Best cheap preamp second Hand or DIY avaliable ?

The JC-2 clone is ok for the money, it's a bit veiled but run close to max rail voltage it sounds 'nice'. JC designed it for pro audio line duty, do you really need all that gain? 6V is way too much for domestic audio, it drove my test speakers by itself to a point where i got shouted at to 'turn that dam thing down'. I had to attenuate most of that gain out in my system.

I replaced it with a DCB-1 which is much more transparent but still great value for money.
 

Eldam

Banned
2012-09-13 12:25 am
France
Thanks,

I don't need gain : my sources are now all numerics : I just need 3 selection and volume control behavior and a good impedance adaptation to have a good sound-stage with the best transparency to not color the DACS which are TDA1541A or ES9023 for TV ! I'm sure a gain of 1 could even be enough (amp is 100K input) weakest source is 1.7V outputt with no outputt DC caps !)

My Yamaha is good but I surmise to be not sota on soundstage and ultimate transparency (the amp behind is a Chord SPM 1000B : very fast and class A on the first Watts !)

So despite the Yamaha in this combo is musical, I surmise it's the weak link!

I missed the Bruno Putzey grup buy though it's symetric and I'm single ended only !

Which worrie me with the DCB1 is the volume at output if I remember ?!

The idea is the kit outperforms my Yamaha which is quiet but is maybe ears "blocked" ?!
 
If you don't need gain, a passive with a decent switch & pot/attenuator might be better, certainly more transparent. The pot in a DCB 1 goes on the input, no point putting it on the output. I'd expect your Yamaha to be the weak link, most budget commercial preamps choke the life out of your music. In fact many preamps at any price do that. A case of choose your favorite coloration imo
 
The JC-2 clone is ok for the money, it's a bit veiled but run close to max rail voltage it sounds 'nice'. JC designed it for pro audio line duty, do you really need all that gain? 6V is way too much for domestic audio, it drove my test speakers by itself to a point where i got shouted at to 'turn that dam thing down'. I had to attenuate most of that gain out in my system.

I replaced it with a DCB-1 which is much more transparent but still great value for money.


Don't think that is what he designed it "for".

But you can just ask him, since John Curl is on here just about every day.


The other question is why do you need anything with gain??
If your source is anything but phono, there's usually no need at all for any gain. What you want is attenuation. I've run a passive attenuator for at leas the past 20+ years, never needed or wanted any gain.

_-_-
 
Don't think that is what he designed it "for".

But you can just ask him, since John Curl is on here just about every day.


_-_-

He's on my friends list, it was him who told the story of it's development, the first version was used in the pa system for the grateful dead if i remember correctly. There is a thread on here somewhere, search JC 2 clone and it's in one of them, there are several. Or ask him yourself.
 
With my little experience, passive are never so good with soundstage and when the volume varries !

I prefer an active quiet one , even if unity gain...

I also believe good passive are above my budget.

You can build a passive, choose your own budget (that's the best part).

Sure i already asked if you needed the gain, must be an echo chamber in here....

Anyway unless you have impedance issues, and i don't see why going on the figures you quoted, a passive is usually better. I use long interconnects between my pre and power amps so the DCB 1 is doing the job for me but i have a decent diy passive too and with short cables it's a bit more transparent.
 

Eldam

Banned
2012-09-13 12:25 am
France
What about the pre edited in Linear Audio book ? (I found the interlink with plate wire a little odd instead a standalone pcb?!)

For the one B. Putzey friendly shared (no still open GB), I understood you should have symetric wires?

Not good old thing as good in thoe prices but second hand ?
 
These are inexpensive, not too hard to build and are brilliant, providing you don't have a bear of an amp in terms of input impedance. Forget Pass clones and the like.
But with the right amp, the Stereo Coffee 3-input is unbeatable, dead quiet, inexpensive, tonally correct, cheap and inky-black silent background. Did I mention its low cost?
Check it out here.

3 input kit is $175.00 AU
http://stores.ebay.com.au/stereo-coffee

Good back-up from Chris Daly too.

Cheers

Peter
 
I can agree that a passive pre doesn't sound as good, at least in my experience.

I really like my Ba-3 front end as a pre-amp. The gain is a bit high, I can't remember something like 15v swing, I have never turned the volume past half but it sounds way better than anything else i have used... my experience is limited.
 
Most passives I've tried havent really worked so well, but the LCR passives are different, especially the latest ones. The Truth is pretty good, as a buffered example, but it's a bit noisier with its active buffer stage. The Stereo Coffee is the best I've sampled, the quietest too, and for the price is a steal.
By the by, I have no affiliation with Chris; just got the unit from him.