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  1. #1
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    St. Paul, Minnesota

    Question Amp vs Preamp tonality question

    I've got a question for all you separate amp/preamp owners. What has greater impact on warmth of sound, the amp or preamp?
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  2. #2
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    London, Ontario


    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    I've got a question for all you separate amp/preamp owners. What has greater impact on warmth of sound, the amp or preamp?
    In my somewhat limited experience, both can make a very significant difference to "warmth".

    On the power amp side I migrated from:
    • Phase Linear 400, cool and sharp but not resolving, to
    • NAD C270, fairly warm, better but still not very resolving, to
    • Bel Canto eV02, neutral (but maybe just a tiny bit cool), and much more resolving and transparent plus a bit better micro-dynamics, ("PRaT"), to
    • Monarchy SM-70 Pro, warmer and smoother but still very resolving, even better PRaT.
    On the preamp side,
    • Apt Holman, neutral, pretty good resolution but a bit dull and lacking PRaT, to
    • Bel Canto eVo2i, hard to say because it was an integated with and I didn't have a separte power amp at the time, to
    • Adcom GFP750, neutral and well resolving in passive mode but bright in active mode, to
    • Sonic Frontiers LINE1, intitially neutral and "solid state sounding" with standard Sovtek tubes, then on the warm side of neutral, and smoother with greater sense of depth with Ampex 6922 PQ tubes.
    Last edited by Feanor; 01-02-2008 at 04:18 PM.

  3. #3
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    What has greater impact on warmth of sound, the amp or preamp?
    In the LP days, I would say the preamp due to the vast difference in gain. Today, I think amplifiers have more effect because of the speaker interaction. Especially because my digital sources drive the power amps directly.


  4. #4
    Forum Regular O'Shag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Both can have an impact. But if you want to 'warm up' the sound, a really nifty way to accomplish this is to insert the Musical Fidelity 10v3 tube stage either immediately following your source, or even between the preamp and amp. I was turned on to this by a well-known high-end amp/preamp manufacturer that will remain nameless. They were excited about the results themselves! And please don't take this as an indication that their amps don't sound right, because they are some of the best money can buy. It's just that some people prefer the warmth of tubes, and the additional benefits they can bring.

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