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Toxicant

How important is a preamp?

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Hello all,

Just discoverd this forum the other day, I've been kinda out of the whole hi-fi scene for awhile.I guess I just have a few questions to start with.

I have a Mac C26 preamp and was wondering if I were to up grade would it make a big difference? And if so what would be a good choice?

Thanks!

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I guess it didn't show up in my sig when you posted

I have some k-horns, cornwalls and Mac 2120 amp, C26 preamp, MR 71 Turner, some other crap..can't even remember the name of the CD and a proton tuner

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No, I R an idiot!

I didn't read that far 14.gif

What is wrong with your system now? What are you looking for? I might suggest lower power but you have some great gear there.

What size is your room and what kind of music do you listen to? How loud?

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I don't listen to them much other then the TV lately. I have the digital cable so I'll turn on the music channel but haven't had much time lately.

The room I'm in now is 13X17'6 just the k-horns are in there and on the short wall to boot, the corn walls are just sitting in my bed room not even hooked up. I used to have a bigger room with all 4 at once but I built a new house and don't want them taking up the whole living room.

Every once in awhile I hear a pop noise or more like one channel is dropping out for a split second. I cleaned all the contacts and I think its in the preamp. So I was either thinking about replacing it or sending it off somewhere to be tuned up.

I wonder what audio classic would charge for such a service, perhaps its better to up grade, thats why I asked the question. If I won't hear the difference why bother with replacing it.

What do you mean to much power?

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Since you have very efficient Khorns, and no turntable, I would strongly recommend the Placette passive preamp linestage controller. You can find this only at the Placette website. This is a very basic preamp, but has the best of the best resistors. These resistors make all the difference in the world as far as sound quality is concerned.. I have never heard a preamp that sounds this good, regardless of price. Because this has no active circuits, it cheap as far as preamps go. The volume controlling unit works only with one source and costs about $1000. The unit that works with three sources costs about $1400. As far as I know, this is the only passive preamp that is remote controlled with well over a hundred step levels. Call the owner and he will customize the levels to fit your amp-speaker configuration at no extra charge. He will make other modifications that you might need, but you have to ask. 1.gif

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IMHO the preamp is one of, if not the most important piece of equipment in your system. It must handle the most delicate signals and amplify them properly. If you have another preamp available try swapping it out with your C26 and see if the problem goes away.

If the problem is with the C26, then you would have to decide whether you wanted to have it repaired. If you opt to replace it I would recommend giving a nice tube type preamp an audition in your system.

In the final debate betweed SS and tube gear it is your ears which must decide which you prefer in your system, in your listening environment.

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Ed brought up a good point about how sensitive active preamplifiers can be. This is why you should not use an active preamp unless you really need one. Those with Khorns don't need one unless a low voltage source such as a turntable is used. The active stage of a preamplifier never kicks in until it is needed anyway. You can spend mucho bucks on an active preamplifier, but 80% of the cost goes into processing the low voltage circuits that may never be used. The Placette Passive Linestage Control uses 100% of it's cost in the volume control, switching, and remote control. I can not emphasize enough the importance of the volume control in the preamp. Don't get me wrong about high quality high end preamps. They're great if you have the money to through away on their active circuits.

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