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    Pre amp comparisons



    Posts : 1
    Join date : 2011-04-07

    Pre amp comparisons

    Post by JRU123 on Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:23 pm

    Hi...I am totally new to this forum. FYI, I have no equipment in place today. My only Dynakit experience was from ~1972 when I build a SCA-80Q...with an FM-5 tuner. All that is long gone...and no longer in use.

    I am now interested in Tube4hifi amp (ST-120) and a pre-amp, but I cannot tell the differences bewteen the pre-amp models/options. The prices seem very close together for most of the models...unless I am just mis-reading the Tubes4HiFi website.

    I would greatly appreciate your input on what are differences in the PAS3 & clone models, SP8, SP9, and SP12 pre-amps. In other words, since the prices are relatively close to one vs. another how can I make an intelligent choice...especially to match up with the ST-120 amp?

    I can see for sure one difference on my own (base/treble controls on PAS3 & it's clone & SP9)...
    Therefore, I'd like your opinon on haveing vs. not-having the base/treble controls.

    FYI, I would like to play vinyl I am not sure if I need a Phono-preamp with some of the models (esp. the SP8,9,12) or not.......So if I do, I'd appreciate your insight on the various phono-pre-amp choices too.

    FYI, I haven't picked out speakers yet...the only one's I've seen at a local store are the Bowers-Wilkins...either CM8 or even CM5....but I've spent 'zero-time' on selecting speakers at this point.

    Bottomline...I am looking for advice on a 'total' package for the following components: 1) pre-amp, 2) phono-amp?, and 3) amp.

    I hope this isn't too much to ask...I know it's a lot....



    Posts : 299
    Join date : 2010-11-10

    Re: Pre amp comparisons

    Post by mantha3 on Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:26 pm

    I can't speak to pre-amps... I own the ST120 and I got this amp with the 21 100k Stepped Attenuator option. I'd do the amp (fantastic amp!) and get this Attenuator option. Great start. If you have a CD player you can plug it right in and then run with just the amp and attenuator. I would buy the ST120 with the attenuator and get this amp with the capacitor upgrades. Get this up and running and then get to the preamp. This amp has a ton of capacitance in it that makes it shine.

    I don't run a turn table so no phono needed. I also don't fool with Bass, Treb. or balance knobs on a preamp. So a clean little attenuator works perfect. Just a nice amp with a volume knob.

    If you do go with a preamp later you can just turn the attenuator to full and this is bypassing the attenuator resistors... So the attenuator won't hurt down the road.

    Thumbs up on the amp.
    j beede

    Posts : 441
    Join date : 2011-02-07
    Location : California

    Re: Pre amp comparisons

    Post by j beede on Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:59 pm

    Hello JRU123,
    I wonder why you would choose an amplifier before speakers? Usually the process works the other way.

    Last edited by j beede on Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Bob Latino

    Posts : 2644
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: Pre amp comparisons

    Post by Bob Latino on Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:24 pm

    If you need multiple inputs like a CD player, FM tuner, tape player etc., etc. then you need a preamp of some sort - either passive or active. If, however, you only have a single high level input source like a CD player then the stepped attenuator option is relatively inexpensive and works well. Whether you need tone controls or not is a personal choice. I myself don't use them. A tone control circuit adds complexity to the preamp circuitry and many times adds a "sonic signature" to the sound unless the tone control circuit can be switched out. If your preamp of choice does not have tone controls, you can always add an equalizer after the fact.

    On the tubes4hifi web site, Roy Mottram does all the preamp design, preamp kits, wired preamps, phono preamps etc. Roy is on vacation right now until April 18th but I am sure he can spell out the differences for you when he returns.


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