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Pre amp for ATC active + Lumin x1

Discussion in 'audio' started by SoundFreak, Jun 17, 2021.

  1. SoundFreak

    SoundFreak Well-Known Member


    Recently I acquired Lumin X1 along with ATC active scm40. X1 is directly connected to 40A via balanced output from x1. It sounds fantastic. No complain as such. But based on suggestion of other friend who has also has x1 and connected to scm50A, I am little inclined towards adding pre amp.

    I have read lot of good posts about EAR 868 and very much interest in getting the same. but having little confusion as compatibility with scm40a and x1 in term of vrms , impedance etc.

    In case anybody using similar combo, please can you share your experience?

    secondly if anybody has done comparison between ear 868 and ATC sca2, please share your experience.

  2. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    You don't need a pre amp. You would be pointlessly adding another box of electronics into the chain.
  3. Nero

    Nero Call me 'Goose'

    I think that unless you need additional analogue inputs/outputs, it's a bit pointless adding a preamp. Put the money towards SCM50s instead :)
    SoundFreak likes this.
  4. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Putting a pre-amp in seems pointless. A better Dac maybe if you only have one source. Balanced connection is pretty key IME.
    AndyU likes this.
  5. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

  6. AndyU

    AndyU pfm Member

    One (unlikely) reason to use a pre-amp would be if your Lumin has a crap volume control, in which case running it without any attenuation into a decent preamp might be better. Back in the dark ages I had an ATC SCA2 preamp into SCM100ASLs. When I got into digital and got a decent DAC - a Benchmark DAC1 - I couldn’t hear any advantage in using a preamp, so sold the SCA2 which went a long way towards paying for the DAC.
    Nero likes this.
  7. SoundFreak

    SoundFreak Well-Known Member

    That make sense. Thank you!
    AndyU likes this.
  8. mtbmarkymark

    mtbmarkymark Member

    Adding a preamp to your system MAY improve the sound for you. Only an extended home demonstation will answer the question
    i have tried many different preamps, as well as DAC direct, into my ATC Active 50's.
    Adding some of the preamps i tried did not improve the sound and i preferred DAC direct
    but adding some preamps did improve the sound for me
    i suspect if you occassionally find the sound a little harsh you may find a preamp beneficial
    The best solid state preamp i used was a Bel Canto Pre 3 VBS. This has been superceded by the Pre 5
    I finally took the plunge and tried a valve pre. The PS Audio BHK preamp i now have is superb and i have no desire to change.
    hifinutt likes this.
  9. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    Fab , I use 2 bel canto pre 3 vbs , really like them. Been using for some while, one has a very good dc3 psu which really lifts the performance. I doubt the pre 5 could beat but I am thrilled bel canto have released a pre amp again
  10. essgee

    essgee pfm Member

    MFA Baby Ref v2 into active 50's sounds mighty fine here. Must add that already owned MFA prior to changing over to actives.
  11. omers

    omers pfm Member

    First of all, try to enable/disable the LEEDH volume control on the Lumin.

    I ran a Lumin d2 direct into a traditional power amp, then tried a Townshend Allegri and liked it. The transparency is breathtaking. I assume the EAR will change how it sounds.

    If you have gain controls on the actives you can adjust them so you mostly run the Lumin at close to 100% volume to ensure no bits are lost etc., and do fine tuning from the Lumin, w/o a preamp.


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