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Tube Preamp recommendations - Pics

mobile homeless

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On Thursday, December 26, 2002 at 7:54 PM, mobile homeless said:

Thanks, Wolfram. Remember, that all the above stress simplicity and sonics over controls and functions. I tend to prefer models with very little in the signal path. This offers the best sonics for the least amount of money with minimal parts. Reliability is also better with less switching etc.

I think the preamp is one of the most important components in the chain as it deals with low levels and thus easy to come away with less than steller results. The average solid state preamp makes a mess of the line stage in my opinion, almost bar none.

In addition, the problem with vintage preamp options is while I believe the vintage amp to be an intelligent choice, the vintage preamp seem to over more compromise with more complication and less transparency than I generally prefer. That being said, there are some options out there that are cheap but many of the VERY vintage units require mods to reach potential. The preamp is one of the components I really like to come from more modern times. But I know of people that have taken EICO HF-85 and modified them to good result. Some other older (but not of that era) options are the MFA Magus, Audio Research SP-6c, Audio Research SP-8 (I dont generally like the Audio Research sound per say but the 6c and 8 can be good), VTL Ultimate (excellent but reliability questions), certain Conrad Johnson models (although these are opposite of the rather more bleached sound of the Audio Research, exhibiting more warmth, some feel TOO much). The first list is more neutral and transparent and based on the 6SN7 by and large. The models above stess the 12AX7/12AU7/6DJ8 etc.

As I said above, I generally shoot for the LESS is MORE approach. In my highly modified Cary SLP-70, I have removed the balance and added a very expensive TKD Stepped attenuator that costs a good portion of some WHOLE used preamps! Still, it was a jump in resolution.

One must always weigh in the phono stage as well as some would rather have that included. A line stage does call for a separate phono stage if into vinyl.


Hi my Friend. I got a 4X 6sn7 pre amp and it has got 1 pair of Line outputs  which i connect to my all tube 3 Way  crossover network and use 3 pairs of all tube Cary Sixpac mono block to drive my Klipshorn Lascala  speakers   i now got hold of a Kbl Powered Sub   and have no idea how to connect it to my Pre Amp which only got 1 pair of out puts. Can i use a 2 way adapter rca to connect my sub  to the line output of my pre Amp. Please help


Francis Jansz

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