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PS Audio 4.5 - Looking for opinions

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by M Jarve, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. M Jarve

    M Jarve Audio Geek and NGE Freak Subscriber

    Any thoughts on the PS Audio 4.5? I made an offer on one, kind of without thinking, and wonder now what I might be getting. Info on it is sort of vague This would, of course, be for my SS/TT system with an Adcom GFA-5800 for power and Technics SB-7000A's for speakers.

    Specifically, anyone have any experience with that and either a Yamaha preamp (one of the C-x5 series) or a Carver C-2?
  2. thedelihaus

    thedelihaus Nocturnal transmissions Subscriber

    Boston Area, Massachusetts
    From Stereophile-

    "...Like the PS Audio 4.5 and 5.0 when used in their purely passive modes...demonstrates all too clearly that many preamplifier designers have spent too much time on their phono stages and too little in making sure that their line stages are totally neutral. The vast majority of high-end preamps simply cannot meet the challenge of the equivalent of a straight wire bypass with controls. As a result, it is clear that you can get a unit for $400 that will outperform most active preamps, including some costing six times as much...This raises the alternative of the PS Audio preamps, which also provide an affordable way of getting what is basically a passive high-level control center. The PS Audio 4.5, for example...includes an excellent moving-coil/moving-magnet phono stage and a good switchable line stage....—Anthony H. Cordesman"

    "The next logical step up for me and my budget was PS Audio. I owned a succession of their preamplifiers—4.5, 5.0, 5.5—all of which had many fine qualities like low-noise moving-coil sections, outstanding soundstaging, impressive image specificity, but some serious shortcomings, such as threadbare midrange, chilliness on top, and a fondness for amplifying RF. Neutral-sounding, you say?

    No way. Colorations? Clearly. Colorations I had to work around in reviewing other components. Still, the PS Audios were nice pieces for the money. -- Michael Fremer"

    From PS Audio's web site discussions-

    "...speaking of switches, i have recently gotten a ps 4.6, which i have grown very fond of. however the switches are hard to turn and also have some play in them....Those switches were not great and in hindsight, the real weakness of that design. Be thankful they still work..."

    Here's a PDF reviewing a 6.0, but mentioning a 5.5 (similar to the 4.5) often in a direct comparison...

  3. chadnliz

    chadnliz Addicted Member

    I owned one for years and also had a model 5.0, I gave the 4.5 to an elderly music lover and the 5 to a fellow AK member. The 4.5 is a good pre with a seperate power supply to keep it quiet (make sure it works) and it also has a decent phono stage that is adjustable. I think I still have paper work on it if you need. Its gonna be great for an up and coming audio lover or for most any music lover.
    I ran it with a Parasound HCA800, Carver TFM 35, Proton 1120 and other amps and enjoyed its time in my system but my memory is too foggy to recall exact details on its sound.
  4. thedelihaus

    thedelihaus Nocturnal transmissions Subscriber

    Boston Area, Massachusetts
    ps (hee hee)-

    When I was hunting for a "serious contender" pre-amp, it came down to three for me.

    One of them was the PS Audio 5.5.
  5. Stanton681EEES

    Stanton681EEES Addicted Member

    NE Ohio
    I'm the member chadnliz gave the 5.0 to. I had to find a power supply for it which i was lucky as a member over at Audioasylum sent me one for the price of shipping.
    So far it's sounding pretty good but it does have some problems that I'll be getting fixed in about a month. I love the phono section with the loading features and adjustable gain. Is it better than my current pre amp Adcom 565 to early to tell as the 5.0 is only functioning in straightwire mode. There are some things I do like better with my Adcom such as tone controls. If you can get that 4.5 for a decent price i don't think you'd regret it, if your into trying many different cartridges as do.

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