Class A zero feedback gain stage, optional external power supply, optional phono stage available, optional USB input, optional DAC input, 7 inputs, 2 sets of outputs, headphone amplifier, balanced and single ended inputs and outputs, remote control, state of the art attenuator, assignable input names, individual gain adjust per input, home theater bypass loop, fully balanced, PS Buss.
This preamp has by far surpassed my expectations in virtually everyway. Sonically, it outperforms anything else I've used in my system. Some of those include Yamaha, Bel Canto, Emotiva, B&K, and others. More surprisingly, it outperforms even several combo outboard DAC/preamps, including Legacy, Emotiva and even my prised tube-based TADAC.
The PCA-2 is superior in many other ways as well. It offers the most flexibility I've ever seen in alsmost any component. The balanced and unbalanced inputs, dual RCA and dual XLR outputs provide for a wide array of devices as well as a perfect setup for bi-amping. The connectors are all top-notch quality. And the remote adds functionality I didn't have with some of the previously-mentioned preamps.
Currently, it is setup with an EAD-1000 transport and a Theta DS Pro basic II providing source, and it is feeding a pair of Aronov monoblock amps, which are powering Eminent Technology LFT-8b speakers. This is by far the best sound system I have constructed after years of trial, error and expense. I might add that the external Theta DAC added significant punch and detail.
I have 2, I paid under $1,200 for them both! E-bay, Audiogon, and Patience.
At that price for one, no contest! Nothing can touch it.
Even for new one, it outperformed a long list of pre-amp's, of very high caliber and $$$$$.
The P.S. is engaging, you forget everything, and just enjoy the music. That is my satisfaction sign.
When I am not thinking of components, just loving the music.
Simply one of the most incredible sounding pre-amp's, I have ever heard.So very functional, and the build quality is A-1. With the HCPS, it easily competes with the likes of Roland, Krell, Bel Canto, Plinius, and many other much
more expensive pre-amp's, in the Reference Level.
I prefer this to the newer GCP pre-amp. that replaced it. I feel that this is one of Audio's biggest secret.
When set up with a decent power cord, the speakers seem to vanish, leaving only the music.
If I am not mistaken, in a test, the PCA-2 was better on paper than the GCP. I use the GCA-500 amp. with
My ears don't lie, and I buy what I hear, and enjoy , not what I see.
A wonderful Class A sounding preamp. that also has looks, facilities, remote, 7 inputs and twin outputs, both balanced and un balanced. Also input no 1 is balanced.
In my setup, it replaced a Musical Fidelity NuVista.
The two preamps. were very similar in the midrange, with crisp airy and very well defined imaging but, the PCA 2 was far superior in both ends of the spectrum, lower and better defined bass and richer treble, without any hardness.
The best quality of this preamp. is its ability to separate notes and instruments in the mix, giving the listener a very precise sonic picture of a good recording.
It has great facilities like adjustable input gain so when selecting different inputs you get the same volume.
Also, the phase inverter is handy as well as the electronic balance control and the dimming of the display.
The volume control is an absolute joy to use and the remote is small and has all the functions the user needs.
And just to top it up,, there's a very high quality h/phone amplifier inbuild ( not just a chip) as most manufacturers do, but a dedicated amp. that gives the same great audio quality if the user decides to listen through h/phones.
I drive the matching HCA 2 power amplifier with it and the final sound is exceptional.
If you value great detail, air, space and great depth in your sound, this is a preamp. you better listen to.
I often wonder, is ti getting any better than this?
By comparison with my previous preamp, McCormack TLC-1, the PCA-2 is very crisp and precise, with a wider dynamic range. So far (after about 100 hours) it does not seem to have the transparancy and smoothness of the TLC-1. However, it is more musical, with extended treble and deeper bass. It especially shines on music with complex instrumentation, such as big-band jazz or prog rock. The imaging and definition are astounding: each instrument can be heard distinctly in the mix. This unit has the optional inboard phono card, and it is a marked improvement over my Creek phono preamp. My value rating is based on the price I paid, which was less than half the list price including the phono option.
I have had this preamp for about a week
now and could not wait to post a review.
After about one hundred hours of run it
this is the best sounding preamp i have
had. Very open mid and high powerful bass.