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Old 6th June 2013, 07:06 PM   #1
dhbiker is offline dhbiker  Slovenia
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Maribor/Ormož, Slovenia
Default tube preamp reccomendation / opinion about Little Bear P3 from ebay

hi there

as a tube preamp beginner (this would be the first one) i'm asking you the more knowing people than me about an opinion for this preamp ?

6N3 6Z4 Tube Valve Preamp Amplifier Zero Noise with Transformer 110V 220V | eBay

if you have any other reccomendation... my budget for the first preamp is let's say around 100$

my setup is currently NAD326BEE with DALI Concept 2 (modified crossover) so i'm looking for a best bang for the buck really... my wallet is dried out as a student :/

thank you very much for your replies

Last edited by dhbiker; 6th June 2013 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 26th July 2013, 12:06 AM   #2
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Default My impressions of the Little Bear - Good!

Hi,

I actually bought the Little Bear and sold my Little Dot MK2. There was nothing wrong with the Little Dot, as it was sturdy and well made, but the sound I found to be quite comparable to the Little Bear, which was 1/3 of the price! And the Little Bear also had better gain - for my setup.

I actually did a review of the Little Bear here:
Little Bear Audio Preamplifier - Sweet Valve Music for Under $100! - YouTube

Also have a blog with step by step assembly instructions:
valuehifi.weebly.com

Hope this helps.
Win
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Old 26th July 2013, 01:01 PM   #3
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Most systems don't need a preamp at all.

Be wary of anyone who advertises his circuit as being 'zero noise'. He either knows this is wrong (but still says it) or doesn't know - either option would put me off buying from him!
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Old 26th July 2013, 01:17 PM   #4
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Well, it sounds good in my system, hence it may sound good with other's systems too. Thanks for your feedback anyway buddy.
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Old 28th July 2013, 06:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valuehifi View Post
Well, it sounds good in my system, hence it may sound good with other's systems too. Thanks for your feedback anyway buddy.
Apologies, didn't mean to be disrespectful to DF96.

The point is dhbiker was:
- looking for a preamp
- under $100
And just needed some impressions of this preamp.

I happen to have some first hand experience with this preamp, and so liked it that I made a Youtube video. It completely fills the bill of what dhbiker is looking for - a valve preamp under $100 - and there are not many decent ones of those around.

I get the point that the seller saying 'zero noise' doesn't sound quite right from a technical standpoint, however, practically speaking, when I have this preamp connected to my setup, I literally cannot hear any hiss, hum or any unwanted noise at all.

And as for " Most systems don't need a preamp at all" I would have to disagree with this statement. While it is true that if you have an integrated transistor amp for example, there is 'no need' for you to have a preamp. Very often in the world of audiophiles, it's not so much 'what you need' but how you can enhance or make a system sound different. In my case, I am running a transistor based power amp with NO volume control, therefore I do NEED a preamplifier for the volume control function. Also because my transistor amplifier sounds a certain way, by adding a VALVE preamp, I am completely changing the sound. The sound is warmer, the soundstage is wider, the instrument separation is better - it really does sound like a completely different setup!

Hope this clarifies it further, thanks and peace.
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Old 30th September 2013, 09:47 AM   #6
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I bought this pre-amp with the GE 5670 tubes and matched it with my Yaqin 5881a tube amplifier and my Big dac with Jensen transformer mod.

The soundstage really opened up and I am quite happy with my purchase.
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Old 30th September 2013, 11:16 AM   #7
dhbiker is offline dhbiker  Slovenia
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i have it too... but i ordered it back when it was with 6N3 tubes... i have russian 6N3P-EV now.. been thinking about trying those GE 5670 tubes
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Old 30th September 2013, 11:19 AM   #8
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Maybe you could send a message to the supplier. I am sure he will sell the 5670 separately.
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Old 1st March 2014, 11:15 AM   #9
tazDAC is offline tazDAC  Malaysia
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Sabah, Malaysia
I bought this about a month ago and I have to say that I am pretty impressed. The only concern that I have is how long it will last? The tubes are too awfully close to the electrolytic capacitors and we all know the hotter it is, the faster the electrolytic capacitors will fail.

I changed the stock 6N3 to JAN GE 5670 and it improved the separation, improved the sound staging and makes listening more enjoyable. Been listening to the 5670 for more than 2 weeks comparing it once in a while to the 6N3, no competition at all.. the 5670 wins. I agree with sdcz..

Two days ago I received an EZ80 to 6Z4 adaptor, which enables me to use my Marconi EZ80 to replace the stock 6Z4 rectifier tube. I was not expecting anything substantial, but it really made a lot of difference: The soundstage width remains the same but the depth is improved; Separation is better, I can very clearly hear now the layering of Sade's voice in "Mr Wrong"; and the instruments sounds more natural.. at least to my ears..

Is there a way to rewire it so that we can use a EZ80 socket instead of the 6Z4?
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Old 1st March 2014, 11:42 AM   #10
tazDAC is offline tazDAC  Malaysia
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Sabah, Malaysia
My unit has a problem from day one: I cannot crank up the gain to more than 10 o'clock, distortion sets in and is audible especially in the bass end.. it cracks up. Consulted with the seller and he says it might be that the potentiometer is faulty since the distortion becomes worse when i crank up the gain.. anybody has this problem?
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