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Old 7th June 2008, 06:18 PM   #1
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Default Suggestions for a good tube line amp

Hi!

Some time ago i tried brother's tube line amp on my CD player - old Marantz amp - KRK ST8 studio monitors. I was very surprised by the sound of preamp; it added very nice "musicality", sound became much less anoying (i'm listening on studio monitors) etc. The only problem was that preamp made much smaller stereo image, bass became a bit boomy and instruments lost some separation.
I must say that tubes in preamp are low quality, probably very tired and material used is so so. Circuit is cathode follower.
But i liked the sound anyway, it gave musicality i was missing.

So i decided to build myself (and maybe also for brother) a better tube line stage. I'm quite sure i can do it much better if i use good material and better design.
I searched the internet and found several designs that poeple seem to like. They are AN M7 line stage, 12B4A preamp from this forum and Aikido preamp. I will probably choose M7 because tubes are easy to get (i can use ECC99, 6N6, 5687, E182CC and some more), design is very very simple, people seem to like how it sounds and it uses all standard, cheap material.

I would like to have some opinions about the sound of M7, how it sounds compared to 12B4A preamp, would it add musicality i want etc. If someone thinks i should build something else and have good arguments, please let me know about it.

Miha
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Old 7th June 2008, 07:35 PM   #2
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What's the input impedance of your amplifier?
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Old 7th June 2008, 08:12 PM   #3
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Hi,
it's 20k or something like that. For sure more than 10k, so standard unbal. ss input...I need nice low output R from preamp, not more than 1k.

Miha
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Old 7th June 2008, 10:11 PM   #4
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I bet you can buy an Aikido board and M7 board pretty cheaply on eBay, but at the same time, I bet a transformer coupled preamp would still work better than either. The Boozehoud TX coupled preamp is a good starting point if that interests you, the 600 ohm output impedance is pretty nice, and very easy to connect to an XLR jack if your SS amp has a balanced input.
-Paul
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