newlash09

To preamp or not

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1 hour ago, Bodgit said:

Interested in this thread as I'm running the Muse power amps directly from the Wadia 861 which has volume control in the digital domain...

FWIW the only time I've heard a system with a Wadia run directly into a power amp I thought it sounded superb.

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9 minutes ago, MartinC said:

FWIW the only time I've heard a system with a Wadia run directly into a power amp I thought it sounded superb.

Wadia 861 + 300W mosfet monoblocks + ATC SCM40s = superb sound IMO. Its a cracking setup given the age of the components.

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1 minute ago, Bodgit said:

Wadia 861 + 300W mosfet monoblocks + ATC SCM40s ..... Its a cracking setup given the age of the components.

Mere juveniles compared to my Hafler. SP9 set up .. surprisingly age does not seem to be an inhibiting factor for amps and preamps (thank god or it would be a nightmare for tight old sods like me).  :sofa:

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You shouldn't be without a preamp, for the simple reason that this adds an extra box to your system which, as we all know, improves sound quality.
But it may also take away room on which a(nother) turntable might sit. Testing times

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1 hour ago, Bodgit said:

Yes I'm aware of the limitations. For serious listening volume is around 80 or so, but when watching the TV at normal volume levels, its probably around 40. It would be interesting to see if a decent pre-amp improved the SQ as the Wadia would then be set to 100 and SQ improvements may be more noticeable at lower volume levels.

Given the settings you are using I think you could usefully reduce the max output by at least 1, possibly 2 levels.

Do you know what they are set to at the moment?

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I'm currently experimenting with using a couple of different DACs run directly into my power amp but I am using Rothwell attenuators so that there doesn't need to be excessive attenuation in the digital domain.

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7 minutes ago, MGTOW said:

Given the settings you are using I think you could usefully reduce the max output by at least 1, possibly 2 levels.

Do you know what they are set to at the moment?

Not sure exactly, but I set them up so as to have the volume nearly at 100 in my previous house which was detached and the lounge was bigger. Now I'm in a smaller lounge with an adjacent (semi detached lounge) I dare say I could fiddle with the dip switches and lower the settings as you suggest.

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But it may also take away room on which a(nother) turntable might sit. Testing times

Sent from my BLA-L09 using Tapatalk



Not at all, if you remember that a preamp should always be big enough to stand a turntable on!

Mine is... ;)
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7 hours ago, Jazid said:

But it may also take away room on which a(nother) turntable might sit. Testing times emoji848.png

Ah but if you get the right one you can do away with the phono pre and no net space lost :D 

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14 hours ago, newlash09 said:

Hi martinC 

Yes, that is the plan indeed. Preamp will be feeding the external crossover. And power amps will be connected from this crossover. But I've been given to believe that the crossover is transparent to the source. So keeping my fingers crossed on this one :)

In my bedroom system, my 1970's Pioneer adjustable active crossover IS my pre-amp.

This means that every time I adjust the volume up or down, I have to use my ears or memory to get a reasonably neutral tonal balance.

With practise you soon get to the stage where you know how much to adjust each volume contol.

I used to have a volume control in front of the active crossover, but it sounds better without. Sound quality trumps convenience in my house.

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28 minutes ago, lindsayt said:

In my bedroom system, my 1970's Pioneer adjustable active crossover IS my pre-amp.

This means that every time I adjust the volume up or down, I have to use my ears or memory to get a reasonably neutral tonal balance.

With practise you soon get to the stage where you know how much to adjust each volume contol.

I used to have a volume control in front of the active crossover, but it sounds better without. Sound quality trumps convenience in my house.

Thanks for sharing that Lindsayt.

But Iam too lazy to get up once I am seated. Besides even with roon I find myself changing volumes for different tracks. And I do go pretty loud if I like a track. So I'd prefer the convenience a unified volume control before the active crossover provides. 

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Anyone ever heard a Belles 28A reference pre amp with Phono inputs please. Looks like a quality peice of kit. But nothing much out there on the net .

Other option that I found is a T+A P 1260R -1400

And the Belles 28A reference pre amp is 1900 USD

Iam thinking of going either with the cheapest T+A or the belles with the Phono stage as I plan on getting a turntable next :)

Any thoughts between these two please. Thanks for your time. 

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I will pop out my second question now
The amr has 2 dac modules. The classic mode is designed for 16/44 and it's increments. And the hd dac module for 24/96 And it's increments. 
 The hd dac module seems to have channel volume level imbalance at the moment. And I can't seem to find anyone to repair it . I guess most folks would advise to solder a resistor in series. But I don't know where to put it. If I put the resistor just before the line out, then the classic dac, which has proper channel balance will get imbalanced through the same line outs. 
So was wondering if I got a preamp with balance control, I could balance out the channel imbalance I presently have on the hd dac, using this balance control. 
So will using balance control on the preamp deteriorate the sound quality. A lot folks say that tone controls degrade sound quality. So was wondering if balance control also effects in the same way. Thanks to kindly let me know
I don't know your DAC but if the balance is out it could be a damaged chip as likely as anything, and if so you would honestly be better off getting it properly fixed. I suppose a resistor might have drifted massively off spec and in that instance your resistor trick might be feasible, but to me honestly it looks like a bodge.

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Posted (edited)

 For me, using only a single digital source , an active (analogue) pre was much preferable than going direct from streamer to power amp. 

Added warmth and body and  the boogie factor (musicality if you will). 

Tried passive ones and found them a waste of time (in my system at least) 

Wouldn't go back to digital volume now.....

Edited by Rayymondo
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