Threshold FET 10 preamplifier JGH Returns

JGH returned to the Threshold FET-10 in January 1988 (Vol.11 No.1):

The more I listen to this two-piece RIAA preamp/line controller, the more convinced I am that it is a, if not the, state-of-the-art preamplifier. It is, at least, the most nearly perfect such device I have tested, or read about elsewhere. In fact, since it arrived here, Dick Olsher and I have come to trust its accuracy so much that we had endless squabbles about who would get to use it when for testing other components. Neither of us felt we could do without it. We finally ended up ordering a second one—one of the very few times our staffers have ever felt strongly enough about a new product to want more than one on hand.

The FET-10 may eventually be equalled by some other preamps, but when something apparently does absolutely nothing to the sound except what it's supposed to do, the chances of it being surpassed by anything else are remote. Having said that, I must reiterate that accuracy in a preamp is no guarantee that it will make any given system sound "better." Only if the power-amp/loudspeaker combination is capable of sounding "better" when its source is more accurate will this be the case. If it isn't, another preamp which is less accurate than the FET-10 in ways which complement the amp/speakers may yield more agreeable sound.

Since components' colorations tend to increase as their prices decrease, it is obvious that complementary matching is the way for most audiophiles to go about assembling their dream systems. It is, however, not the course of choice for someone who is reviewing products, and needs to know how accurate—in absolute terms—a product is, as well as how "good" it sounds.—J. Gordon Holt

Threshold Audio
PO Box 41736
Houston, TX 77241
(713) 466-1411
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