3/6/12 - SALE PENDING
For sale an absolute sleeper of a preamp - the Bel Canto PRe1. Fully balanced design (2 xlr inputs, 1 xlr output) w/RCA inputs/outputs as well. Also a tape loop feature which is essentially a pass-through. I used the latter to excellent effect to integrate with my home theater setup. Priced below blue book.
Rating is conservative IMO -- I am anal and a stickler for details and perfection, and treat and expect the same from my equipment. There a few marks on the bottom from experimenting with different footers, a couple very small marks on the faceplate, and what can best be described as perhaps a mark that looks more like a slight smudge on the top. The latter is noticeable only in the right light (I didn't notice it after a couple months of ownership), the former marks are hardly noticeable at all, even on close inspection. See pictures and judge for yourself.
To me, and others as well, this is a smart looking, full-size preamp. I much prefer this distinguished black w/gold faceplate look to the puny half-sized chassis' that BC employs today.
This preamp has been described by Srajan Ebaen in a review as "like table water". In other words, the very essence of neutral. During a demo of his monoblocks in a system using the PRe1, Eduardo de Lima of Audiopax "without knowing the PRe1's identity, pronounced that 'whatever preamp you're using is truly phenomenal.'"
What I can tell you is this preamp has been in my system longer than ANY OTHER, which says a ton considering how much I buy and sell audio gear. To date, it has bested 3 excellent preamps, all with different topologies -- a Pass Labs X2.5 (SS), a BAT VK-3ix (tubes) and a Promitheus Audio Reference TVC 4 (passive). The Pass is a $4k preamp, the BAT is a $3500 preamp. It's that good. Resolving of fine details, never tripped up by complex material, natural sounding, involving, and excellent bottom end. The audio club I'm in has always been impressed during meetings at my house.
Also included is a copy of the manual and full function remote. I will box extremely well (I pride myself on packing). Read my feedback and buy with confidence. You can look forward to a friendly, courteous and communicative transaction.
Below are some links and info. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Soundstage review
• Audiogon forum with some commentary on the PRe1
• audioreview.com user reviews - 5 reviews, 5 out of 5 rating
• User guide (pdf)
Paypal preferred and willing to split the fee