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Preamp Sections of Integrated Tube Amps


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I'm curious about the quality of the preamp sections in integrated tube amps.

What are the compromises involved in an integrated design as opposed to separates?

I realized this is a very general question, but would welcome some comments nonetheless.

Any ideas?



Cary AE-25/ S F Line 1/ S9000ES/ HSU x-over/ SVS CS+/ RF-7 Klipschcones®f>s>

Exigency is the matriarch of ingenious contrivancef>c>s>

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Some things that come to mind:

1) Less flexibility if you want to upgrade later.

2) Power amp transformers are combined in same chassis as low-level circuits.

3) Potential for hum and feedback due to close proximity of stages.

Intergateds due offer advantages too. Such as:

1) Cost saved on additional chassis.

2) Elimination of an additional pair of interconnects and possible signal degradation.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Just a matter of what trade-off the listener is willing to live with.



My Systems f>s>c>

This message has been edited by ShapeShifter on 06-09-2002 at 05:26 PM

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Interestingly, a friend of mine just dropped by with a Dyna SCA-35 integrated VT amp he picked up quite a few years ago. We hooked it to the Khorns, let it set a while, and cranked it up. Hum inaudible, other noise present but neglible. At 17.5/channel, it is ample to drive the horns big time, though perhaps not to lease breaking levels. The big bass drum hits in the Fennel/Cleveland Winds Telarc disc definitely clipped, but in the gentle way only tubes can.

I had a SCA-35 for most of the 70's matched with my Frazier Monte Carlos (96db/watt) and it was this sound that eventually brought me to tubes and Klipsch.

Actually, the Dyna was an upgrade from a Grommes "Little Jewel" with 8 watts (if I recall correctly) per channel. It was also integrated and sounded great.

Integrated VT amps can sound superb.



David A. Mallett

Average system component age: 30 years.

Performance: Timeless

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