Advice PreAmp <$400

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Hi all,

I'm looking to get a simple pre for my home setup. I only need two line level inputs, source select and volume running into a tube power amp mainly (although it would be used for SS as well)

I've always wanted to try and passive pre but I'm just worried about it restricting choices in my system at a later point. But I do know I just want a simple topology, quality parts. Ideally having a balanced design but I'm not really that fussed I would be happy with a good single ended. Can anyone recommend some good kits or modules? I would prefer kits/boards that are prebuilt or at least have small smd done as my soldering skills are kinda average my budget would be around 400 bucks all in. I've looked around and seems to be a myriad of options that are doing my head in , even if not specific models you can recommend brand/ designer who are known for making good pres. Mainly looking for kits but if there is full built options happy for that as well


Appreciate feedback! Thanks guys




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I have no problem with a 10K stepped attenuator.
Marantz 6005 into an F6

Plenty of adjustment and control.
Sounds good to me.

There are plenty of passive pre and step attenuator on E-bay.



Hi Colin sounds nice. I was actually thinking of running the pre with a phono pre with passive RIAA like the boozlabs or similar, my (maybe ill formed view ) was that capacitance maybe an issue, contrary to maybe other op based designs.

I suppose maybe I could always give it a shot. I'm not concerned about DAC really on just phono.


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Yes, 10k is the way to go. You have a wide choice of volume controls unless a remote is necessary.
Can you build your own, from parts or a kit?

Here's a good low cost volume control. http://www.partsconnexion.com/product7384.html
Here's a good selector switch. http://www.partsconnexion.com/controls_rotary_elma.html

Most of the rest of the $400 should go to the phono preamp.



Pretty new(bie) to DIY build to be honest of its hole through and decent guide or not complicated I would be ok


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