View Full Version : The Grungy Preamp Thread

Ian Mackenzie
06-16-2004, 06:35 AM
Please let us of your worst, most disgusting preamplifer experiences.

There are no rules and any polite remarks will be taken as crap, we want to hear vomit.

Ian:readme: :spchless:

06-16-2004, 07:22 AM
well since ive sold my lux & ended up without pre, i borrowed a Inkel mx-991 mixer from my buddie who has this little studio, he didnt use it. let me tell u it stinks in every possible way! playing cd:s was the nearest to an OK experience, S/N at 70db is not good. and there were some interference from the transformer! well i thougt... and hooked up the dual 505. and im not making this up but the sound of the riia was just terrible. no mids or highs whatsoever! when setting the treble to allmost max u could hear something that sounded a little like a hihat etc otherwise it was just more noise and interferences than sound!:barf:
made in korea btw.

know now why he didnt use it! :)

06-16-2004, 07:31 AM
funny thing is when using it on his pioneer hpm-70 i dont recall this shity sound, when using it on 4430 it was just horrible. proof of giskards philosophy garbage in - garbage out.

John Nebel
06-16-2004, 07:43 AM
PAT-4 kit which appeared to be the cat's meow at the time was $99. on sale. Bad performance and incomprehendible tape monitor switching. Managed to plug in a cable wrong and blow a 375 in a new pair of S8s.

JBL fixed the driver for free.

Maybe worse was the Allied 12 w mono amp kit without a preamplifier for which it was recommended to use a crystal phono cart. It did have a volume control and tone control so it was a metaphysical non-existent preamp with 0 performance on a 1 to 10 scale. What is a preamp anyway? Why does one even need one?


PS to be honest

"To give a little example: When we imported our first McIntosh products, one of those was a C28 preamp - a highly regarded product. We made no delay in having it put to the test - it sounded marvelously. And with that look it should! Exactly - the "looks". After a couple of hours we A/B-tested it with Arnfinn's home-built Dynaco PAT-4 preamp. We could not hear any difference! Of course, there is nothing wrong with the PAT-4, other than it being a cheap, less than pretty electronics kit. Anyway, not as pretty as the C28. Now, such was our experience with many a McIntosh unit, they were jewels to behold but sounded no better or worse than any other similar units of some status. And why should they. In all, we found that the difference in sound quality between electronics of a certain standard, were minimal."


Ian Mackenzie
06-16-2004, 07:54 AM
My most recent foul experience was hearing an Alan Wright design. This guy has such a high opinion of himself he advertised a book about his designs before he wrote the book.... to get the orders!!.

Well I heard the thing go and the sound was off like prawns in the sun for a week at least. The highs were burnt, the mids brittle and the bass thin and complete soft cock on transients.

Prior to that was the Perreux SA (?) which sold for about 2K in 1985. Built to sell with fancy parts and a see through grill cover. I nearly barked over it when I head it though some infinity monitors at a show.

The sound was totally hard and etched, sibilant and lifeless like a dried out old lady. Everthing sounded the same like a 1/2 baked manufactured item.

Oh I nearly forgot, the Rotel Rx whatever super phono stage.
A mate bought it at a sale, they said it was 1/2 price. Full of BG capacitors, hi current class A stages, lots of nice parts...over engineered to buggery.

I played it on both MM and MC modes, even the 3300 Phase Linear was more listenable. The sound was black and brown and dirty, and irritating as an itchy you know what.


Maron Horonzakz
06-17-2004, 06:57 AM
I remember a fella bringing over a JBL SG-520 preamp to compair against my Marantz 7... The SG520 was truly truly a noisy piece of crap. How could JBL stuff 10 pounds of sh!t in a one pound box . it was wall to wall grundge. The next day this poor fellow traded in the JBL 520 for a marantz 7 He took a loss on the JBL..But he kept the Marantz till his death a couple of years ago. Needless to say his speakers were JBL. (Olympus S8) We kidded him till the end about his error. May his poor soul rest in piece.

06-17-2004, 09:51 PM
This is a little off the beaten path... but the little phono preamp box sold under the 'house brand' by MCM Electronics, sucks. I mean, hard vacuum of space suckage.

The one I'm talking about, is the one with the 110V power cord going DIRECTLY into a nickel/chrome plated metal box. Noisy- both hiss and hum. Bad tonal balance (thin bass).

Realistically, there's simply NOTHING to praise, about this phono preamp, whatsoever. Next one I come across, I'm going to drive my car over it a number of times until it's squished flat or until I get bored during the process...

Hopefully, they're not even offering this piece of junk anymore. Be warned, though... if you're buying a phono preamp box, shop elsewhere, just in case!