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Magidrakee
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Adding a tube preamp to my system

Hi everyone.

I want to add a bit of "warm tubish" sound to my system, but I don't feel like replacing my current integrated amp at the moment. Would it be a good idea to add a tube preamp before my integrated amp? I am thinking of getting something used in the 500-1000$ range.

Here is my current setup (mainly for music):

Speakers: Paradigm Studio 20s v3
Amp: Rega Brio
Sources: Sony SCD-CE595 (SACD-CD), and PC with semi-pro sound card.

Thank you

jackfish
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Re: Adding a tube preamp to my system
judicata
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Re: Adding a tube preamp to my system

I was about to ask if the Brio could operate as a power amp only, but jackfish answered that already.

I recently added a tube preamp to my integrated Marantz PM7001, which has a main in and "separate" switch that turns it into a power amp only. It's working out great so far. I wonder if you could sell the Brio, take the cash you get from it, add $500-$1000 and end up with a better sounding tube pre and a ss power amp? Else you could try the buffer...

SAS Audio
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Re: Adding a tube preamp to my system


Quote:
I was about to ask if the Brio could operate as a power amp only, but jackfish answered that already.

I recently added a tube preamp to my integrated Marantz PM7001, which has a main in and "separate" switch that turns it into a power amp only. It's working out great so far. I wonder if you could sell the Brio, take the cash you get from it, add $500-$1000 and end up with a better sounding tube pre and a ss power amp? Else you could try the buffer...

I concur with Jackfish, a separate preamplifier probably would not be the best solution. The added gain would limit the rotation of the volume control before becoming too loud and possibly increase hum. Adding a cathode follower (gain less than 1) would change the tonal character of the system (depending upon the brand), however, it would be a patch. If I may suggest, finding and correcting the offending component would be a better solution.

For instance if the highs are the problem (all else is ok), one could add a medium ohmage resistor directly across the tweeter's terminal, say a 470 ohm resistor 1/2 watt, to "tame" the tweeter. A 470 ohm resistor (1/2 watt) is effective by reducing any resonances in the tweeter's response yet affects the tweeter xover only approx 1%, very little. It will also slightly change, smooth the midrange character a little. One could also do this for the midrange driver. One can vary this resistor(s) for individual tastes. Just an example and thought.

Hope this helps Magidrakee.
Steve

judicata
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Re: Adding a tube preamp to my system

Steve - I'm just checking because you quoted me, but do you think this is not a good idea for my integrated that can "switch" to a power amp only? I know the OP's amp doesn't have this function, but I just want to make sure...

Magidrakee
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Re: Adding a tube preamp to my system

Thanks for the replies.

I didn't know about tube buffers. I will try one and see if it does the thing for me.

JIMV
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Re: Adding a tube preamp to my system

I have used one for years with my video system and really like the result

Magidrakee
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Re: Adding a tube preamp to my system

So I've got myself a Musical Fidelity X-10v3 tube buffer. I've been using it for 3 days now.

I am very happy with the result so far. It does seem to smooth out my digital sources and makes music much more enjoyable. Listening fatigue is gone (in fact, I didn't really know I was experimenting it..., now I feel I could put on music for the entire day without any problem). Mid-highs are more present and highs are a bit attenuated.

I don't think this unit would be necessary with higher quality systems, but in my case, this 250$ addition was really worth it. Thanks!

SAS Audio
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Re: Adding a tube preamp to my system


Quote:
Steve - I'm just checking because you quoted me, but do you think this is not a good idea for my integrated that can "switch" to a power amp only? I know the OP's amp doesn't have this function, but I just want to make sure...

Hi Judicata,

I am sorry, my post was confusing Judicata. Please accept my apologies and your situation is just fine. I meant to agree with Jackfish that Magidrakee's integrated with a gain preamp would probably have too much gain.

Glad things worked out for you Magidrakee. Enjoy.

Steve

judicata
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Re: Adding a tube preamp to my system

sasaudio - No apologies necessary -- I didn't take any offense. I was pretty sure that was what you were saying. But I was just genuinely curious; if there could be a problem with my setup, I'd like to know. Thanks for clarifying.

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