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Passive Pre-amp recommendation?


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Hi all

I got a Yamaha wxc-50 feeding music the digital coax out to a Denafrips Ares 2 DAC connected to some powered vintage Meridian M2 speakers.

 

At the moment I have the Yamaha in "pre-amp" mode so I can adjust the volume. I noticed on the Denafrips that no matter what music I played, it was

always being processed at 16bits/48KHz. Looking up some other threads here it seems the Yamaha is diddling with the digital source to force it to 48KHz. Not happy with that. I realize I can set it to "Player" mode and get the true bitrate source digital stream to pass straight into the DAC.

 

But now I need some type of volume control. Any recommendations on a passive pre-amp that just offers volume with minimal colouration of the music? I see there are some made with resistors but not totally up on these technologies.

I see there is a Schitt sys pre-amp but I read very mixed reviews from transparent to awful.

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The Sys is probably no better or worse than any other passive preamp.Nearly all amplifiers and active speakers are designed to work best with active preamps.The M2s certainly were.

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21 hours ago, JeffH said:

Any recommendations on a passive pre-amp that just offers volume with minimal colouration of the music?

 

None, trouble is your going to ask the source output/passive preamp to drive very long interconnects to the analog amps inside each M2 speaker, that are only 10kohm input impedance.

This is not happy a environment for the source through a passive pre, or even an active tube pre, unless it's a "white cathode follower" output stage, then that's not a "true tube pre" sound so many tube guys say.

You need active solid state pre with a low output impedance, say <100ohms output impedance

 

Cheers George 

Edited by georgehifi
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Passive can be rather exceptional but not at a price point that is commensurate with your other components. Better going active at this point

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1 hour ago, MattyW said:

Passive can be rather exceptional but not at a price point that is commensurate with your other components. Better going active at this point

Thanks all for your suggestions!
I do like the look of the Freya+ but even 2nd hand its a bit expensive for what is mostly an experiment.
So I ended up doing is going to trial an active tube Pre-amp built from one of the StereoNet's members selling hand made Pre-amps.

 

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12 minutes ago, JeffH said:

Thanks all for your suggestions!
I do like the look of the Freya+ but even 2nd hand its a bit expensive for what is mostly an experiment.
So I ended up doing is going to trial an active tube Pre-amp built from one of the StereoNet's members selling hand made Pre-amps.

 


Sounds a better way to go to me. 🙂

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1 hour ago, JeffH said:

Thanks all for your suggestions!
I do like the look of the Freya+ but even 2nd hand its a bit expensive for what is mostly an experiment.
So I ended up doing is going to trial an active tube Pre-amp built from one of the StereoNet's members selling hand made Pre-amps.

 

Jeff.
I have a an integrated passive LDR preamp that I can demo for you as I live on the Sunshine Coast.


If you can get to the Sunshine Coast some time I can demo my passive preamp which I have now integrated with a small Hypex NC122MP power amplifier. The total cost of my integrated build was under $800 because I was able to access the Hypex at wholesale cost.

 

My speakers are  average sensitivity 6 ohm Neat Acoustics SX3i with integrated isobaric sub woofers.

 

I'm sure you will be surprised by the power, transparency and authenticity of the passive preamp/Hypex combined performance, which has made me abandon my belief that high quality musical performance=high cost.

Cheers, Rob

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17 hours ago, robmid said:

Jeff.
I have a an integrated passive LDR preamp that I can demo for you as I live on the Sunshine Coast.


If you can get to the Sunshine Coast some time I can demo my passive preamp which I have now integrated with a small Hypex NC122MP power amplifier. The total cost of my integrated build was under $800 because I was able to access the Hypex at wholesale cost.

 

My speakers are  average sensitivity 6 ohm Neat Acoustics SX3i with integrated isobaric sub woofers.

 

I'm sure you will be surprised by the power, transparency and authenticity of the passive preamp/Hypex combined performance, which has made me abandon my belief that high quality musical performance=high cost.

Cheers, Rob

Thanks Rob

Was is your passive preamp ?

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Hi Jeff.

 

My passive preamp (attenuator) is an LDR StereoCoffee. They are hand built to order in NZ by Chris Daly and available in kit form or as a finished product, customised to your own requirements.

 

From my own observations, most sales have been made to serious, musically oriented audiophiles who appreciate the music rather than technical measurements and shiny state of the art looks.

 

The main reason for my choice to abandon powered preamplifiers, apart from realism of performances, is the noticeable lack of audible distortion at all volume levels and music still retains it's tonal character when music is played quietly. Conversely, it can also effortlessly drive my medium efficiency speakers to an impressive level in my largish, tiled lounge room.

 

I would suggest auditioning my system first, if you get a chance. You will find that the sound quality is 'different', which makes it useful to use as a reference, when you are making your decision as to what will provide the quality you are seeking that is within your budget.

 

Please note that I am totally biased but I don't sell them. I have been a customer of Chris for about ten years and have observed its growth from a simple LDR attenuator to a sophisticated piece of electronics that gives me great pleasure every day.

 

I could send you links to the StereoCoffee website or my own DIY site but I think an audition of various types of preamps will tell you much more about the sound quality and save you being confused by technical claims.

 

Cheers, Rob

 

 

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12 hours ago, robmid said:

I would suggest auditioning my system first, if you get a chance.

 

As I said and laid out above in this system of his and the way he wants to use it, a passive no matter what the cred, will not be an good impedance match the way the OP @JeffH wants to use it.

 

Cheers George   

Edited by georgehifi
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15 hours ago, georgehifi said:

 

As I said and laid out above in this system of his and the way he wants to use it, a passive no matter what the cred, will not be an good impedance match the way the OP @JeffH wants to use it.

 

Cheers George   

In your opinion. .....

 

 

In consideration of @JeffH equipment, of course the fixed load shunt resistance  @10k exampled by the M2 Meridian specification, can be absolved of influence, to nevertheless work extremely well with a volume control.   A later specification has this resistance at 11k. also highly to Meridians knowledge of standards ,was the sensitivity of the M2 , enabling it to work with modern DAC's like the Denafrips Ares 2 

Edited by stereo coffee
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