Preamps

Discussion in 'Preamps' started by sphinxvc, Sep 21, 2016.

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  1. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    What's your source? Preamps, active, passive TVC/AVC, DHTs, can only do much. Amps can also be a limiting factor as I don't recall the M-22 has having huge deep soundstage placed behind the wall.

    A few phonostages and DACs were really good at the huge and deep soundstage thing: Sutherland, Sonic Frontiers, etc.
     
  2. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    That's an old ass post. @Hooncake is currently enjoying life with a Fulla 2 and Porta Pros.
     
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    My bad. Weird. I got it as a new post alert.
     
  4. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Friend

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    I had one but it's been three years or so, and I can't do any fair comparisons because my gear was very different then, as were my tastes, and I was having some major system issues at the same time I had it and I honestly thought it was causing some of them. It wasn't. But I can say that his communication was excellent, he's a super nice guy, builds high quality products and can customize them within reason to fit your needs. I don't remember anything offputting about the sound, noise levels, or anything of that sort. Mine had a built-in phono preamp which I liked better than some outboard ones I'd had up to about $600, not bad as the whole preamp was less than $800.
     
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  5. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    So I finally received a prototype balanced Dave Slagle autoformer to try out against the Goldpoint this past week. The first thing I texted @AdvanTech when I got it hooked up was "Ohhhhh, this thing is a contender." And so it was.

    I listened to it on my PAP clone rig, plus through my OSMTs, and @AdvanTech and I spent some time today comparing on his Prana rig.

    It's basically equal to the Goldpoint, but in addition has a touch of tactility/palpability. That might sound like some comment about the lows, but it's not. I noticed it most with textures in the midrange.

    The comparison is close though, they're otherwise 95% similar and the difference I heard is something you would have to focus on to hear.

    For those of you that don't know about these autoformers, they're basically DIY. Dave has versions pre-wired to PCBs with an Elma switch (less work, more money), or simpler bare autoformers like the ones he sent me (lots of work, less money). Like all good things in life, this doesn't come with a remote, lol. It's a damn shame. The Goldpoint doesn't either, but at least bent audio sells a kit to make it remote compatible.

    There's enough transparency on this thing to make me seriously consider their speaker-level autoformers to replace the L-pad on my PAP clones in some weird biamping scenario I have in my head.

    Thanks, @bazelio for nudging me to get in touch with Dave again.
     
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  6. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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  7. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

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    At mine, we were also able to compare those two to my Freya S in the 4x Nexus stage (passive is way less dynamic so we didn't bother), and we noticed that both the Goldpoint and Slagleformer demo piece were in their own class above the Freya S. Both even more dynamic and more airy/low-level stuff. Maybe Nexus is great for an active stage, but I think really good passive might be the way to go.

    The Goldpoint and Slagleformer were very close transparency-wise, and it took a few songs before I thought I heard anything different. On one of our test tracks I noticed an instrument on the Slageformer that I hadn't paid attention to on the Goldpoint. I wasn't listening for it. It just seemed to be a touch more clearly defined in the mix, so my mind wandered to the sound of it.

    It's nice knowing that two really great attenuation devices aren't priced stupidly.
     
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  8. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    Cool, except for the $450 price. Does it mount to the front? I guess the knob wouldn't be usable?

    The Goldpoint remote kit mounts at the back.
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    Has anyone compared a GoldPoint SA1 or SA2 to a JBL Nano Patch?
     
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  10. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    It mounts to the rear.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Aklegal

    Aklegal Almost "Made"

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    Has anyone here heard the AMB ɑ10 or ɑ20 preamp? I am thinking of adding it to the end of my long DIY queue.
     
  12. Dr J

    Dr J Friend

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    Not sure if I should put this in the "General Advice"- or "Passive Volume Control for DACs/Sources"-thread or here, as the discussion is fairly similar in the latter two.

    Would like to ask if anyone has compared the below passive preamps for improved transparency/detail/blackground/soundstage or other key sound differences that should be considered.

    Especially interested in Khozmo and Hattor because they have the remote control option, and how they compare to either Freya, Freya S, or to Goldpoint.

    If there are other contenders with great sound quality and a remote in the <1200$ range, would be to happy to hear about them.

    The missing piece I could not find through search and reading pretty much all the relevant threads on passive pre-amps and Freyas is a comparison between how Khozmo, Hattor and Goldpoint sound.

    Some of the experiences shared so far lead me to think that Goldpoint > Freya S (passive) in terms of transparency, detail and blackground.

    My own direct comparison experience (confirmed with a few friends) is that Freya S (passive) > Freya (passive). This seemed to match observations by some of the members here.

    Current chain:
    Tidal --> Pi2AES --> AES --> Yggdrasil 2 with 75Ohm output -> balanced --> Freya S (passive) --> balanced --> Genelec 7060 subwoofer with 10kOhm input --> Genelec 8050, in a fairly thoroughly acoustically treated room. Short cables between Yggdrasil, Freya S and 7060.
     
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    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  13. seamon

    seamon Acquaintance

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    Does anyone know a good tube preamp that's rack mountable? Planning to place it between Dangerous Music Convert 2 and Crown CDi1000 to add color to the sound.
     
  14. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Friend

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    I'm in the market for an upgrade to my Schiit Saga. I am looking for three things in particular that the Saga can't provide: 1) MOAR TOOBZ, I want a fully tube-based preamp to give my system (neutral, linear) tube sound since I've committed to a solid state amplifier (Aegir), 2) higher input impedance, the Saga's 10kohm input impedance is its achilles heel imo, it doesn't jive with my Eros 2 phono preamp, so I've made a special cable with 47kohm resistors in the Saga end to alleviate this for now, 3) a small amount of gain.

    I'm tempted by the Bottlehead BeePre2 kit, however, it is expensive (at budget limit), quite large, and would require me to rearrange my rack. It would be the most expensive piece in the system (currently Schiit Sol > Eros 2 > Saga > Aegir > Tekton Lore, also Pi2AES > Bifrost 2 > Saga > Aegir > Tekton Lore), and I'm not sure how I feel about that. The Moreplay kit is also tempting, however, I would probably go for the WTFamps Sofrito which uses the same 6V6 tubes, but also employs a tube rectifier and shunt regulator.

    So currently the WTFamps Sofrito is looking like the best option, but I thought I'd ask if anyone has recommendations since I'm not too familiar with the preamplifier market. Doesn't have to be DIY but it's a plus.
     
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  15. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    How does it work for you?
     
  16. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Friend

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    I really love them. I paid $600 plus a nine hour round trip drive from central Connecticut to Syracuse for my pair. I don't have a lot to compare them to besides a pair of Dynaudio bookshelves (DM2/6, nothing special) and a pair of Magnepan MG12 with mods.

    I think the most notable thing about them is how much like planars they sound in the upper registers... those Audax gold tweeters are just magic. They have really impressive imaging capabilities, treble extension, air, and natural sound not to mention awesome speed. Paired with Aegir, they are on the same level of resolution as my headphones which is something I didn't think I'd ever hear from my speakers. For a small apartment like mine, there's no need for subwoofers as they go plenty low. They sound somewhat forward, like a front row seat. They sound damn good on everything I've thrown at them but really excel at live recordings. I don't think they're particularly warm speakers but there is a hint of sweetness. And while they may not be truly 98dB/Wm sensitivity as claimed (many people take issue with the spec), they are ridiculously easy to drive and are perfectly happy with 10W. A single Aegir does an excellent job... although I could probably get away with 4-6W of tube power. In my limited experience they take to tube sound extremely well, hence the desire for a tube preamp.

    I'm pretty damn happy with them and have no immediate plans to upgrade my speakers. If I do upgrade from these, it's probably going to have to be something DIY... with even better imaging.
     
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  17. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    Thanks for your input. Was going to ask whether you got Audax or SB's berylium tweeters (awesome btw.!). But I agree, good tweeter and large cone surface land that open effortless sound presentation I also like. Not quite comparable to listening to headphones :)
     
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