Adcom pre amp versus Van Alstine

I am looking to buy a pre-amp and wondering which one might be a better pre-amp: Adcom GFP 750 or Audio by Van Alstine AVA ultra EC hybrid?

Appreciate your thoughts :)


I’ve had seat time with the GFP-750. It is a good preamplifier, that is well designed, runs very quiet, and has a bypass mode that changes the sound somewhat. One mode seems quieter, and the other mode seems a touch more dynamic.

Pick your preference. It does in fact have a single balanced input pair, and a single balanced output pair. They seem to hold a solid market value over the years, but are not so scarce that they are tough to find. There’s a black and gold style to the appearance. It runs warm, and sounds best when warmed up about 45 minutes. I liked it, but I did not keep it, as I was into my tourist phase of serial preamps. It was a good one, and if a nice cosmetic example popped up I might go for it.

On the other hand, I have come around to tubed preamplifiers, after trying a number of solid state. I have not heard that many tubed preamps, but I have discovered a fondness for hybrids as well as the tubes. It might be fun to try a Van Alstine preamp. There are audiophiles who swear by their products, the company has been around for decades, and they’re out of Minnesota.

I have had an Adcom Preamp and Amplifier in my workshop for 30 years. They have been subjected to heavy dust and fumes of every variety. My house was hit by lightening and a Krell Preamp fried, but not the Adcom. They are also decent sounding and void of any ill habits. They have also been run way more than my main system, frequently 12 hours daily. I had a Van Alstine preamp in the late 70s and it was OK. I sold it for a Conrad Johnson which I thought sounded better.