going from tube preamp to solid state

just toying around with this and it might not even happen.

have a tube preamp now and while i might sell this later on and get another preamp.......have there been members that have had a tube preamp, sold it and went to a solid state preamp and kept it ?          or did you prefer the tube preamp sound and went back to it ?

maybe got a tube preamp that uses different tubes than the previous one did ?     

the preamp i have now, i like the way it sounds, but just not a fan of the 6sn7 and never really have been.   i prefer the 6922, 12au7 / 12ax7 tubes better.   


@innersound300 While the 6SN7 tube itself might not be to your liking, it may also help to try some other 'SN7s in the pre to see if you can tailor the sound more to what you're looking for. In the preamp, both channels are completely separated at the positive signal and only coupled at the ground (like all other single-ended devices). In some cases I've found that pronounced frequency response in the midrange can often make the soundstage sound more center focused whereas less midrange energy and more HF energy can give the impression of more extension to soundstage width. If you have no already, I would consider trying some other 6SN7s or even 6SL7s- both of which can be safely used in your Transcend preamp. I find 6SL7s, aside from having higher gain, to also sound a little leaner in the midrange and have more of an extended top end, or more of a "Noval" (mini) type of tube sound. It might be worth a try?


Other than that, oftentimes small component upgrades internally can work wonders to bring the stage width out further, such as coupling caps, signal resistors, power supply filter cap change, etc. with the most prominent change occurring with a change of the coupling caps- as there is only one per channel. Anyhow, I just wanted to offer my 2 cents in the hopes it may help with the soundstage issue. 


Best regards, Aric



 if you're looking for soundstage, a lot of that will come from speaker placement in your room. For instance, if you have an amazing center image but not a lot of soundstage width or depth I'm gonna guess that your speakers are 1, too close together, or 2, toed in quite a bit

as i said earlier :

the room has been treated, speakers have been moved every which way you can think of.....and nothing really changes.   

there is no toe in at all.   speakers are 69" apart, so i dont think they are to close together ( and they are 42": from back wall and 32" from side wall ).








L/R MUST be working equally to create a center image which is entirely Phantom. 

It sounds like something is in MONO mode, OR something is wrong with your l/r connections. out of preamp to amp; speaker connections. OR, inside the preamp. OR inside your amp.

why do you say that it sounds like its in mono mode ?    vocals sound like they are coming from the center, isnt that where they are suppose to sound like they are coming from ?

1. Double Check all your connections, find something wrong, fix it.

its a very simple system, preamp, cd player, amp.   all connections are correct

2. double check all tubes: in correct sockets? (I switched my 6sn7 with 6sl7 once)

there are only 2 tubes....so hard to mess that up.

3. Prove AMP is producing Stereo (omit preamp). Hook up a CD player (any line level device (not LP) directly to the amp . Nice imaging? IF so, speaker wires are ok and amp is ok.

cd player cant go direct.    amp is producing stereo

4. Same CD, same track: thru the preamp to amp. Sound same as when CD player straight to amp? 

a. you have two sets of outputs on that preamp, have you tried them both?


b. 4 inputs on the preamp, try each input, any difference?

btw, what AMP?

Innersound ESL 300



I tried various combos of amps and pre amps over many decades.   In the end I generally preferred a solid state amp and a tube preamp.  

I’m really surprised no one asked - What amp are you currently using? The synergy between the amp and preamp is very important. Personally, I wouldn’t consider a tube amp and solid state preamp. Frankly, I don’t recall an instance when someone was running this combination. I’m quite partial to a tube preamp and high current solid state amp(s). My Apogees need more current than most tube amps offer as well though.