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Suggest me a Tube Pre Amp


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hello peeps,

 

am looking for a tubey, romantic, lush midrange type of sound 

something like what you'd get from a coaxial speaker thats got that rolled off sound

( i know, just get that type of speakers, but not yet....)

 

nothing wrong with the equipment i have now and can easily go on with it

 

BUT  got an itch and gotta scratch it.....and maybe you can help 😂

 

Can putting a tube amp do it? if yes, what would you suggest i look for?

Budget around $2k and looking to get somethin pre loved 

 

Current setup:

Hulgich Ella Speakers

Krell KSA 50 MK2 Power Amp

Krell PAM 5 Pre Amp

Marantz SA8005 CD Player

 

Cheers,

Justin 

 

I realise some of what I've got listed are above my budget. But who knows right?  In my mind so far:

 

AR SP10 

AR SP8 

Supratek range (unsure on exact model yet)

Prima Luna (non Evo model)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by jgunner
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A direct heated triode variant of a Supratek preamp, such as the chardonnay will fit the bill. New they're $2K USD, so if you can find one second hand it should come into your price range, or if you're up to pushing the budget you can get one new (and custom made.)

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The Ming Da MC2A3  or MC300 would do nicely.The bass is slightly on the bloomy side but if your room or speakers are reasonably tight should be fine.They have a very open and lush midrange and big 3D soundstage.Especially if you use meshplate tubes.

You would be lucky to get a used DHT Supratek for $2000.$3000 maybe.

Edited by THOMO
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1 hour ago, jgunner said:

@Ittaku

Hi Con,

Thank you, do you know where I can listen to one in Melbourne?

Not offhand, no sorry.

 

32 minutes ago, THOMO said:

 

You would be lucky to get a used DHT Supratek for $2000.$3000 maybe.

You're probably thinking of a DHT cabernet. He could make a chardonnay in DHT.

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i have been keeping a lookout of the primaluna ones, they seem to come up in the for sale thread more often than the rest. supratek really interest me. never heard nor even seen on in the flesh thus far but they sure look the goods. keep em coming folks

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Not sure about the older primalunas but the newer ones - I have an Evo 300 with stock tubes - don’t have that old school tube lush romantic sound. 

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Maybe have a listen if you get the chance. Different valves might change its signature. 
heynowhifi in st kilda stock PL - might be worth checking them out after lockdown. 

Edited by buddyev
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There are a couple of tube preamps for sale in the SNA classifieds and on fleabay that are around the $2-3K mark used (ARC SP9, Melody L280, Elektra Pnyx, AI Modulus 3A etc.). I would recommend exploring these options.

 

Look for a tube amp that offers the use of ubiquitous tube types that can be rolled until the cows come home. You can try vintage tubes in these preamps to dial in the desired sound.

 

Happy to recommend specific tubes to use in any of these preamps to suit your listening tastes. 👍

Edited by xlr8or
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13 minutes ago, jgunner said:

@Wimbo my ksa50 is from the 80s. I've never used a tube buffer before so I will need to do some research. Thank you

 

It might pay to message Steve M who is a member here.He used a Krell KSA50 power amp  and a number of different Supratek preamps with it over quite a few years.

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1 hour ago, THOMO said:

It might pay to message Steve M who is a member here.He used a Krell KSA50 power amp  and a number of different Supratek preamps with it over quite a few years.


I ran the original Krell KSA-50 Mk II Class A amplifier with a Supratek preamp for more than 10yrs. It was a great combination the Krell being a detailed and ‘right’ sounding solid state amp, with the Supratek adding refinement and a valvey-ness that many of us like.

 

I think Supratek designer Mick Maloney would build you the entry level Chardonnay preamp within your price range, he does tend to look after Aussie customers. He’s quite busy at the moment though with lots of orders, so there might be a bit of a lead time on delivery?

 

Cheers, Steve.

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9 hours ago, jgunner said:

@xlr8or I've got the AR SP10 in my shortlist at the moment 😁

 

Wow. Thats some Preamp. Highly desirable. Make sure it has been serviced well though.

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11 hours ago, jgunner said:

@xlr8or I've got the AR SP10 in my shortlist at the moment 😁

 

Lovely preamp but I think it may be above your budget as they're fetching decent money these days.

I'd suggest that the SP8 (was a common combo with the KSA50 back in the day) would be more tubey sounding than the SP10 as would the CJ Premier 3.

These would fit the bill if you're looking for something of a similar vintage to the Krell.

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@klackto yup, got the AR SP8 in my list too. Good to know the SP8 was a common pairing with the KSA50 previously; I was too young to know any of this before ☺️

I will update my initial post with what I have in mind so far. Gotta do some research on CJ gear. Only heard it once in another member's setup. Cheers!

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41 minutes ago, jgunner said:

@klackto yup, got the AR SP8 in my list too. Good to know the SP8 was a common pairing with the KSA50 previously; I was too young to know any of this before ☺️

I will update my initial post with what I have in mind so far. Gotta do some research on CJ gear. Only heard it once in another member's setup. Cheers!

Check this out.

AHC was a great reviewer and IMO second to only Harry Pearson. He also loved Krell and used a KBL as his reference.

Good reading here mate.

https://www.stereophile.com/tubepreamps/audio_research_sp-10_preamplifier/index.html

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Wimbo said:

Check this out.

AHC was a great reviewer and IMO second to only Harry Pearson. He also loved Krell and used a KBL as his reference.

Good reading here mate.

https://www.stereophile.com/tubepreamps/audio_research_sp-10_preamplifier/index.html

This was the review I read that led me to the SP10. Ability to present female vocals well is what I'm after

Edited by jgunner
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