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Old 26th December 2013, 01:09 PM   #1
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Default good quality/sounding preamp advice

hello people, and merry christmas to all

i have been looking at ideas for a preamp build.
i need a new one soon, and want tubes there the next time.
im going to build a set of vta m-125 monoblocks from tubes4hifi next year, and need a good preamp to use with them, and also to try with my hypex ncore amp.
i use only modern equipment, so i dont need much gain from the preamp. i want to build something with really good soundquality, not just ok.
from what i have read there is not much agreement about what works best, everyone have their own ideal.
some that seem to get good remarks is the aikido and the heritical preamp. what other designs should i take a look at? im not a experienced builder, so it needs to have good instructions on the build, but do not have to be a kit so long as there are explenations on parts choices, etc.
sound quality is the most important for me in this build, i would like to have both balanced and unbalanced in and outs, but that can be done with linetransformers, so would not be a problem. are there any advantages with a dual-mono design? i love the glow of the tubes at night, so tube rectifiers would be nice, so long as it dont hurt the sound quality.
hope you can give me some tips here, so i can start collecting the parts i need i need.

alf david
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Old 26th December 2013, 02:21 PM   #2
wicked1 is offline wicked1  United States
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The Aikido is a great choice. Good documentation, easy to get it sounding good and hum free. Mine has a tube rectifier.
But something like Salas's 6v6 line stage is another good option if you have a little build experience. If you use Salas's SSHV2 boards (group buy going on now, I think) for the power supply, it would be hard to go wrong with that design, too. You'd probably want to build the cathode follower version, since you don't really need the gain.

My first pre was an aikido, and it still gets weekly use after 5 years. If it's your first tube project, I'd probably advise you to go for the Aikido since it's got a PCB.
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Old 26th December 2013, 06:37 PM   #3
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I second the Aikido.
There is also Allen Wrights FVP5 which is an equally good preamp with a phono stage - but not as well described for the amateur.

Shoog
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Old 26th December 2013, 08:39 PM   #4
cjkpkg is offline cjkpkg  United States
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Out of the box, the Aikido is hard to beat. You can go noval or octal and the PCB's if you dont P2P one are top notch.

I have a noval 5687 with 6n6p input and it is absolutely fabulous.

I also have an octal with 6sl7/6sn7 driving the front end of a MOSFET amp and it too is outstanding.

There are many good choices but sometimes its good to start with a known PCB that is well documented when you have questions.
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Old 26th December 2013, 09:25 PM   #5
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For good sound quality, I'd recommend the 6SN7 line stage by Thorsten: RIAA and Linestage for life time .
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