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  1. #1

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    Default Creek OBH-22...ever use it?

    OLD thread ALERT---go down to post #26....

    Looking for some insight on the Creek OBH-22 passive preamp. I really like the SQ of running in passive mode, anyone heard this one?

    Chime in with other passive pre's you've heard, but I need 3 inputs minimum.
    Last edited by steveinaz; 07-15-2008 at 05:34 PM.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
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  2. #2

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    McCormack TLC-1. I own one and it is pretty awesome. It does lack dynamics compared to my MF AC3r. but it sounds damn good!

    I want to try the Placette Passive Remote Volume control some time also. It is supposed to be an amazing piece and not lack any dynamics. They make a 3 input version of it, but it jacks the price up. the RVC can be had for aound 650 used, the 3 input line stage is around $1000 used.

    http://placetteaudio.com/
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15

  3. #3

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    I have noticed that active pre's give a little extra punch to the sound; but I really like the super-clean, open sound I got running my CD directly into my amp.

    Lately I've been running my Benchmark DAC1 as the preamp, very nice--the only problem is it only accepts digital inputs. And now that I'm a lazy slob, I really like having remote capability. This is why I'm really liking the Creek---best of both worlds, passive w/remote. And for those late night low-level jazz sessions, you can leave the Creek powered down and still run Input 1 manually. Very Cool.
    Last edited by steveinaz; 05-09-2005 at 02:52 PM.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  4. #4

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    The McCormack is amazingly clean, it's like lifting a veil off the music when I'm running it and not the MF. MF has better bass and dynamics though, it's a toss up. The highs on the McCormack seem more extended than on the MF, the midrange can sound a little thin, but I'm betting that's due to the recording.

    The McCormack does not have a remote, there is a remote version but it is rare. I've only ever seen one on audiogon.

    The Placette gear is supposed to be the best of both worlds (dynamics, transparency and clarity) and you get perfect volume tracking with 120+ volume steps. As soon as my source upgrade is done I'll be trying out the Placette.
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15

  5. #5
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    First heard the Adcom SLC-505 Passive Preamp at TX PF II. Russ had one at the time that I think had made the rounds in the Club.

    Very well-mannered passive...
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
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  6. #6

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    The Adcom from TPGII was great, never a problem.

    Steve - That little extra "punch" is called gain :)

  7. #7

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    Jhdiggs has it now.

    George Grand
    TroyD
    RuSsMaN
    Jhdiggs

    Quite a lineage, if do say so myself.

    Great passive line amp, even with a circuit board and quite a few resistors. I'm working on a dual-mono passive pre right now. Picked up the pots just a couple weeks ago, may or may not be transformer based.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  8. #8

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    Originally posted by dorokusai
    Steve - That little extra "punch" is called gain :)
    Yep, understand--just not sure if I like it. The smoothness running passively is very addictive, especially at high levels. Classical and Jazz are incredibly life-like. Everything gets louder but with outstanding linearity across the audio spectrum.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
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    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  9. #9

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    It depends alot on the gain levels of the source and amp, but a passive pre-amp can certainly work some magic....simply by not really doing anything in the first place. Rock on SteveO.

  10. #10

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    Originally posted by RuSsMaN
    Jhdiggs has it now.

    George Grand
    TroyD
    RuSsMaN
    Jhdiggs

    Quite a lineage, if do say so myself.

    Great passive line amp, even with a circuit board and quite a few resistors. I'm working on a dual-mono passive pre right now. Picked up the pots just a couple weeks ago, may or may not be transformer based.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    I almost got that pre from George about 5 years ago when I found my SDA's at a steal. :)

    Wes
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  11. #11
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    Scott Nixons passive pre amp. It is about as simple as you can possibly get. Input stage. volume pot. output stage.

  12. #12

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    I think I' gonna hang with my MF A3CR. But a passive will be somewhere in my future.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  13. #13

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    The Creek OBH-22 actually caught my eye, too. With all the drooling I've been doing over the ASL Wave AV-25 monoblocks, I've also been looking a bit at pre-amps.

    Being new to (well, not even that; don't have any yet) separates, I'm definitely new to passive preamps. How much does it affect the sound? Y'all say that it sounds 'linear'; could another's ear also hear that as 'dead'?

    Do you think the Creek would integrate well with tubes? Or would y'all recommend another (and hopefully cheaper) pre to go along with tubes?

    steveinaz, have you picked up a passive pre yet?
    Last edited by audiobliss; 07-12-2005 at 09:57 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    Simple question. If you had a cool million bucks, what would you do with it?
    Wonder WTF happened to the rest of my money.
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    [In Storage]
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  14. #14

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    Another question. If it is passive, meaning it doesn't contribute gain to the signal, then how can it tell the amp to turn up the volume? I guess I'm still a little confused as to how all this works. The voltage of the signal tells the amp the volume? And so, gain and voltage are two different things?

    This way a passive pre, such as Creek's OBH-22, would increase the voltage, but not introduce any gain?
    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    Simple question. If you had a cool million bucks, what would you do with it?
    Wonder WTF happened to the rest of my money.
    My Saga
    Equipment Pictures

    [2CH]
    Rotel RCD-02
    Yamaha KX-W900U
    Sony ST-S500ES
    Denon DP-7F
    Parasound P/HP-850
    Parasound HCA-1000A
    Klipsch RF-35


    [In Storage]
    Yamaha CDR-HD1300
    ASL Wave 20 monoblocks
    Pro-Ject Phono Box MKII


    [Car System]
    Pioneer Premier DEH-P860MP
    Memphis 16-MCA3004
    Boston Acoustic RC520

  15. #15

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    It's a simple volume pot, on the front end. it 'dials in' the amount of output voltage from the sources, thus increasing volume at the amp.

    Sometimes, you need an extra gain stage to drive the amplifier to the levels you want, but if you don't, a passive pre can be just the ticket.

    Most amps, when powered on, are running damn near full out. All a preamp does to begin with, is manage that output. More often that not, you are not 'turning up' the amp as you rotate your preamp's volume pot clockwise, you are actually determining how much of the max power already active (of the amp) that you care to use.

    I'm drinking, so I hope that helps more than hurts.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  16. #16

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    Makes perfect sense, Russ; thanks for the clarification! So, if I turned on my amps (assuming I ever actually get some) without any pre-amp hooked-up to them, my amps would be (doing nothing) at full blast? That doesn't sound like it'd be too good. Especially with tubes.

    You say that sometimes you need an extra gain stage to 'drive the amplifier.' What would you look at to determine what the requirements of your amp are/what your preamp is capable of 'driving'? Do tube amps typically require more of a preamp than a passive preamp is capable of delivering?

    Thanks!


    Oh, and some links on tube amps or preamps would be greatly appreciated; that might thin out the number of questions I have!
    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    Simple question. If you had a cool million bucks, what would you do with it?
    Wonder WTF happened to the rest of my money.
    My Saga
    Equipment Pictures

    [2CH]
    Rotel RCD-02
    Yamaha KX-W900U
    Sony ST-S500ES
    Denon DP-7F
    Parasound P/HP-850
    Parasound HCA-1000A
    Klipsch RF-35


    [In Storage]
    Yamaha CDR-HD1300
    ASL Wave 20 monoblocks
    Pro-Ject Phono Box MKII


    [Car System]
    Pioneer Premier DEH-P860MP
    Memphis 16-MCA3004
    Boston Acoustic RC520

  17. #17

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    I own an ft audio lw1s2 passive. It has this "X-coupler to let pass full range audio signal while maintaining very low noise level. The result is obvious, a controllable voltage level with non-distorted signal". I have it paired with a nad amp and it sounds really clean with no loss of dynamics or bass.

  18. #18

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    "Passive Control Unit is never equivalent to just a volume pot. Study with care when you connect a volume pot to the CD output, voltage signal is passing through a series of high value carbon film resistive elements. Ohmís Law only defines the voltage level across the power amp. It does not tell you how good is the signal. The high resistive elements in the signal path cause a low pass filtering effect and the signal anticipates early high frequency roll-off. From experience, harshness on high pitch means deficiency in high frequency region.

    The Little Wonder incorporates an X-coupler to let pass full range audio signal while maintaining very low noise level. The result is obvious, a controllable voltage level with non-distorted signal".

  19. #19

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    I just thought of another question: Can you connect a sub to a passive pre?
    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    Simple question. If you had a cool million bucks, what would you do with it?
    Wonder WTF happened to the rest of my money.
    My Saga
    Equipment Pictures

    [2CH]
    Rotel RCD-02
    Yamaha KX-W900U
    Sony ST-S500ES
    Denon DP-7F
    Parasound P/HP-850
    Parasound HCA-1000A
    Klipsch RF-35


    [In Storage]
    Yamaha CDR-HD1300
    ASL Wave 20 monoblocks
    Pro-Ject Phono Box MKII


    [Car System]
    Pioneer Premier DEH-P860MP
    Memphis 16-MCA3004
    Boston Acoustic RC520

  20. #20

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    Little late on the response, but no, I'm still running my MF A3CR. I'm still looking at the Creek though....

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  21. #21

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    Late is definitely better than never.
    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    Simple question. If you had a cool million bucks, what would you do with it?
    Wonder WTF happened to the rest of my money.
    My Saga
    Equipment Pictures

    [2CH]
    Rotel RCD-02
    Yamaha KX-W900U
    Sony ST-S500ES
    Denon DP-7F
    Parasound P/HP-850
    Parasound HCA-1000A
    Klipsch RF-35


    [In Storage]
    Yamaha CDR-HD1300
    ASL Wave 20 monoblocks
    Pro-Ject Phono Box MKII


    [Car System]
    Pioneer Premier DEH-P860MP
    Memphis 16-MCA3004
    Boston Acoustic RC520

  22. #22

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    Steve - Are you still using your MF A3CR? Or did I miss a thread in which you stated you've moved on to something else?

    Have you given up on a passive pre and the Creek OBH-22? 'Cause it's still appealing to me.

    Is a passive pre a good combination with tubes, or should I want an active pre?

    I'd really appreciate any input, as it looks like I'm getting to build my system faster than I'd imagined.

    Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    Simple question. If you had a cool million bucks, what would you do with it?
    Wonder WTF happened to the rest of my money.
    My Saga
    Equipment Pictures

    [2CH]
    Rotel RCD-02
    Yamaha KX-W900U
    Sony ST-S500ES
    Denon DP-7F
    Parasound P/HP-850
    Parasound HCA-1000A
    Klipsch RF-35


    [In Storage]
    Yamaha CDR-HD1300
    ASL Wave 20 monoblocks
    Pro-Ject Phono Box MKII


    [Car System]
    Pioneer Premier DEH-P860MP
    Memphis 16-MCA3004
    Boston Acoustic RC520

  23. #23

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    Still have my A3CR. I think the Creek is probably a very good product, I just don't want ot mess with success right now...

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz
    I have noticed that active pre's give a little extra punch to the sound; but I really like the super-clean, open sound I got running my CD directly into my amp.
    I bet you are only hearing a gain issue or possibly synergy (or lack of it) because after evaluating the preamp you have I notice nothing being removed from the original signal. This seems a little strange to me that there is much difference unless there is a mismatch or something.
    madmax
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  25. #25

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    That's an older thread, after doing more listening I've found that I prefer the A3CR in the chain. Running direct was a little to "anemic" for me.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  26. #26

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    Almost 3 years later, and time to dig this up again. The Creek passive (OBH-22) is nagging at me once again. I'm lazier than I thought, and have been missing my remote volume.

    Audiobliss, (also interested way back when) stay tuned....

    For the uninformed, see below...(no, I didn't buy one yet)
    Last edited by steveinaz; 07-15-2008 at 05:43 PM.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  27. #27

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    FYI--I've decided that if I go this route (passive, remote), it will be a Placette linestage. Why mess around right?

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  28. #28

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    Nice, I've read great things about the placette stuff. I've always wanted to give one a try.
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15

  29. #29

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    I'm minutes away from hitting the "buy" button....
    Last edited by steveinaz; 07-17-2008 at 11:27 AM.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    I'm minutes away from hitting the "buy" button....
    Isn't that just the remote volume control? that only has one input. The line stage has three, I believe.
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15

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