Need a pre amp recommendation

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by gbkirsch, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. gbkirsch

    gbkirsch Active Member

    Messages:
    250
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    My son has a Crown PS-400 and an Adcom GFP-565 playing through his recently restored ESS AMT 1Bs. He’s thinking about upgrading his pre amp. He asked me about a tube pre amp but this is over my head. Any recommendations?

    Thank you,
    Gary
     
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  2. dpdatl

    dpdatl AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/fx-audio-6j1-tube-preamp-a-31-wonder.848535/
     
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  3. savatage1973

    savatage1973 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Budget, and how many and what types of inputs required?
     
  4. gbkirsch

    gbkirsch Active Member

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    Cincinnati
    Hmmm, I would guess his requirements are basic for a turntable and possibly aux input for a MP3 player. He’s not a tape guy currently but we have discussed a reel to reel machine. Budget is prob in the $500 max range but I don’t really know that for sure, could be more especially if tube is the way to go. Thx
     
  5. lightcapture

    lightcapture Well-Known Member

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    569
    Location:
    NC, USA
    Schiit audio has nice price friendly tube preamps. Highly rated and made in the US.

    Another good one a used Audio Electronics DJH tube pre made by Cary Audio. Fantastic pre that I had mated w a Pass Labs Aleph 30 class A power amp years ago.
     
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  6. BMWCCA

    BMWCCA AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Well, an obvious match for your son's PS-400 would be the Crown SL-2 or PSL-2. I have two of them and they are great pre-amps.

    That being said, I use a Soundcraftsmen Pro-Control-Four in my main system. I also have used a McIntosh C20 in a Crown-amped system for over 40-years. You may have to try a few yourself just to see what you think.
     
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  7. gbkirsch

    gbkirsch Active Member

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    we found a nice condition solid state ESS preamp near where I live but cant find much info on these. Anyone know anything about them?
     
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  8. david1111

    david1111 Barba non facit philosophum Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    @gbkirsch
    I have a YS-Audio Symphonies tube pre, feeding my Adcom 555ii. It's has very simple architecture and good components. The audio signal path is point to point wired, and the power supply is tube rectified, which any good tube pre should be.
    With some good tubes rolled in, (genalex gold lion supreme), it sounds very, very good, and one would have to spend a healthy chunk of green to better it, or even just equal it.
    The series 2 version has a remote. Mine doesn't, but I'm having the Alps volume pot changed out to one with remote control.
    I paid 400 cad used, but south of the 49th, y'know, like in a real country, you could get a used one for 300 usd or less.
    Large, detailed soundstage, and very realistic instruments/vocals.
    Anyway, just my experience.
    Cheers.

    Dave
     
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  9. gbkirsch

    gbkirsch Active Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Thanks for the advice Dave. Sounds like a nice setup. And you are in a real country, eh! Love it up there!!

    Thank you, Gary
     
  10. david1111

    david1111 Barba non facit philosophum Subscriber

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    Location:
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    Yer welcome Gary. And yeah ... I know its real and all; I just get ticked sometimes, having to pay so much more for exactly the same stuff.
    They have a protectionist attitude up here and it holds us back.
    But good luck on your search for a pre, eh?

    Dave
     
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  11. PanheadXR290

    PanheadXR290 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    For the money you won't find a better pro tube preamp than the Marshall JMP-1 ,inputs are irrelevant on pro presmps as any decent $99 patch bay connected to the mains will give you up to 20 XLR inputs ,it's the preamp running the Marshall 9200 and 9100 dual monoblock amps in my guitar rig with a 12 input XLR patch bay .
    This one is $399 on the auction site and a absolute killer tube preamp.
    Screenshot_2019-02-04-23-32-56.png
     
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  12. 58douglide

    58douglide Member

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    Just my opinion but a mac c2200. Love mine.
     
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  13. gbkirsch

    gbkirsch Active Member

    Messages:
    250
    Location:
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    Mac is always a great choice but unfortunately that ones a little pricey for my son. The Marshall idea isn’t bad either but my son is looking for tone controls. We’re still looking, thank you.
     
  14. 58douglide

    58douglide Member

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    65
    Location:
    San Antonio TX
    I understand the price point but the great thing about the c2200 it has a base and treble knob.
     
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  15. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

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    A nice tube preamp inside a $500 budget may be a bit difficult - especially when you add the order of tone controls. Adcom made a really top shelf preamp for a few years - the GFP-750 if memory serves. Yep - https://www.stereophile.com/solidpreamps/133/index.html Yet, it lacks tone controls. I wonder what the used market bears on them today.

    A Yamaha C2 fits the bill . . . if only it were tube. Very nice preamp otherwise.

    Of course, either a McIntosh C24 or C26, or possibly even a C27, could be had in that budget. Although none are tube, they're excellent preamps nonetheless.
     
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  16. Nixxuz

    Nixxuz AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    903
    Location:
    Minnesota
    XiangSheng 728A I've heard many on AK praise the sound quality, and it ticks all the boxes for you except a phono stage. Buuuuuut, you could probably get a cheap dedicated SS phono to feed into it well under your total budget. I was strongly considering one of these before I got into building my M77 study kit. Best thing is; if you don't like it send it right back. Worst thing is, you'll probably need to fit it with a completely new set of driver tubes as these ChiFi amps mostly come with pretty bad tubes. But that's only two 12AT7's and two 12AU7's. The rectifiers I'd leave until you have to replace them, and the tube in the window is just for show anyway.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K7BSNKB/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1
     
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  17. david1111

    david1111 Barba non facit philosophum Subscriber

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    @gbkirsch
    Hey Gary, if you're trying to get a good tube preamp for under $500, then I do believe that your only option will be a Chinese manufactured unit. There's a couple that stand out, with point-to-point wiring & good components. One of course, is the Ys Audio Symphonies, I mentioed; and the other one is the Doge 8 (pronounced 'doe gay').
    If you research these, you find a whack of thrilled reviews. They were both around $1200 USD new, and can be had for $300 used. Then ad some better tubes for $150.

    One techie guy gave a poor review of the Symphonies, but I think his system just wasn't very revealing, and he really believed he knew more about building preamps than anyone else and just wanted to change some caps.

    I have a Linn unidisk 1.1 that sounds so good through my Chinese pre, that the only pre I will replace it with eventually will be an AR reference pre, or a Prima Luna dialogue pre. And the Prima Luna products are also made in China.

    Some of the Chinese stuff can be very well-built, and sound very very good. And again, at the price range you're looking for, I believe it's your only option if you really want a decent tube unit with a good rectified power supply.

    Anyhoo, good luck with your search. I find that the search is a very enjoyable part of the hobby; but I'm a tad weird.
    Cheers.

    Dave
     
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  18. guitarlvr

    guitarlvr Super Member

    For me the Schitt Saga is the clear winner Made in America. $349.00 brand new sounds fantastic. Great little unit with remote. The company is very good to work with great customer care if you need them. I do not know or work for any one at this company Im only going by my personal experience. Great unit.
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  19. Codis

    Codis New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Miami
    Hey everyone, Gary's son here! I greatly appreciate all the information provided! I have looked at quite a few of these modern tube preamps and given the ease of purchasing and returning on amazon, I will likely give one a try. For the most part though, I dont think any of these have phono inputs for my record player. Would it be best to utilize a tube phono preamp for this like the nobsound, fx-audio, or douk that you can also find on amazon? Doesn't it even matter if the phono preamp is tube or solid state if it's going into the tube preamp?

    My goal overall with replacing my adcom preamp is to give the overall sound from the AMTs a bit of warmth.
     
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  20. david1111

    david1111 Barba non facit philosophum Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    @Codis
    Greetings, Son of Gary. Welcome to AK.
    I've always gone with a separate phono stage so I can upgrade one, without replacing the other. The tube preamp I have provides plenty of warmth to the sound of my overall system, and I am a fan of having a tube pre, and a solid state power amp. That's only my opinion, of course.
    I've never had a tube phono stage so I can't help you there, but a good phono stage makes a huge positive difference in the sound. So, if yer staying with vinyl, work your way up to a really good PS over a period of time, and get some recommendations from other AKers on some excellent cartriges.
    And I recommend buying some of these items used from AK Bartertown, or USaudiomart, so you can sell them on, if you don't particularly like them. Basically, you want the best sound possible, for the absolute least amount of cash expense.
    Oh yeah, and for very good basic cables to make your system sound great while you're figuring out if you want to spend more money on specialty cables; try Blue Jeans Cables, out of Oregon. Amazon is usually the cheapest place to buy them.
    Just some thots.

    Dave
     
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