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Old 11th July 2013, 08:54 PM   #1
jhm007 is offline jhm007  United States
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Question "An elegant full function tube preamp mated to 1st rate SS power amp"

Hello All, I am looking for your (forum's) advice on a project I want to try; Eli Dutmtman said in one of his posts "An elegant full function tube preamp mated to 1st rate SS power amplification..."

This is what I am looking for, an elegant tube preamp KIT to work with my Hafler DH500 power amp. FYI - I have gone through the Hafler (which I built from kit) and upgraded the few (in my opinion) short-comings of it, the internal signal wiring has been replaced with Kimber wire, the input and output jacks have been replaced w/WTB connectors, and that's it. currently, it works great, it doesn't sound great, as it has no sound. it's silent (no hum).

Anyway, I would like to build a Tube preamp, as my understanding, this is where the most significant "changes" can be realized. I have a foot in both worlds, I love my REGA turntable spinning vinyl, and I will also play CD/SACD's.

Your suggestions and help is appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 11th July 2013, 11:19 PM   #2
PJN is offline PJN  United States
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Look at the Aikido preamp, very nice combo with SS
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Old 12th July 2013, 12:47 AM   #3
Loren42 is offline Loren42  United States
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I would do it the other way around; solid state preamp with a push-pull valve power amp.
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Old 12th July 2013, 01:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loren42 View Post
I would do it the other way around; solid state preamp with a push-pull valve power amp.
Unless the DH500 is for pushing big panel speakers like Maggies or some-such. Otherwise, a nice push-pull tube amp will eat the Hafler.

jeff
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Old 12th July 2013, 02:14 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by vinylkid58 View Post
Unless the DH500 is for pushing big panel speakers like Maggies or some-such. Otherwise, a nice push-pull tube amp will eat the Hafler.

jeff
Stock or slightly tweaked as done by the OP, yes. OTOH, fully rebuilt by AVA and its a close horse race. Correct speaker matching will decide the outcome. Although it's been some time, I have used AVA rebuilt Dyna and Hafler SS amps. Many of the claims made stand up to scrutiny.

Fact, many a very good sounding rig uses tubed preamplification and 1st rate SS power amplification. Thinking of the amps and speakers as parts of whole is crucial.
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Old 12th July 2013, 02:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhm007 View Post
Anyway, I would like to build a Tube preamp, as my understanding, this is where the most significant "changes" can be realized. I have a foot in both worlds, I love my REGA turntable spinning vinyl, and I will also play CD/SACD's.
Raven. Sowter or Lundahl do the iron.

And/or Toccata

A variatino on the above K&K Phono Preamp Kit Preamplifier with 2003 review
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Old 12th July 2013, 03:48 PM   #7
jhm007 is offline jhm007  United States
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The speakers in my system are B&W Nautilus 804's
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Old 13th July 2013, 01:30 AM   #8
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B&W makes good speakers, but they should be mated to SS power amps. A look at the uploaded snip from the N804 spec. sheet shows why. Notice the 8 Ω nominal impedance and the 3 Ω impedance minimum. For the most part, tube amps have modest damping factors. For use with a tubed power amp, the N804s have to be treated as being 4 Ω and their sensitivity has to be derated to 86 dB.

B&W joins plenty of other speaker manufacturers in "spinning" their products' numbers. The claimed sensitivity is with 2.83 V. of drive, but 2.83 V. into 4 Ω is 2 W. Therefore, the claimed 89 dB. sensitivity is (IMO) quite dubious.
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Old 13th July 2013, 02:04 AM   #9
45 is offline 45  Italy
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Sensitivity might be more or less ok because it is referred to 2.83V. The efficiency (at 1W) is 3 dB lower, maybe 4.....
Sensitivity is a meaningless parameter for valve amplifiers in most cases.
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Old 14th July 2013, 05:42 AM   #10
ChrisA is offline ChrisA  United States
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Originally Posted by jhm007 View Post
...
Anyway, I would like to build a Tube preamp, as my understanding, this is where the most significant "changes" can be realized. I have a foot in both worlds, ....
Most of the "sound" is where the gain is. In other words a tube running at a gain of 1.0 adds almost nothing. You can't hear it that there is even a tub in the chain. If the tube is providing gain, that it will add something you can hear.

So the only use of tubes, other then for decoration and bragging rights is when it will actually do amplification. That would be either (1) in the power amp or (2) in the phono preamp. But NOT in a line level low or no gain section.

I think you will find that tube equipment is so darn simply you don't need a kit. point to point ott turret board contruction is better than using printed circuits too. You can cut aluminum chasses with hand tools if needs be. It is pretty easy.
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