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bluethumb

All Things Tube Preamps

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Heyo, I'm reaching out with some questions for those of you more well versed in the world of tubes and preamps. I've been working with the same setup for a few years now and I am looking to step it up a bit (without upgrading my table). Currently I have:

 

Pro-Ject Debut III 

Ortofon 2M Blue Cartridge

Marantz SR-63 Receiver

Polk Audio RTI A1 Bookshelf Speakers

Polk Audio PSW 111 Subwoofer

 

I've been thinking about adding a Preamp stage for tonal control (specifically tube preamp) as the receiver I have has a decent preamp built in, but I want more. Any thoughts? I've been toying with the Parks Audio Budgie preamp, anyone have any experience with this?

 

*EDIT* I recently upgraded to an Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge so any suggestion on specific preamps (tube or not) welcome!

Edited by bluethumb

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1 hour ago, bluethumb said:

Heyo, I'm reaching out with some questions for those of you more well versed in the world of tubes and preamps. I've been working with the same setup for a few years now and I am looking to step it up a bit (without upgrading my table). Currently I have:

 

Pro-Ject Debut III 

Marantz SR-63 Receiver

Polk Audio RTI A1 Bookshelf Speakers

Polk Audio PSW 111 Subwhoofer

 

I've been thinking about adding a Preamp stage for tonal control (specifically tube preamp) as the receiver I have has a decent preamp built in, but I want more. Any thoughts? I've been toying with the Parks Audio Budgie preamp, anyone have any experience with this?

I was also considering buying a phono preamp (was looking at the Pro-ject Tube Box S), but I feel like I could use some education on the subject of preamps.

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1 hour ago, Tardcore said:

Might get more milage from some different speakers.

This, or maybe a new integrated amp. I don't think you'll get much from tubes with your set-up. You can also try something like the Schitt Mani, so you can mess with load settings.

 

Edit: What cartridge are you running? If it's the stock OM5e, you might want to look into upgrading that first.

Edited by Thomas³

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15 minutes ago, Thomas³ said:

Edit: What cartridge are you running? If it's the stock OM5e, you might want to look into upgrading that first.

I have an upgraded cartridge (forget which one is on there currently), but I have also been looking at the 2M Red cart which would be the most economical upgrade. Does anyone have anything to say - good or bad - about this cart?

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To get the best out of valves (tubes to you colonials) you need to go in completely and go full valve, valve phono stage, valve pre amp, valve crossover, valve mono block power amps and ideally a valve in the output of your CD player or DAC if you use such things. Joking a little but not much.

 

Using a valve phono stage with your current system probably won't get the best out of it but it will make a difference to how it sounds and whether you like that sound is really the question you need the answer to, personally I was hooked the first time I heard them but they are not to everyone's taste.

 

My advice if you want to try it is listen to someone else's or buy something cheaper that you can move on if you find you don't like it, also remember you can do a thing called valve rolling where you substitute one manufacturers valves of the same model for another manufactures valves as the sound changes quite considerably between valve makers.

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https://www.amazon.com/Little-Bear-Turntable-Pre-Amplifier-Preamp/dp/B01GFDB720/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468370664&sr=8-1&keywords=little+bear+t7

 

New Little Bear pre. It might be worth checking out to see if you like tubes (but like Allen said, it might not make for the full experience). A lot of people like their more expensive model.

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