, I'm more worried about how the non-powerlink connections might alter the experience.

Right now, I have no "pop" or hum going from my beosystem 3 to BL5s, but going line in from unbalanced RCA out on the C2500, would there be any new noise?  I would assume not, but you never know!

And then, if I plug my BS9k to the coax digital in on the C2500...would that create problems?  I want to use the DAC on the McIntosh preamp, but maybe I should feed the RCA line out from the C2500 to the BS9k through Aux and then use the BS9k to go to the speakers?  Would I lose something or is the Aux just a passthrough?

It's been pointed out quite a bit that losing a B&O receiver will mean you will have to keep your Beo4 remote just to turn on the BL5s, but is that true?  I use a programmable universal, the Logitech Harmony Ultimate.  It works well with my Sony TV/B&O system.  I assume the command to turn on the BL5s could be programmed into the LHU, couldn't it?  Especially if you're just pressing the CD button?

 

 

alee
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alee replied on Wed, Jul 26 2017 1:00 PM

If you're still thinking of what to go for, I recommend the McIntosh. I just finished a setup with the C2500, and it's great. I can only imagine the C2600, with the MCT connector, will be a great option for future SACD listening. 

As a note, the reason I went with a straight preamp is because I felt that getting the amp was a waste.  I was never going to use anything beyond the preamp power capability, so why bother with it?  That being said, there should be no difference with going with just a preamp vs. using the preamp output on a full amp.  Just get the one with the capabilities that you want.  With the McIntosh specific MCT DIN, from what I understand, you get the DSD data stream rather than just PCM from the balanced XLRs or toslink/spdif.  If you plan to get an SACD player (I'm definitely thinking of that) then this may be something you would really like to have (in addition to your Beosound 3200).

I have no experience at all with the phono stages, don't use LPs.  But one other thing that might sway you with the C2600 are those DACs (DXD384 and DSD256 capable, 32bit/384kb) so while there's no Ethernet connection...it does have USB.  So, there's no need for a new streamer.  Just connect your PC (or a mini HT PC with a USB port) to the C2600 when you want and transmit that sweet, uncompressed data to the preamp.  

To use your Beosound 3000 as a standalone CD player, I assums you can set it in a standalone mode (edit: looking at the manual, it's option 1). And based on the connections (powerlink DIN), a powerlink to RCA L/R will work?  Plug that into the CD RCA link on your C2600, and you're good to go. I would leave your PS4 and Apple TV connected to the BV10, set it to option 1 (from what I can see, this should work) and do the same, powerlink to RCA to the C2600.  Let that preamp drive all your sound and volume.  I'd also get a minijack to RCA adapter and plug your DAP into the 2600, but at some point, you might want to replace that with the PC with uncompressed data for streaming.  Use the DAC on the C2600.

 

 

 

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