Audible Illusions Modulus PreAmp>Best Amplifier Match Ever!

For those who either had or still have an Audible Illusions Modulus 3A/3B pre-amp, what is/was the best solid state amplifier ever mated with the Modulus sonically; is there a "killer combination" that delivers/delivered that "goose-bump", audiophile experience?

When I had my 3B, it was mated to an Odyssey Stratos Extreme amp and I got many a goosebump.  You must use the 6h23neb tubes in the preamp to get this.

When I owned the Audible Illusions 3A it was mated to a McCormack DNA-1 with revisions, the sound produced was spectacular. Keep in mind that Audible Illusion preamps are heavily regulated and are designed to work very well with solid state amps. Also Audible Illusions only produced solid state amps at one time, maybe they still do but not sure.


From Dick Olsher's 2016 review of the AI L3A:

Then, in the mid-1980s, Art discovered the Russian 6H23n-EB, really a premium version of the 6922. Not only is it a good-sounding triode, but it also happens to be rugged, exceptionally linear, low in microphonics, and, according to Art, very stable in his zero-feedback tube designs. Subsequently, all of AI’s Series 3 preamps since 1989 have this Russian tube installed in the linestage. Note that AI no longer recommends Russian-branded (e.g., Sovtek) 6922s due to poor quality control. AI will continue to use NOS Russian-military 6H23n-EB tubes until AI’s Russian distributor can no longer supply them, at which time Art says he will probably switch to the Russian 6H30 tube.

My point being the AI's stock tubes appear to be the ones you mention as having to use.

I mentioned the tubes because many people put in 6922 or some exotic Telefunckin or Mullard tubes and then bitch when they die after a month or two.
I had other tubes fail pretty quickly in the AIM3A. Even though they were supposed to be for the preamp.

Used the 'real tubes' from AI now and things are good.

I have it paired to a Primaluna Amp.
With a somewhat high output impedance, it might behoove those that plan to match the AI with ss amps to be mindful of the low input impedances of some ss amps.
Solid state amps that I have used and really liked with my Audible Illusions Modulas 3A and 3B preamps are a pair of B&K M140 amps, Conrad Johnson 2250A amp (should of kept this amp) and a Pass Labs XA30.5 which I did keep.
Mine is mated to a Pass Labs X250.  Amazing sound and detail.  No need to look further IMHO.
I’ve had Modulus 3A since 1995 and used with a pair of McIntosh MC 30s, a VTL ST85, a McCormak DNA 1, and a bi-amped pair of McCormack DNA 1s.  Each combo worked well, although sound with MC 30s was soft.  But the combo with the McCormak DNA 1 either solo or bi-amped pair is superb; rich, impactful and detailed.
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I have my AI Mod 3b mated with a Pass Labs X250.8. Before that it was an Aragon 8008BB. The Aragon was/is no slouch, but the X250.8 is a great match!

My updated L3b from L3a on 6h23n-eb is paired with Sander Magtech Stereo driving the Revel Salon Ultimate 2 🥳

For many years I used a Modulus 3A with an Aragon 4004 MKII. They sounded great together.

Why not engage in a little necrothreading? I can confirm that AI made (and still makes) only SS amps, due to tube amps’ tendency to want to blow themselves up. I’ve had an M3A which ate all tubes other than the 6h23-eb, and now listen through an L2B which is MUCH easier on tubes. I also have a 1990(!) S-120 amp (a true Unicorn) which sounds quite lovely, both musical and energetic but, only due to its age, I am considering replacing it with a Pass X150.8, which is how I stumbled on to this old thread. I won’t part with the S-120, but I do want to put something else in place before it dies (it can’t live forever, can it?), and keep the S-120 as a backup/alternative. Anyway, seems like an AI pre with a Pass amp might not be too shabby as a pairing. Cool!