Hi, I just made an account looking for some help choosing a preamp upgrade, or possibly an integrated. My current situation is a choice of hand-me-down equipment from my father. Either a $50 Sherwood stereo receiver from Radioshack that sounds pretty bad but has most of the features that are important to me, or a vintage Perreaux SM2 hooked up to a Kicker kx150.2 car amplifier with a 13.8v power supply in place of the car electronics. The second setup is weird on paper but sounds great, however it has no possibility of a remote control which is a must for me. For speakers I have a pair of JM Labs Mezzo Utopias, also hand-me-downs (no way my dad would have bought them new, I think he got them used for a fraction of the price). I'm looking for either a preamp or integrated that measures at least competently with these features:
- Well designed remote
- Enough imputs for a cd player, phono, and cellphone
- A digital volume readout
- An onboard phono stage (I have a spare phono preamp I can use, which is why it's not required)
- Bluetooth (I currently use a long headphone extension cable with a headphone to RCA adapter, which isn't the most convenient)
- XLR out if I go with a preamp (for when I get the money for a Buckeye NC252mp)
- The obvious choice is the Emotiva Basx PT1, which is $400, but I'm not sure about build quality(its predecessor had reliability problems, and that was a much higher end product) and I've heard some complaints about the remote. It hasn't been measured here either.
- I've been looking around for other options, and the Parasound Zpre3 is $500, has enough inputs and a good remote, but is missing the bluetooth and phono stage. It also hasn't been measured.
- The Topping Pre90 would only work if I got the Ext90 as well, putting me way above budget at over $800, plus they cheaped out on the remote. On the bright side, it measured very well.
- I've also looked at the Parasound Newclassic 200 pre and integrated, which are probably good choices but cost too much at $1k and $1.2k respectively. I haven't been able to find them used either. Another one that ASR hasn't measured.