Do I need a pre-amp for the following system? (using slimdevices transporter)


Bronze Member
Username: Danyal711

Post Number: 12
Registered: Feb-08
Hi, I am in the process of building my first 2 channel system which will be used pretty much exclusively for music (possibly will hook it up to my tv at some point).

The system consists of:
-Anthony Gallo Ref 3.1 Speakers
-Bel Canto Ref 1000 Mono Block Amps
-Slim Devices Transporter (which I eventually intend to get modified by modwright)
-Anthony Gallo Ref SA Bass Amp (for the 2nd voice coil of the 3.1s)

All my music will be coming off a server which is why I am using the transporter.

What I am wondering is, do I need a pre-amp between the transporter and the bel canto amps? I was going to use the transporter as the transport, DAC, and pre-amp (since it has volume control) but I think the volume control is done through software? So would I be sacrificing quality?

If I do need one, what pre-amp would you guys recommend? I know red wine audio just came out with the Isabella which got great reviews but thats also a bit out of my price range (at 4K)

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 2924
Registered: May-05
Very good questions Danyal. In my experience, pre-amps are a very important and far too overlooked component. I'm not sure, but I believe the Transporter may also have an analog volume control. Digital volume controls aren't something to be afraid of either. Some high end companies are using them with very good results. IMO how the technology is used is more important than the technology itself.

The Transporter was designed with audiophiles in mind, and not just a mass market POS. I haven't heard it, but everything I've read has been very positive. Maybe down the road I'll go in that direction too.

Having not heard it - especially not heard it as a pre-amp - I'm not sure what differences you'll hear. You have very good and revealing gear, so if there are differences between it and a different pre-amp, you should definitely be able to hear them.

The best advice is to get a demo pre-amp from a dealer and compare them side by side. This way you'll know what differences exist, and more importantly if they're worth it.

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 1393
Registered: May-06
Try demoing a Rogue Audio Magnum 99.

If you have no designs on using vinyl at any time in the near future you should not purchase the phono stage option. I have the same Gallo's and sub amp you do and I am very pleased with my Rogue pre.

If you ever want to us you set up for other inputs, tuner, cable box, etc. you will need a good pre-amp.

Bronze Member
Username: Danyal711

Post Number: 13
Registered: Feb-08
Thanks for the info. Does anyone know what cables I need to hook up the bass amp? Im a bit confused. If I hook the transporter to my amps via XLR cables, do you think I could also hook up the non balanced output connectors on the transporter and hook that up to the bass amp?
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