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What's more important, Amp or Pre-amp in a 2 channel tube system


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3 hours ago, joessportster said:

You had me right up to  "For most apps 16ga lamp cord is just fine" Now you know damn well cables make a difference 😁


I honestly think cables can be used for a final level of tuning, I have heard some that do alter the sound........................My system has never been to that FINAL level though 😒


I've often wondered if tomato base vs vinegar base is location dependent, like low country vs hills ?


I've also wanted to do a bake off with speaker cables, 2 channel mono L vs R speaker. Lamp cord vs all contenders, blind test to the peanut gallery using AB switch to change connections.


My fav review site rates speakers as sounding like fine wine, and they can hear the speed of electricity differ from cable to cable....those are some great ears. I once stood over a bottle of $6 Chilean Red wine (name brand twist off) and after a solid 5 minutes concluded that it made no sound at all ........


PS I am a tomato person (formerly known as tomato-man), although a business trip to Austin years ago changed my orientation to dry rub. It was difficult, but I finally shared the news with my family and friends, they were very supportive, but still insisted on BBQ sauce when we got together......

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On 9/8/2021 at 9:48 AM, joessportster said:

I understand about symmetry and am not really worrying about that in this discussion


In terms of investing in the best pieces you can afford which will offer up the best bang for the buck. a great Pre-amp ? or a great amp ? I have seen where some call a Pre-amp the HUB of a system,  which should by all accounts be the best you can buy. Personally I have bought WAY more in amps than I have Pre-amps.


I am considering a New Pre-amp that is WAY more than I have owned in the past. I am overall happy with my current sound, "BUT" I feel there are better pre-amp tubes than my current 12au7 based pre. (Theres nothing wrong with a 12au7, I have historically preferred something along the lines of a 6sn7) 


If you were building a new system with Tubes, would you put more emphasis on the Pre-amp or the Amp ? (This is strictly a 2 channel system.)

the preamp is the Elusive component ,one can try to  match a very good  amplifier i , but there is lacking Fidelity ,but match the preamp and amp in sync  ,   there is a  transparent image ,   the silent reproducing of the sound , rather than the coloring of sound -  so the answer is the Preamp -

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  • 1 month later...

I’ve been using the same speakers for over 40 years now with all types of systems, all tube, tube pre and SS power, and All SS. 
I’ve just gone back to a tube preamp and SS power   The system sounds better now than ever before in so many ways. Perfect balance for me. 

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I also say preamp.... to me it is the heart of any system.  For those with DAC/Preamps this may be true also but I have always preferred an analog preamp.    Either way its responsible for taking those low level outputs and driving the amp.    Additionally,  the preamp has a lot to do with the noise floor.  Nothing worse than a system that has noise.   Nothing...     in my experience each time I upgraded the preamp the benefits were better dynamics and lower noise floor.   

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