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Preamps (Audio & Video) From tubes to solid state, discuss all topics related to audio & video preamps here.

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Old 09-17-2007   #1
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Default Tubes anyone?

I noticed the overwhelming majority of the threads in this forum are about processors... am I the only one with a 2-channel ONLY pre-amp? Better yet - am I the only one with a 2-channel only pre-amp with tubes?

I for one don't intend to be without tubes somewhere in my audio chain after hearing what they can do - when executed properly.

Anyone else enjoying 1950's tech as much as I am?
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Old 09-18-2007   #2
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Default Re: Tubes anyone?


Jim, I think you need to go back further than that!
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Old 09-18-2007   #3
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Default Re: Tubes anyone?

If tubes are your fancy then I can not recommend highly enough the Decware CSP tube pre-amp. While a bit unconventional looking it is KILLER esspecially when you consider its price. In fact all of the Decware amps are awesome, all though they are a bit light on the power side.

check 'em out at

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Old 09-18-2007   #4
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Smile Re: Tubes anyone?

I have not really had a listen with tube amplifiers. Even when I worked at Harvey Electronics back in the day, most of the Acoustic Research amps and McIntosh amps we had, were solid state. I always wanted to hear what everyone has talked about.

When Dan from Krell was introducing his new amplifiers at Sound by Singer, I heard a demo with a Conrad Johnson preamp. That is about it.
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Old 09-18-2007   #5
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Default yeah, tubes in the front end

my music sources start with tubes in the arc sp3a1(C) and end in an adcom 555II for power. the video sources pass through the arc on the way to the amp.

the difference between the adcom preamp and the arc was nothing short of amazing. i strongly advise that tubes belong in the front end. a tubed amp would be interesting. the vincent 100wpc amp reviewed in tas ($1000) would be high on my list of candidates.
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Old 09-19-2007   #6
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Default Re: Tubes anyone?

I was a big fan of solid state going back to the late 60's early 70's. I was in high school at the time, so couldn't afford anything much. When I was able to purchase equipment (after having Pioneer and ADC receivers w/large Advent speakers), I bought a Phase Linear 400 and a SAE 9b pre amp. All solid state. It sounded great since I had nothing to compare it to except other people's consoles.
Then, something happened to me around 1990. I got introduced to The Absolute Sound magazine. I started reading, Met a friend who had Bryston and Maggies. A departure from what I had (upgraded the amp to Carver 1.5t and speakers to DCM TimeWindows). I read and read. While there were no measurements listed like in Stereo Review and High Fidelity, they wrote about the sound and music. I still subscribed to Audio, which to me, was the my mag of choice. Honest sound reviews along with the measurements.
I started listening to some tube gear. My first tube preamp was a Counterpoint SA3, which to me sounded better than the Audio Reseach SP8. I had that pre amp for close to 20 years. Now, I use a Marsh Sound Lab P2000T tube/hybrid pre amp. I used it for a while with my Counterpoint SA220 tube/hybrid power amp until I went "grasp" solid state with Parasound's HCA2200mkII. The system, to me, sounds wonderful.
I have heard a solid state pre amps. They sound very good, but in my price range, the tube ones just sounded better to me.
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