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Thread: On the hunt...

  1. #1

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    Default On the hunt...

    ...for a tubed pre.Cheap.

    Was going to add a tube buffer to my sonos, but I think a tubed pre may be a better avenue to go down. We had some nice options go threw the FM that I should have jumped on. So far looking to hunt up a Cary AES, Dodd anything, Dared 2000a, in that order of preference. Any other suggestions ? Tube only gents, SS need not apply. There is a Dared on the 'gon now for under 4 bones, but that Cary is calling my name in my sleep.....if I can find one.

    Also, since I run a 2 channel/ht combo system, is the best way to incorporate the pre by using a Y cable from the amp so I can bypass the receiver in 2 channel ? Or just go analog outs of the pre to the in's on the receiver ? Kinda want to take the receiver completely out of the equation so I'm thinking the Y cable is the only option there. Any suggestions for a decent Y cable too ? The mass marketed stuff does nothing for me.....something of quality is what I seek. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
    legacy Focus 20/20
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    Pioneer 59AVI
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    Pioneer elite vsx21
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  2. #2

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    Hey Tony,
    I think you are on the right path of getting a tubed pre instead of the tube buffer. If you can up your budget I recommend the Modwright SWL9.0SE Pre. It is tubed and has the HT bypass feature so you can incorporate it into your HT. The Butler's tubes are nice, but a tubed pre will add more of that tube flavor.
    Venom
    Let me tell you something about life, around every corner monsters await. I know, I am one.

    If I owned hell and this place, I would rent this place out and live in hell.

    Mains: Anthony Gallo Reference 3.1
    Preamp: Modwright SWL9.0SE
    Amps: Butler TBD2250, PS Audio Trio
    PrePro: Cary Cinema 6, Outlaw 990
    DAC: Benchmark DAC1
    Universal Player: Denon 2900
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    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Also, since I run a 2 channel/ht combo system, is the best way to incorporate the pre by using a Y cable from the amp so I can bypass the receiver in 2 channel ? Or just go analog outs of the pre to the in's on the receiver ? Kinda want to take the receiver completely out of the equation so I'm thinking the Y cable is the only option there. Any suggestions for a decent Y cable too ? The mass marketed stuff does nothing for me.....something of quality is what I seek. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
    Do NOT put a Y from your Amp with the new pre on one side and the receiver on the other. This can present a weird load to both units.

    You can put a Y from the sources to both units, but that's getting more crap in the signal path. My recommendation would be to get a unit with a HT bypass: Receiver pre-outs feed HT input on new pre; All two channel goes directly to other inputs on new pre.

    You can also just find the unity gain on the new pre: feed the pre-outs from the receiver into any input on the new pre. Turn up the volume on the new pre until the loudness is the same as when the pre wasn't in the path; mark this spot on the volume knob. It doesn't have to be super precise, because once you do that, you just run your receiver's auto-correct and it'll tweak the volume for you. As long as you put the gain on the new pre to the same spot, it'll work fine and even add a little tube-iness to your HT.

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    I would recommend building your own. Start with a working design to understand the theory and work backwards to tweak the sound. I started from scratch, drew up a design in CAD, and learned that a lot of tweaking was necessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post
    I would recommend building your own. Start with a working design to understand the theory and work backwards to tweak the sound. I started from scratch, drew up a design in CAD, and learned that a lot of tweaking was necessary.
    Yeah...well, thats not me bro. Thanks for the other suggestions though and advice on hookup.

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    Out spending more money now are we!!! Here's a little something to wet your whistle. You didn't mention a certain budget & Santa is coming shortly, so maybe you can sneak this on your list. http://www.joule-electra.com/ A few years back I had a CJ PV14 tube pre that was very nice. Good luck on your quest.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
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    TEAC UD - 501 DAC
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    Def Tech ProMonitor 1000 / front & rear presence
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    ssshhhhh.....don't rat me out Phil. You know how it is. Budget has to be under a nickel and if a CJ pre showed up for that the dude would have to be smoking something. Also considered replacing the Butler with an integrated, like a MF tri-vista, but I can't seem to convince myself to let the Butler go, I like it that much. I was looking at some of Jolida's pre's but they seem iffy on the review side.

    Since you did have the CJ in house, and a darn nice one too, would you say the CJ and the Yagin buffer gave you comprable tube sound ? I would hope the CJ kicked the snot out of the buffer, but in the audio world price doesn't always reflect SQ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    ssshhhhh.....don't rat me out Phil. You know how it is. Budget has to be under a nickel and if a CJ pre showed up for that the dude would have to be smoking something. Also considered replacing the Butler with an integrated, like a MF tri-vista, but I can't seem to convince myself to let the Butler go, I like it that much. I was looking at some of Jolida's pre's but they seem iffy on the review side.

    Since you did have the CJ in house, and a darn nice one too, would you say the CJ and the Yagin buffer gave you comprable tube sound ? I would hope the CJ kicked the snot out of the buffer, but in the audio world price doesn't always reflect SQ.
    Don't worry Tony, mums the word here!! Keeping things under a nickel is going to be tough but can be done. You just have to wait for a deal to come your way. Maybe hold out a little longer & save up a little more cash & up the anty on a nice piece.

    As far as the Butler goes...there's no way I would let that go for a MF int. That 's a very solid cornerstone of your system. If it ain't broke don't fix it. I'd stay away from Jolida also. I had one of their int a while back & it was a big mistake on my part. No more Jolida gear coming into my house.

    As far as the CJ goes...it was a great piece & I really enjoyed it. But you know how things go, gear in gear out. Luckily for me my audio memory isn't that good so my recollection is grainy. All I can saw for sure now is that I really am pleased with the Yagin Tube Buffer & to be honest I can't do a direct comparison with the CJ sound. They both did their thing & I was happy with the results. Now to be fair I do have a rather expensive tube in the buffer (EAT ECC-88) that stood head & shoulders above my other tubes including an Amperex Bugle Boy. So for now I'm quite pleased in what's going on here & I don't see any changes coming anytime soon.

    And since I let the LSi15's go & went with the KEF 900's the bar has been raised. I also added Morrow Audio MA2 IC's & SP2 bi-wired speaker cables...very, very nice improvement.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
    Panny 65" 3D Plasma
    Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3010 AVR
    D>SONIC M2-600M mono's / mains
    Rotel RMB-1095 / 5 channel amp
    Rotel RMB-1075 / 5 channel amp
    TEAC UD - 501 DAC
    Oppo BDP-93
    SONOS System
    KEF Q900 / mains
    KEF Q600 / center
    KEF Q800 / surrounds
    KEF Q100 / rear surr.
    Def Tech ProMonitor 1000 / front & rear presence
    Velodyne SPL-1200R subs / dual pair
    DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 sub EQ
    Equitech Balanced Power Son of Q 1.5R
    Extensive room treatments

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    Yeah, I remember you saying you were going to give those cables a whirl. You should do a review, maybe a comparison in another thread. Unless you already did and I missed it somewhere.

    I'll keep an eye out, but in the mean time, I may just go back to the buffer considering budget constraints. Always re sell it right ?

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    U might look at the dared sl2000a its under 500. And is fantastic . Read some of the threads on it here.
    Main Rig:
    Krell KAV 250a
    McIntosh MC 2120 bi-amped
    Into JBL L123 drivers
    Rane external crossover.
    MIT exp 1 ic's
    Perreaux SA33 class A preamp
    AQ kingcobra ic's
    ADCOM GDA 700 DAC ( MODDED)
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    Marantz 6100 tt w/pickering XV-15/625E cart.
    Monster HTS 3600 power conditioner
    POLK RTA-12C'S W/ RDO194 TWEETS, clarity ESA caps mills risistors (full mod)
    MIT exps2 speaker cable

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    Quote Originally Posted by pearsall001 View Post
    Out spending more money now are we!!! Here's a little something to wet your whistle. You didn't mention a certain budget & Santa is coming shortly, so maybe you can sneak this on your list. http://www.joule-electra.com/ A few years back I had a CJ PV14 tube pre that was very nice. Good luck on your quest.
    Joule is some pretty esoteric stuff and populated with tubes that are not very common where the criteria was "On the hunt . . . for a tubed pre. Cheap" even as a tongue-in-cheek suggestion.
    Last edited by inspiredsports; 12-02-2011 at 06:50 PM.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by soundfreak1 View Post
    U might look at the dared sl2000a its under 500. And is fantastic . Read some of the threads on it here.
    As far as bang for your buck, yeah I was looking at that one, seems though that some are having issues with them and that kinda made me stall my decision. I may just wait for one to pop up localy used from a polkie.

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    First and only issue I've heard of is with one and a dead ch. Right after purchase from a third party. Never heard any others. Mine has been flawless.
    Main Rig:
    Krell KAV 250a
    McIntosh MC 2120 bi-amped
    Into JBL L123 drivers
    Rane external crossover.
    MIT exp 1 ic's
    Perreaux SA33 class A preamp
    AQ kingcobra ic's
    ADCOM GDA 700 DAC ( MODDED)
    YAMMY CDC-665
    Marantz 6100 tt w/pickering XV-15/625E cart.
    Monster HTS 3600 power conditioner
    POLK RTA-12C'S W/ RDO194 TWEETS, clarity ESA caps mills risistors (full mod)
    MIT exps2 speaker cable

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    http://www.bottlehead.com/store.php?...on=show_detail

    This adorable little preamp kit solves the biggest problem preamps have - it is battery powered (no worries about p/s hum or noise from the mains or from the p/s)! It is also about as simple as it could possibly be.

    The only real drawback is limited switching (two inputs, IIRC) - this can be solved with an external switchbox.

    As with all Bottlehead designs, it's eminently tweakable... and it's a hundred smackers!
    all the best,
    mrh

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    How cool is that?!!

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
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    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
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    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

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    It is pretty cool for the DIY crowd, unfortunately thats not my bag, but a great suggestion for others looking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647 View Post
    The only real drawback is limited switching (two inputs, IIRC) - this can be solved with an external switchbox.
    Or your own 3 or 4 way switch and a drill bit.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  19. #19

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    true enuff.

    BTW, I'd be happy to build one of these, or a Foreplay (version III now, I think) or (e.g.) a Transcendent Sound's Grounded Grid preamp for anyone who wants to buy a kit and pass it along to me :-) Yes, I'd give it back when it was finished...
    all the best,
    mrh

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