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Old 7th November 2015, 04:27 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Default Help me pick my first tube kit/winter project (tube preamp)

Hello Gentlemen,

I grew up with all solid state, and that is what I have collected thus far, until my tech gave me a loaner PAS-2. Warm, mellow, it does have its flaws, but it sure is a fun piece of gear.

This winter I would like to build my first kit, so I need some advice from the community. This pre will ultimately power a Citation 12, if you are curious.

My criteria:
I'd like to stay under $1,000 for the kit
I'd like something that is close to a full kit, so I don't have to hunt and peck for components.
I'd like something that has been around a while, has good feedback from the community, and is fun to put together.

I'm surprised at how many rebuild kits I find, especially when talking Dynaco PAS, much fewer full kits. I am open to non-PAS options.

So far I have looked at:
Pas NG (next gen) full kit from tube nirvana, SS rectified, no tone controls - $760 plus ship
Tubes4hifi SP-12 kit - $720 plus ship

Are there other serious contenders I should consider?

Best,
BK
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Old 7th November 2015, 11:16 AM   #2
wdecho is offline wdecho  United States
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Join Date: Oct 2014
You may want to consider this one from Bruce Heran. He is well thought of on another forum. I have never heard one but it appears he uses quality parts.

OddWatt

A better price than the 2 you mentioned and it is a full kit.
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Old 7th November 2015, 03:32 PM   #3
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Thank you very much wdecho. Cheaper is good! I didn't think it was possible to find a quality tube preamp kit for under 500. Maybe oddwatt even has a silver face option. I don't own any black gear.

Any other kits you guys have liked?
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Old 7th November 2015, 06:46 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Monroe Township, NJ
A potential fly in the ointment is gain structure. What signal level drives the Cit. 12 to full power? If it's less than 2 VRMS, you don't need gain in the line stage in combination with a CDP. A buffered volume control or, possibly, a 12B4 based (low gain) setup is correct.

Is vinyl part of the overall equation?

Don't be afraid of a scratch build. The members will help you source any and all parts you need. Think in terms of obtaining the system synergy you need/want.

A thick walled, commercial, baking pan makes a nice, low cost, chassis. "Hammerite" finish is easy enough to use and comes in several colors.
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Eli D.

Last edited by Eli Duttman; 7th November 2015 at 06:47 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 8th November 2015, 07:20 PM   #5
t-head is offline t-head  United States
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Key Largo
Transcendent Sound Grounded Grid Preamp
Masterpiece
ELEKIT TU-8500
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trust, but verify...
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Old 8th November 2015, 08:55 PM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2014
I can recommend John Broskie's preamp kits (www.glass-ware.com). I have built his CCDA to great satisfaction. They are clever designs and high quality PCBs and parts. The end result is a really excellent preamp.

The manuals are sometimes a bit iffy on some details so it does require critical thinking and learning to actually understand the circuit, it requires a little more than just following instructions. But if you are up for that, it is a great learning experience with great end result.
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Old 8th November 2015, 08:55 PM   #7
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Join Date: Dec 2014
I like John Broskie's preamp kits (www.glass-ware.com). I have built his CCDA to great satisfaction. They are clever designs and high quality PCBs and parts. The end result is an excellent preamp.

The manuals are sometimes a bit iffy on some details so it does require critical thinking and learning to actually understand the circuit, it requires a little more than just following instructions. But if you are up for that, it is a great learning experience with great end result.

Last edited by phalanger; 8th November 2015 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 9th November 2015, 03:30 AM   #8
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ
Transcedent Grounded Grid. It's cheap and performs so well that I will still plug it into my reference system for fun.

I've never bothered to invest in better parts than what came with the kit. It's really a stellar design and the kit is very manageable for a first timer.
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Old 9th November 2015, 03:42 AM   #9
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Ireland
My choice would be a Bottlehead Beepre, 300b tubes, shunt regulated power supplies, and constant current plate loads, lovely bit of kit. I've built a few Bottlehead kits and they all sound fantastic, have great manuals and forum support. I can even get you a 10% off voucher so its almost under 1k

BeePre 300B Preamplifier Kit | Bottlehead
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