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I've spent the better part of the afternoon and early evening checking out tubed preamps.

Something that is really confusing to me is how you can have something like a CJ pv10al that only uses two 12au7's, or a Quicksilver that only used two 12ax7's - and then see a BAT 3 vk3i that has 4 6922's and 2 6v6's!!

What's up with that!!?

I mean - they're all line stage preamps.

Shouldn't the simpler circuits sound better? Yet people rave about the BAT stuff.



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I wanna be smart like mdeneen and mobile.

I'm looking for a tubed preamp for $700 or less to run with my Bryston SS amp.

My list so far is the CJ pv10al and the Quicksilver.

I was figuring that either of these might be more musical than the Anthem Pre1L I just sold.

I guess nothings for certain.



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huh...this is embarrassing -I really didn't think there was anything wrong with the Anthem, but several (including Mobile) felt I could do much better for not much more money - so I sold the Anthem.

At any rate - the Bryston is VERY clean and has a somewhat incisive, penetrating kind of sound.

The Anthem was shipped off before the Bryston arrived and so I didn't have a chance to play them together.

I just read that the CJ doesn't really have enough gain to run SS amps correctly and that it is very tube sensitive.

How about Audible Illusions?

I just need something to soften the edges a little and get the in between spaces a little darker.

Maybe I should buy an Anthem Pre1L Smile.gif



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Well... Why in the World did you sell that beast so soon? Surprised you sold it without at least giving it a listen with your other gear. Selah. No big loss actually. That was an ok preamp but you can do better.

Why dont you shoot for a preamp based on the very linear octal 6SN7? It's a very open and atmospheric sounding tube and I like it much better than the 6922, 6DJ8, 12AX7 offerings. Not to say all preamps with those tubes are bad; it's just that I think the 6SN7 is a very nice sounding tube with a variety of offerings in the NOS area.

Listen, the best advice right now is to SLOOOOOW down a bit. I wouldnt have even sold the Anthem so fast, ast least not until I just got a chance to hear it with my new Bryston 3B-ST. You have a brand new SS Bryston preamp that you like for now. A competent and well designed amp is either there or on its way. Just hang back and look around. I have talked to several guys in here looking for tube gear and the best thing is to hang back and wait till something you want comes up. Mike is waiting as well. A few others DID find what they were looking for but all waited and looked about. You have a system that works and you just need some time to actually LISTEN to it and see what you think. There is no need to impulsively buy or sell something at this juncture.

As for the Conrad Johnson PV-10, that preamp is a nice warm unit but I think you might find something even better. Ditto with the Quicksilver... Let me take a look around. Hell, I am looking at the ADs more than when I WANT TO BUY lately!!!! heh....lordy.

Let me see what is out there. Wait till your Bryston arrives. LISTEN to the beast with the companion preamp. Take in the sound. Enjoy your purchase... get a handle on things..and what you might be looking for. And we'll see if you can find something fitting.

Lord, you buy faster than ole Edmond "jazman" purchase machine! The only person as fast to buy as you and edmond is ole Edster00! Listen some music for the love of Pete!

You have TIME...


ps- Yeah, but the Audible Illusions Modulus 3a (get the later letters...A is better than just the 3) is really known for its phono stage. The line stage, like the CJ unit, is good but not on par with the excellent phono. IF you read reviews of this piece, you will see much ballyhoo over that phono stage. They do make a line stage but there is not near as much talk about this.

pps - One brand I would rule out of the mix is Audio Research, unless you are talking about some of the older models. I think it is one of the least appealing tube preamps around in general. I find them rather cold ans sterile with a bleached bright presentation, not exactly the thing to give a SS amp some dimension.

Phono Linn LP-12 Vahalla / Linn Basic Plus / Sumiko Blue Point

CD Player Rega Planet

Preamp Cary Audio SLP-70 w/Phono Modified

Amplifier Welborne Labs 2A3 Moondog Monoblocks

Cable DIYCable Superlative / Twisted Cross Connect

Speaker 1977 Klipsch Cornwall I w/Alnico & Type B Crossover

system one online / alternate components / Asylum Listing f>s>

This message has been edited by mobile homeless on 02-11-2002 at 12:15 AM

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Is this a serious question? I find myself wanting to respond with some pithy retort but will refrain since another "integrated vs monoblock" is about the last thing we need at this stage. It is tempting though, is it not?

To answer your question, I find ALL information I can gather on ANYTHING useful to some extent, not always for reasons that are apparent. Of course, with audio gear, and with most other things, nothing beats experience.

But I have enjoyed reading others opinions on audio gear/music/movies/books/computers/cars/instruments/products/politics/ethics/etc etc etc. In other words, I like taking it all in. Alas, one must ultimately use his own skull contents. But it sure does help when said skull contents have read a few things and taken in a few more. But as stated, who can discount experience? Yet sometimes, experience must be gleaned from means other than with your own hands. And it sure helps to gather knowledge on the properties of a 100 foot drop to ground zero without attempting it for exact measurements...

As for others reviews (on anything), some of these opinions are well formed from experience, some well written and interesting, some horribly slanted, some from a narrow scope or background, some intelligent, some short sighted.... and almost all worth something on various levels.

I have found many audio reviewers to be very insightful and many others to be lost in space. To judge on the whole either way is missing the picture.

If you are asking me seriously what reviewers I find useful, there are a few that jump to mind. One that I find very entertaining with a good background as well happens to be Joe Roberts. He writes very well and clearly and I find myself agreeing with much of what he says based on experience. Another reviewer that I have sometimes aligned with is Art Dudley, although there are many things I dont agree with. Still, I seem to find his opinions on gear relatively well informed. I used to like Harry Pearson in his older days; some of his writing on audio could be very esoteric, but I found he had a very unique way of honing in on sound and describing it in a manner that I felt captured some of the essence of the gear. Now ole Harry is more filled with hot air than anything...as are most of the major audio magazines. Stereophile is really saddening now...

To be honest, I dont really follow the audio press as much since most of my gear is not even covered. And when it is, I find the reviews lacking much perspective or experience. When you can see bias too plainly, and there is no humor involved, it is a sad thing.

I still will read reviews and comments from professionals, end users, loons, kooks, oddballs, misanthropes, manufacturers, etc just to get different perspectives. Having dealt on all sides of this equation has been rather helpful. I have been involved with making the product, advertising the product, reviewing the product, and testing the product. I have talked to manufacturers, salesmen, and customers about equally... I have been on both sides of the horror. And frankly, it has the potential to stink hell and high water from every direction.

Ultimately, based on experience and others views which can provide a different perspective and vantage point, you can arrive at something mimicking REAL for a brief few seconds until the whole equation shifts and you find yourself scratching your head once again.


This message has been edited by mobile homeless on 02-11-2002 at 01:56 AM

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Mdeneen, I think you would really dig Sound Practices magazine. IT was a cool publication devoted to tube audio mostly and run by Joe Roberts.

Another great mag is Listener Magazine. Check it out. This is where you will find Art Dudley and others. I surely dont agree with Art all the time but like the magazine.

For an interesting Joe Roberts article on 2A3 amps I decided to upload an old Sound Practices piece if anyone is interested. I am not leaving it here very long but you are welcome to download it to peruse. What you will NOT find is a laboratory field of measurements and data. What you WILL find is Joe's musings on 2A3 amps, circuits, history, and some brief comments on a few 2A3 amps currently offered in either kit or premade form. It's an interesting read, especially for those not familiar with the 2A3. It is in .pdf form (184.kb)


For some interesting DIY gear and comments on the last 2001 NYNoise show, please see this link below. You will also see a shot of Joe Roberts and Herb Reichert (another amusing sort). Notice some of the wacky DIY stuff there. Ole Dave Slaggle (another character) shows his loopy death machine that no one will touch but ole Dave... The article is nothing much...just some comments on the show



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The input impedance of the Bryston is:

50 Kohms unbalanced

20 Kohms balanced

Great advice from the both of you.

I will hang back, learn, and enjoy the music for a while.

thanks guys



This message has been edited by deang on 02-11-2002 at 11:25 AM

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Well, everyone here knows I'm electrically declined. Will the following preamp specs work with my Bryston.


Input impedance: 50 Kohms


Gain: Line Stage: 20dB

Input Impedance: 100Kohms

Output Impedance: 560ohms

I'm guessing no - did I guess right?

This message has been edited by deang on 02-16-2002 at 11:21 PM

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