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Thread: Preamp recommendations ?

  1. #16
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    I am sure the Nakamichi CA-5 is good, but anything without black plastic will certainly scale down your options.

  2. #17
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Got up and pulled the Yammy c-4 today. It must be out of spec. I replaced it with the Haf and noticed a fair improvement of clarity.
    The Yam is about twice the size and weight, so I assume bigger/better caps, but it was a step backwards...

    Haf will do me just fine until I get to where the better gear is at my prices
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

  3. #18
    Junior Member P.Warner's Avatar
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    Sometimes we decide to get something new, just for the sake of something new. This, when coupled with somebody wanting your old thing, is the best way to demonstrate how foresight can never catch up with hindsight. Thus I gave up my APT Holman (series1) and I really shouldn't have. Now, I've got a dozen other preamps to forfeit before I can justify getting another one again.

    I can't compete with those who can describe audio gear the way an oeneologist can pin down a certain Bordeaux so I'd suggest you peruse the reviews here: http://www.audioreview.com/cat/ampli...6_1591crx.aspx

    Couple of good tips in there about updates, aging and a muting circuit fix.

  4. #19
    Senior Member CONVERGENCE's Avatar
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    If you want quality and flexibility Mcintosh is a good model.

    But then again it's very costly.

    ...................................

  5. #20
    Senior Member Storm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CONVERGENCE View Post
    If you want quality and flexibility Mcintosh is a good model.

    But then again it's very costly.

    ...................................
    I think we already covered that. He does not want Mac stuff.



    -Storm.

  6. #21
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P.Warner View Post
    I'm considering the preferences you mentioned, foremost the Hafler 101. From that, the first preamp I'd look for, would be an APT Holman. You can pick one up cheap if you are lucky. I just looked at eBay and a few sold for between $107 and $350.
    just watched one of these go over $250 on ebay....going to look at one -series 1- tonite on a CL ad...............orig owner with box and manual , have pre-agreed on $80 with 4 day guarantee.....not too much downside.

    thanx for the tip PW...
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

  7. #22
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    Pioneer Urushi Series?

    Pioneer once built very fine systems, known as Urushi design.

    Have a look at http://www.elitestereo.netfirms.com/.

    The interesting models are C-72, C-73, C-90 and C-91.

    Ruediger

  8. #23
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    If you like your current preamp except that you find yourself plugging and unplugging gear to listen to stuff you could add passive outboard switching cheaply and easily.

  9. #24
    hellhound94
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    Low-Buck Preamps

    I'm not sure if you're looking for a "vintage" piece of equipment or something a little bit more modern but a couple of oldies that I've had great luck with (as well as great sound) are the Hafler DH-110 and the NAD 1020.

    The NAD 1020 is, I believe, the same preamp that was used in their model 3020 receiver which is considered to be a true classic by many. I had one (the 1020) for many years until I acquired the Hafler. The guy I sold it to is still using it today.

    I used the Hafler for many years as well, mostly with a Hafler DH-200 power amp. I still have both the preamp and the amp and still use them on occasion.

    I presently am using a Yamaha CX-630 preamp. That too is a nice one but does tend to be somewhat more pricy.

    Good luck.

  10. #25
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Bought the APT-Holman......it was immaculate, in original box with manual. Wud think it was new from appearances. Gets rave reviews from around the net.
    Hand built by Thomlinson Holman , who is the "TH" in "THX". Has twin o/ps and many interesting controls that I had not seen before. Very heavy.
    Manual has pages of impedance references for different tone arms and carts. Too bad I'm not running vinyl. Maybe this will get me going back that way. Has original unit test sheet with hand entered values. USA made.

    Hope it tests out as good as it looks. Have until Monday to return , hope not to do.

    thanx all for the suggestions.
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

  11. #26
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    nice buy...give the switches a good cleaning if not already done...the phono section will drag you back to vinyl give it a try...lots of controls to play with...enjoy

  12. #27
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    sounds great,,,no problems,so far ..listening impressions to come......
    havnt seen many test reports with my Best Buy china made gear lately

    from Wikipedia:

    THX sets strict standards for high quality sound and images.
    According to Tomlinson Holman, the inventor of the THX system, the name of the technology was deliberately chosen because it contained both a reference to his name, and to Lucas's early film, THX 1138. The original name was "Tom Holman's Crossover" or the "Tom Holman eXperiment" (Crossover being sometimes referred to as Xover).
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    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

  13. #28
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boputnam View Post


    I've not found anything with good functionality (nor proper grounding!) in that price range. Even on eBay, there are no bargains on good preamps...
    Bo - I respect and value your opinion , but was happy to find a bargain on good preamps anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    but anything without black plastic will certainly scale down your options.
    I also avoided the black plastic and found a very solid metal , meticulously built unit that has the feel of aircraft instrumentation.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Holman feels like a labor of love...it really blows away the Hafler (which I will keep as a backup , but sell the Yam c-4).

    To start: the manual is 49 pages (no Spanish,French,Arabic or Nigerian - just English).
    It goes into circuit design - philosophy and execution , types of switches and why the designer picked them, schematics, dealing with RFI and of course ..operating instructions......I was browsing the Stereophile web site and they have lots of polls ...1 was : "What is the best and Worst stereo products" ??? 2 people answered that the APT/Holman preamp manual was the best manual they had ever seen.

    On my other receivers and preamps, crosstalk between sources was always a problem..on the APT, the unused channels go to ground when not in use and there is no crosstalk at all.
    Also on all prev eqpt, I cannot run at minimum volume (when I get up early and don't want to wake the OL) without 1 speaker dropping out. The APT does this just fine.

    Has 2 phono i/ps ...can adjust for resistance and capacitance for MM and MC carts. There are hidden LR trim pots for each cart separate from the master balance.

    2 phono , 2 tape , 2 aux , external proc as well as 4 channel assignments. an interesting imaging mode control that will blend from pure mono to absolute discrete channels.
    The bass has a separate "shelving" mode..to where the bass knob controls the master bass or just mid (100hz) and higher.

    On the rear are 2 main outs , 5 accessory outputs, 18vdc jack ( ? ) , infrasonic filter in addition to all the standard ones.

    It is so good that I've turned off my beloved SRS and Eq. have yet to find any real faults with it. At 10 pounds , its a heavy , solid , no black plastic , great piece of gear in my price range (with box and manual) that I'll prolly keep a long time.... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (If you can find one at a reasonable price) thanx again for the pointer to it, PW.
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

  14. #29
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    Hello
    If you like the Hafler sound take a look at the DH110 preamp. It has has a couple of extra inputs and routing options over the DH101. I have a DH110 and a DH100 and have a preference for the DH110 sound quality. Not the 100 is bad but the full discreet circuitry of the 110 does something or does not do something to the signal.
    I just did a quick ebay search and found two DH110's up for sale ( not my auctions)

    Mike Caldwell

  15. #30
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    I am very happy with the APT/Holman unit , no issues at all, BUT the fabled BGW 203 preamp came up on eBay this week (only the 2nd in a year - thanx for the tip, Loach71) so I bid and won. Will prolly be a week before I see it, but then can A/B with APT . keep the better of the 2 OR save one for backup ?

    Now, I've got too many preamps.....will have to sell the Yamaha C-4 and the Hafler DH-101.

    If interested...PM me.

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