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  1. #1

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    Question Does (Tube preamp & SS amp) = (SS preamp & TubeAmp)?

    Do i need a Tube pre-amp if I have a Tube amp?
    I have a CaryAudio Tube amp from my colleague that I might keep it. So if I drive my LSi-15 with Cary & use Denon as a preamp would that give me the same results as using a Tube preamp like Dodd ELP or MLP & Outlaw 770 amp.
    What would be the best in my situation?
    Go Tube all the way thru Tube preamp & Tube amp?

    I don't have a dedicated 2-channel system. I run 2-channel off my HT setup.
    So when I run HT then I have to run LSi15 off the Tube amp. Would that cause any issues as the rest of the other speakers will be run via outlaw 770 amp.
    Attached Images  

    Speakers- Salk SongTowers, C-SongCenter,Surr-SongSurronds1, Lsi7
    PreAmp,Amp - Integra DTC-9.8, Outlaw 770 (SC A2 IC)
    DVD - Oppo BDP-93,HD-A35
    Sub - SVS Pb2+(12.3 drivers)
    Screen- JVC HD-250 projector w/122" DIYscreen
    TV- Sony 32" XBR6
    2channel
    Logitech SqueezBox Duet w/ FLAC
    Tube Gear - Cary Audio Tube Amp (280SAV-12r)
    Compter-Music
    Speakers - Onix 0.5 ref, Sub Infinity PS10 (250 watt)
    Receiver - Denon AVR-3803


  2. #2

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    wierd set up. I'm thinking having the mains powerred by tube and the rest by the ss amp might cause timbre mathing problems. might be a pain in the arse to calibrate. try it, worse that could happen is you cant get it to sound right.
    I personally think the pre has more affect on overall sound than the amp, so your probably not getting the same effect with a ss pre and tube amp as vice versa. could be wrong. I think a long term goal should be 2 seperate rigs. might as well go all tubes for the 2 channel since you allready have what looks to be a fine tube amp. I know of no benefits of going with a ss pre for a tube amp in 2 channel. the benefit of going ss amp with a tube pre is the ss amp hasmore power for less $, but you still get the tube sound with the tube pre (as I said, it has more affect on the overall sound than the amp). this seems to be why tube pre and ss amp is the best way to go if you seek the best of both worlds.
    Theater - Polk LSi15, LSiC, LSi9 speaks, DIY Sub (142.5L box, SVS plus driver, 500 Watt plate amp)...Outlaw 990 pre/pro, Carver TFM45, 2 X Outlaw M200 . Rotel RB980 . PS3, Monster 3600 power center

    2 Channel -
    Anthem Pre 2l, Jolida JD100 CD player, CAL Sigma DAC, Carver m4.0, Polk LSi9 w external modified Crossovers (thanks Trey!)

  3. #3

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    If I have to setup a 2-channel audio what Tube preamp will be a better mate for the CaryAudio. What tube preamp will justify the full potential of the Caryamp. its a 100watts tube amp that's unbelievable :D

    I have a pair of LSi7's to begin with but there is big WAF if I can do it due to limited space.
    Since this is my first tube gear I have no idea where to head to. Your expert opinions would really help me stir in the right direction.
    To tell you the truth the CaryAmp has been sitting in a box for past 4 weeks and I did not have a chance to play with it. All I did was turned it on once and there was a blown fuse that I have to replace it.

    Speakers- Salk SongTowers, C-SongCenter,Surr-SongSurronds1, Lsi7
    PreAmp,Amp - Integra DTC-9.8, Outlaw 770 (SC A2 IC)
    DVD - Oppo BDP-93,HD-A35
    Sub - SVS Pb2+(12.3 drivers)
    Screen- JVC HD-250 projector w/122" DIYscreen
    TV- Sony 32" XBR6
    2channel
    Logitech SqueezBox Duet w/ FLAC
    Tube Gear - Cary Audio Tube Amp (280SAV-12r)
    Compter-Music
    Speakers - Onix 0.5 ref, Sub Infinity PS10 (250 watt)
    Receiver - Denon AVR-3803


  4. #4

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    In my opinion, you don't need a tube preamp if you have a high quality tube amp like the Cary amp you have and a high quality solid state preamp (the Denon isn't, sorry). There are reasons tube preamps are preferred by many over tube amps if only one type is going to be used. These reasons mainly have to do with the drawbacks of tube amps compared to solid state amps. Tube amps run very hot, draw a lot of power (comparatively), are very expensive if high power output/low impedance drive levels are desired, require retubing more often than tube preamps, and less expensive models of certain designs may have bandwidth limitations. In terms of musicality in the midrange though, nothing beats a SET tube amp. I'd suggest getting a simple tube preamp with a home theater pass through in your system.
    1. JM Labs Electra 920.1 and CC30; MB Quart Vera Sub; Pioneer SC-57; Squeezebox Touch; Panasonic BDT-500 Blu-Ray; Samsung 52" LCD; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S3 cables
    2. Polk SDA-SRS 2.3TL; Sonic Frontiers Line 3 SE; Classe Model 25; Marantz SA8004; Acoustech PH1P; Squeezebox Touch; Music Hall MMF7; PS Audio P1000; MIT S2 cables
    3. Polk SDA 2A; Parasound Halo JC-2 and A21; Musical Fidelity X-DAC; Squeezebox Touch; PS Audio 4.7; MIT S1 cables

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emlyn
    In terms of musicality in the midrange though, nothing beats a SET tube amp. I'd suggest getting a simple tube preamp with a home theater pass through in your system.
    Excuse my ignorance but what's a SET tube amp?
    Do you have any suggestions of a good tube preamp?
    I only know Dodd ELP and Dared SL-2000A(that i learned today from Steve's thread)
    Are there any othe good contenders that I should add to my list?

    Also would it be a bad idea to run fronts of tube amp in a HT setup?

    Speakers- Salk SongTowers, C-SongCenter,Surr-SongSurronds1, Lsi7
    PreAmp,Amp - Integra DTC-9.8, Outlaw 770 (SC A2 IC)
    DVD - Oppo BDP-93,HD-A35
    Sub - SVS Pb2+(12.3 drivers)
    Screen- JVC HD-250 projector w/122" DIYscreen
    TV- Sony 32" XBR6
    2channel
    Logitech SqueezBox Duet w/ FLAC
    Tube Gear - Cary Audio Tube Amp (280SAV-12r)
    Compter-Music
    Speakers - Onix 0.5 ref, Sub Infinity PS10 (250 watt)
    Receiver - Denon AVR-3803


  6. #6

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    I would most definitely put a quality tubed preamp in front of that V-12 Cary. If it's within your budget, RuSsMaN has a Dodd Reference pre in the FM for $2000, which is less than half price. They list for $5200 and is world class by any standard. But there are many, many high quality tubed pres for less than $1k. If you don't mind preowned, then Audiogon has several pages of tubed pres for sale in the classifieds.
    "SOME PEOPLE CALL ME MAURICE,
    CAUSE I SPEAK OF THE POMPITIOUS OF LOVE"

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ND13
    But there are many, many high quality tubed pres for less than $1k. If you don't mind preowned, then Audiogon has several pages of tubed pres for sale in the classifieds.
    Yes I saw the Russman RLP but its way out of my league. No doubt its an awesome deal.
    Anybody has any suggestion for used quality preamp < than $1k.

    Speakers- Salk SongTowers, C-SongCenter,Surr-SongSurronds1, Lsi7
    PreAmp,Amp - Integra DTC-9.8, Outlaw 770 (SC A2 IC)
    DVD - Oppo BDP-93,HD-A35
    Sub - SVS Pb2+(12.3 drivers)
    Screen- JVC HD-250 projector w/122" DIYscreen
    TV- Sony 32" XBR6
    2channel
    Logitech SqueezBox Duet w/ FLAC
    Tube Gear - Cary Audio Tube Amp (280SAV-12r)
    Compter-Music
    Speakers - Onix 0.5 ref, Sub Infinity PS10 (250 watt)
    Receiver - Denon AVR-3803


  8. #8

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    If you don't "HAVE" to have a remote, I would just get the ELP and pay the extra $50 or so to have a HT bypass put in it. The Dared seems to get good reviews and you could most likely have it by Monday if you ordered it today.

    Start right here to begin with http://buy.audiogon.com/cgia/fsb.pl?preatube&1&ctg&st1
    260 pre-owned tubed pres for sale :)
    "SOME PEOPLE CALL ME MAURICE,
    CAUSE I SPEAK OF THE POMPITIOUS OF LOVE"

  9. #9

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    Man, that Cary is a very beautiful looking piece!
    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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  10. #10

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    I've played around with this idea with various ss/tube pre amps and amplifiers. IMO, the tube pre is very important.

    Here's what I hear. The tube pre gives you the nice delicate details, transparency, warmer mids and some air. The tube amp makes everything sound more 'alive'. It adds the air and gives you that very nice bloom.

    When you drive a tube amp with a SS pre amp, the amp is going to amplify the signal coming from the pre. You will get some tube sound but it will still have SS characteristics. The sound signature of your pre will be amplified by the amp.

    SET is Single Ended Triode. You don't have to worry about SET amps because you already have an amp. SET amps have very low power output. On average they're about 2.5 to 8 watts/ch.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
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    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  11. #11

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    I wouldn't waste tube life from those high $$$ output tubes on Oprah and Dr. Phil.

    That Cary deserves a dedicated 2 ch. rig. IMO.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Gardner
    I wouldn't waste tube life from those high $$$ output tubes on Oprah and Dr. Phil.
    LMAO:D. It's OK to use them for breaking in new tubes though:).
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  13. #13

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    On deeper reflection, anyone that uses a Denon HT receiver to preamp that Cary needs Dr. Phil. :D

    Nice piece, in the right setup.

  14. #14

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    How about Sally. That woman is stone cold! Jenny Jones spoke to me when I was using a NAD SS pre.
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Gardner
    On deeper reflection, anyone that uses a Denon HT receiver to preamp that Cary needs Dr. Phil. :D

    Nice piece, in the right setup.
    Yep!!! :D
    "SOME PEOPLE CALL ME MAURICE,
    CAUSE I SPEAK OF THE POMPITIOUS OF LOVE"

  16. #16

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    At that level of tube amp! Using a ss pre would like driving a ferrai with a porsche eng. (Why???, where is the advantage???) A tube pre with a ss amp absolutly!! The tube pre would improve the sound of most ss amps but never heard of a ss pre improve a tube amp? Could just be me! Unless its the only pre u have. Then I'd recomend go out and buy a tube pre.

  17. #17

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    The dr.phill comment----didnt have the balls to say it myself, but...... I was trying to be more diplomatic! Funny as shiiit thou. Sorry! But true!

  18. #18

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    On the serious side a pre's effect on an amp is huge! I've listened to about 8 or so diff. Pre's on my currant amp and they were all good, but all completely different! No matter how good your amp is its the pre that supplys all the information ( if u will) for the" amplifier" to "amplify" than u have your speakers.....well that's another story!

  19. #19

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    You do realize this thread is 6 years old, right?
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  20. #20

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    Fire sale...
    I smell ass, burning ass, glowing cherry red spanked ass.

    RT1

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by soundfreak1 View Post
    The tube pre would improve the sound of most ss amps but never heard of a ss pre improve a tube amp? Could just be me! Unless its the only pre u have. Then I'd recomend go out and buy a tube pre.
    Why respond to a 6 year old thread? For 2 channel only my brother has BAT VK-60 tube mono blocks and a BAT VK-40 SS pre-amp and it sounds absolutely wonderful. It is done all the time, although just a little bit unconventional. Does that mean it works with all gear, no but then neither does it always work the best the other way around.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by soundfreak1 View Post
    On the serious side a pre's effect on an amp is huge! I've listened to about 8 or so diff. Pre's on my currant amp and they were all good, but all completely different! No matter how good your amp is its the pre that supplys all the information ( if u will) for the" amplifier" to "amplify" than u have your speakers.....well that's another story!
    True in some cases, not true in others. Both are equally important and it's all about synergy.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  23. #23

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    I'd say C is for Cookie

    and you can get a Chicken Crisp at BK for a buck.

    RT1
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  24. #24

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    I kinda have the same ambition to own a tube pre. Whether or not this is an old thread I to was wondering of mis matching amp ss w/ a tube pre. Right now I'm all ss w/ an ADCOM GFA555 and Onkyo P-301 pre, w/ the intention of going w/ a Mac C-28. I like my amp and all that it delivers for $300 and only would change it if I came into serious cash.Learning to hear that it's not only possible but encouraged to a point has made my day.

  25. #25

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    OK....when using SS/Tube gear in a mix it is quite possible to have an impedance mismatch resulting in a hiss sound from the rig. You will definetly hear it at the speaker...how loud is system dependant.

    RT1
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    BillyBags Rack
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    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by reeltrouble1 View Post
    OK....when using SS/Tube gear in a mix it is quite possible to have an impedance mismatch resulting in a hiss sound from the rig. You will definetly hear it at the speaker...how loud is system dependant.

    RT1
    Hello RT1,

    So, if I use the Tube Amp with Tube Preamp and Tube Sources, the hiss will be gone?

    I rolled some Toobs Pre into my rig again and the hiss is still here. Is it possible my amps are Soiled?

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    You do realize this thread is 6 years old, right?
    I think if he has been waiting for a response for 6 years then its about time he got one!
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

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    Quote Originally Posted by megasat16 View Post
    Hello RT1,

    I rolled some Toobs Pre into my rig again and the hiss is still here. Is it possible my amps are Soiled?
    naw just sandy.....hope you have been well.

    I recall Shack Daddy has some excellent experience with this. The Hardcore Russman along with a few others led the tube journey for this rather enlightened audio board, actually, Audio Club, long past. We all learned together and the core members formed, but that is a history lesson.

    Shack can speak well for himself, however, the long and the short is when properly matched his persistant hiss from one of our favorite tube pre's vanished. The hiss should be something most can live with and goes under the music once a bit of gain is applied. Its not madatory to use tube/tube as its more about proper circuit matching, input/output impedance, design and so on.

    I am certainly familiar with gear from the same company working well together without being tube/tube. I had some and have heard many great rigs that mixed tube and sand, its fun to talk about but more fun to play with....that Esoteric player I used for a while was awesome in a tube rig...I passe it along cstmar so no a tube player just like any component in the rig is not required to get good sound.

    have fun.

    RT1
    REEL TIME THEATRE
    Onkyo-TX-NR5007
    B&K 7270 amplifier
    Polk SWA-500 Subwoofer amplifier
    OppO BDP-83
    Pioneer Elite 50"
    Polk LCi-RTS-105;LCi-RTS-C;LCi-RTSFx;LCi80Fx
    Subs-Twin Polk CSW200
    HTS5000


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    VTL MB-450 Signature monoblock
    Wolcott Presence monoblock
    Musical Fidelity kW SACD
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    Acoustech Phono-Pre
    Sound Lab Millenium ELS
    BillyBags Rack
    MIT S1/3 cables
    Shunyata/PS Audio/Virtual Dynamics Power Cords


    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

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