inexpensive TUBE buffer-preamp - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-05-2019, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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inexpensive TUBE buffer-preamp

Hi, I have an SMSL SU-8 feeding signal to AirPulse A200-Model 1 active speakers. I want to explore some tube majik... is there a chi-fi TUBE buffer or inexpnsive pre-amp that you would recommend? I only use one input from my MacBook Pro running Audirvana via USB. I prefer balanced XLR as that is what I use now. Suggestions in the less that $500 world? The Schitt Freya+ is great but I am looking for a $200-300 suggestion or less....
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-05-2019, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by wassup View Post
Hi, I have an SMSL SU-8 feeding signal to AirPulse A200-Model 1 active speakers. I want to explore some tube majik... is there a chi-fi TUBE buffer or inexpnsive pre-amp that you would recommend? I only use one input from my MacBook Pro running Audirvana via USB. I prefer balanced XLR as that is what I use now. Suggestions in the less that $500 world? The Schitt Freya+ is great but I am looking for a $200-300 suggestion or less....
I use an older version of the YAQIN SD-CD2 Stereo Audio Processor (Tube Buffer) with an older version Rotel TT; bought on eBay years ago.....I paid approx. $150
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-05-2019, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for your reply.. what do you think of this?

https://www.china-hifi-audio.com/en/...8f2def89cbe3d4

never heard of most of these tubes.. this unit has balanced XLR. possibly I am more concerned than need be about this balanced connection?
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-06-2019, 06:50 PM
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thanks for your reply.. what do you think of this?

https://www.china-hifi-audio.com/en/...8f2def89cbe3d4

never heard of most of these tubes.. this unit has balanced XLR. possibly I am more concerned than need be about this balanced connection?
I think China Hi-Fi is a decent dealer. I just got my Muzishare X7 integrated amp today and have been listening to it for the past 5-6 hours, playing cuts off various CDs to see the bass and mid responses. So far so good. I'm impressed with the musical capability, and it didn't hurt that it has direct amp input so I can use it to power the L/R for HT applications. Best of all they take PayPal. If it don't work out that will make it much easier than if I used a CC. Still protected, but PP is so much easier to utilize when problems crop up. My amp was very well packed, and the outer box was in better shape than many of the UPS and FedEx packages that might have traveled only 1000 miles or so! Go figure! It was delivered via DHL/USPS. Order to delivery was only 10 days, not too shabby.

That preamp looks interesting but do you really need XLR outputs? If not take a look at this one. There are several more that might interest you as well. If you're looking for that tube sound you'll get there cheaper via preamps than tube amps. Dialing in the sound you're looking for will be cheaper by swapping out (rolling tubes) preamp tubes than buying a quad (or more) of KT88's or even 6550s. Rolling tubes can get expensive quickly!


Enjoy the search, it's at least half the fun... well, until you get the bill! Mine was $1188 shipped from China, no surcharges, import or otherwise. I think I'd do it again, especially since there is no way you can touch an American made amp at this price, especially an integrated amp. And many of them come with this little 'Made in China' sticker on the back anyway!
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-07-2019, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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hi mr knucklehead thanks for the response. i saw that pre-amp and think it is interesting... love the price. I am currently using XLR connects... better performance for my DAC and a better noise floor all around... the search continues.
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-07-2019, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wassup View Post
HI want to explore some tube majik.
There is no such thing. All tubes do is add distortion and noise.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-15-2019, 06:56 AM
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There is no such thing. All tubes do is add distortion and noise.
A lot of truth to what you're saying, but there is a lot of distortion and noise at most live performances too. If tubes get a listener closer to the live event, then so be it if that's what he prefers. There is not any truth to your implication that if one prefers tubes, they are wrongheaded.

For a cheap tube preamp, why not a Saga+?
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-15-2019, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks for responding mr atlanta... i think i will go with the Freya+ as it has balanced XLR outputs... unless I find some good opinions on the Chi-Fi mentioned previously...
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-15-2019, 11:49 PM
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I went XiangSheng 728A -NO Tone controls- about 4/5yrs ago and never look back = coming from SS Sony TA-9000ES / Emotiva USP-1 PreAmps== after about 1yr Replaced Shugang tubes with Genalex Gold Lion 12AT7 & 12AU7 == Difference was HUGE .. later Shugang 6Z4 with Russian 6U4 == NO Difference -- Regarding XLR/TRS inter-connects good 4 longer Runs 15ft+ .. I have 6ft XLR->RCA between DBX 234xs + OutLaw 7125 Amp .. so shorter 10ft good Monoprice/Chinese RCAs = I can not hear Difference .. Like Chinese Products .. recent DAC 4me is https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1000004729011.html
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-05-2019, 05:35 AM
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thanks for responding mr atlanta... i think i will go with the Freya+ as it has balanced XLR outputs... unless I find some good opinions on the Chi-Fi mentioned previously...
I have never had any piece using tubes until I also bought a Freya+. It's a lot of fun and the fact that you can turn tubes off depending on what mode you are running is a big plus.

My only issue right now is I can't seem to get my Harmony remote to pick the right input because the Freya scrolls thru all of them and the Remote doesn't know where to stop. Freya's remote however is a solid one. Good luck.

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post #11 of 11 Old 12-06-2019, 08:05 AM
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I have never had any piece using tubes until I also bought a Freya+. It's a lot of fun and the fact that you can turn tubes off depending on what mode you are running is a big plus.

My only issue right now is I can't seem to get my Harmony remote to pick the right input because the Freya scrolls thru all of them and the Remote doesn't know where to stop. Freya's remote however is a solid one. Good luck.
The Harmony finally learned how to find the correct input. It was a learning process for the remote though.

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