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Old 14th May 2012, 09:31 PM   #1
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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Default Seeking advice on Tube buffer / pre-amp

Hi,

I am thinking of trying a tube buffer or pre-amp with Class-D amplification. I shall not be requiring any gain from the pre-amp though, the sole purpose is to add a bit of warmth/tubiness to the sound.

I see a lot of these on sale on eBay - are they good? Sorry I have NO idea about these and my questions might sound silly.

Assembled Tube 6N3 Buffer Audio Preamplifier For DIY | eBay

NEW MK3 Indeed Class A Valve Buffer Amp Amplifier 6922 | eBay

Buffer Preamplifier 6N3 Tube AMP Pre-amp assembled | eBay

Are schematics for simple projects available? I already have 6N3, 12AX7, and 5670 tubes.

Thanks,
Zia
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Old 14th May 2012, 09:35 PM   #2
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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A well-designed tube buffer will add nothing to the sound. A bad one will add noise and distortion - some people seem to like this.
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Old 14th May 2012, 09:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
A well-designed tube buffer will add nothing to the sound. A bad one will add noise and distortion - some people seem to like this.
Except when well designed buffer minmizes distortions caused by non-linear input impedance of the power amp. It is often the case why solid state amp sounds better driven by tube buffer.
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Old 14th May 2012, 09:41 PM   #4
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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OK, but the OP was looking for "tubiness" not accuracy. Perhaps he should try your special adjustable circuit?
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Old 14th May 2012, 09:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zman01 View Post
I am thinking of trying a tube buffer or pre-amp with Class-D amplification. I shall not be requiring any gain from the pre-amp though, the sole purpose is to add a bit of warmth/tubiness to the sound.
You don't want a preamp. You want an FX box. Perhaps something based on a type like the 12AV7 -- a notoriously nonlinear type that generates more H2 than almost any audio small signal triode.

Quote:
I see a lot of these on sale on eBay - are they good? Sorry I have NO idea about these and my questions might sound silly.

Assembled Tube 6N3 Buffer Audio Preamplifier For DIY | eBay

NEW MK3 Indeed Class A Valve Buffer Amp Amplifier 6922 | eBay

Buffer Preamplifier 6N3 Tube AMP Pre-amp assembled | eBay

Are schematics for simple projects available? I already have 6N3, 12AX7, and 5670 tubes.
It's E-Bay, and that means Caveat emptor in spades.
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Old 15th May 2012, 10:10 AM   #6
minhaj is offline minhaj  Bangladesh
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Hi Zaman

I am from Dhaka, we had discussion before remember?

Built and used plate followers/cathod followers of many flavour. Built and used AIKIDO for some time. Built/used ACF and BCF for some time.

I humbly request you to build (whatever design) yourself and enjoy. I think I have 300+ tube (power and signal both) stock with me for the tube lovers. You can get few tubes (at free of cost only) from me.

Regards
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Old 15th May 2012, 10:19 AM   #7
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Zia,
I've never heard a class D amp that sounded good to me. Wouldn't it make more sense to build a tube power amp instead?
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Old 15th May 2012, 10:28 AM   #8
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My opinion is as follows.... I've never heard a good class D amp. The tube buffers that you listed off ebay are total junk. I purchased some like junk years ago when I first got into tube equipment. At best they are a rip off copy of a 30 year old design. The worst is something that they threw together to bait some unsuspecting fool into purchasing it. They sound like total crap.

If its worth the time and trouble then its worth doing correctly in my opinion.
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Old 16th May 2012, 01:32 AM   #9
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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Minhaj,

Good to hear from you. Thanks for your advice and kind offer. You are right - enjoyment is key. For a lot of folks in this community, that's not only limited to listening I guess - the building, experimeting and trying out new tweaks count too.

M2 Racer, Original Burnedfingers,

Currently in the process of building a Tubelab PP amp, which would be my third tube amp. I like my Class D amps too , but sometimes they sound a tad too clean/thin in the upper mids and treble region. I got the idea of a tube preamp/tube buffer from Virtue Audio - they offer a tube buffer option with their Sensation amps IIRC.

I do not need any gain - so a tube buffer should be fine? I am assuming the buffer will add a "tube signature", and this would make the sound just a bit sweeter without screwing things up? I might be wrong though...

Last edited by zman01; 16th May 2012 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 16th May 2012, 04:08 AM   #10
Einric is offline Einric  United States
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I am VERY happy with my Aikido 9-pin all in one 6CG7/6CG7 preamp.
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