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tube preamp for turntable > digital integrated?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello all

Ive been building up a modest system for myself over the last couple months - currently I'm using the rega p6 with bundled cart into the marantz 8004 integrated.

My question is - would I benefit from a tube phono preamp? The marantz has a power amp mode, so I would think this would be the preferred method of connection to the integrated, in order to bypass the phono stage in the marantz? or would it be better to just relegate the turntable to another rca input?

I was thinking maybe the pro-ject se ii? It seems to universally get great reviews and is within my price range of $700ish


Any input is appreciated. Thanks!
post #2 of 9
Have you ever used tube amps, of any kind?
Their sound is different from SS. Even compared to amps like Marantz, HK, Parasound, which have a warmer sound already. I would not spend $700 on a tube amp, w/o knowing that I would really like it.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
a valid point -

all the tube amps ive heard are of the upper echelon, unfortunately. one local dealer basically only supplies only mcintosh tubes, the other supplies brands im honestly not all that familiar with, but i know they start at 5,000+ - well outside my price range

suffice it to say their quality is EXCELLENT, but im not expecting an improvement so dramatic amongst my own gear - perhaps a marginal bump.

thanks.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeis11 View Post

would I benefit from a tube phono preamp?
Probably not - almost every one I've seen is a pretty mediocre design. Tubes are not the magic panacea that many audiophools think they are.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
thats fair - and while i certainly think they have the potential to be better at SOME pricepoint, im just not sure they will be better at mine!
post #6 of 9
I use a Project tube box II w/my Linn LP12 and get excellent results. Unless your using a low output MC cart the specs for a MM cart or a high output MC are both just about the same in both the II and SEII units, The dealer I go to pointed that out as a result I ended up saving $300. Money saved for a future Ortofon 2M Bronze.smile.gif
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeis11 View Post

thats fair - and while i certainly think they have the potential to be better at SOME pricepoint, im just not sure they will be better at mine!

You can do better with different solid state phono preamp. Get one where you can alter cartridge load. Also you can choose different cartridge altogether. There are many options around $1000.
Edited by ap1 - 6/25/12 at 7:27pm
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
another good point - money might be better spent on a new cartridge rather than tubes, and i can certainly see the advantages of a solid state.

i guess ive always just wanted tubes in my setup, it sounds like at my price point they may just be window dressing and not adding anything...
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeis11 View Post

thats fair - and while i certainly think they have the potential to be better at SOME pricepoint, im just not sure they will be better at mine!
They have the potential to be as good as the best SS designs, but most fall way short, especially at the budget end of the spectrum. The Cambridge 651 is pretty good (SS).

I use a hybrid JFET/tube cascode in one MC stage, all tube in an MI, and discrete JFET in the MM unit. The latter is not connected as I had to go back to the Gyro and only have space for 2 arms, until the new TT is complete.

The Denon 103 series carts are terrific, and I've used them for 25 years (get the standard 103, not the R). As a final 'system complete' purchase I might splurge on a Shelter 501 in a couple of years.
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