To Jeff Fritz,
First of all I would like to thank you for all your help.
I am using the Gryphon Audio Designs Mephisto power amp with my Magico Q5 loudspeakers, and would like to know what preamp you would suggest. I am thinking of the Audio Research Reference 10.
I look forward to your suggestions.
I remember way back in the day, the go-to pairing was a Krell power amplifier (the KSA-250 was a favorite) and an Audio Research preamplifier. Of course, the thought was that the Krell could easily drive any loudspeaker and sound quite good while doing it, but that it could be further improved by a tubed preamp and, arguably, ARC made the best ones. Lots of good systems used just this combo.
On the other hand, I've always been a proponent of mating amplifiers and preamplifiers from the same manufacturers -- the theory being that, since they were designed together, their performance could only be optimized by staying together. So, of course, my first advice would be to hear a Gryphon preamplifier to see if you can improve your system with more Gryphon products. However, your idea to use an Audio Research Reference 10 is an intriguing one. The Magicos are ruthlessly revealing and the Gryphon amplifier is capable of tremendous resolution in its own right. Adding a touch of tube sweetness to the mix might be just what you want. At the very least the two brands will provide an interesting juxtaposition for you to ponder -- Gryphon and ARC are both terrific, but are very different. . . . Jeff Fritz