Preamp for a GaN-FET amp...

Hello everyone... I'm thinking of replacing my Belles Aria Integrated for a GaN-Fet amp. I would have preferred to purchase an integrated GaN-Fet, but they are either too expensive or of questionable quality. I therefore resign myself to opting for an amp/preamp combo. My question is the following :

Which preamp do you recommend for a GaN-Fet amp?

I haven't made my choice yet, but the only GaN-Fet amp within my reach is the Starkrimson (used). Please note that if I opt for GaN-Fet, it is to avoid tubes, so I would prefer a preamp WITHOUT tube (and not a class A).

My speakers are Altec 620A (100 db efficiency) and I mainly listen to digital sources through a Metrum DAC. I also sometimes listen to records on my Garrard 401... That's basically why I need a preamp.

Note: the Belles Aria Integrated is a superb machine with astonishing sound, but I'm looking for an amp whose midrange is as good as a tube. The Altec don't do any favors and they are a little harsh in the midrange, especially at high volume. For those who would like to understand what I am trying to express by "as good as a tube", I suggest you listen to this interview with Ralph Karsten who explains the limits of transistors much better than me.

Thank you ! 😎


The future for audio amplification is GaN FET and other flavors of successor generation "digital" topologies. Class A and tube amplification generally will become even more of a niche product area as the generation that brought those technologies back, mainly to high fidelity, leaves the market, which one way or another will happen. Tubes may sound lovely, but enough people need to be buying them to make their manufacture worthwhile. The Chinese domestic tube HiFi market will probably become the mainstay for market demand, as long as their government permits inefficient electrical goods to be sold under whatever decarbonization policies have effect there. If the Chinese leave the tube production industry, tubes are done. No worry, some clever engineers will find a way to recreate the tube effects in a digital topology for those who can't do without. 

To the OP: Peachtree has a couple of GaN amps, at least three now, two of which are standalone amps and the third an integrated. You didn't say what your requirements were or a budget, but the integrated they sell is $3K and has 200W power.


You might look at the Pro-Ject Pre Box RS2 Digital preamp. It offers dual DAC, a headphone amp and a selectable tube output stage. It has an I2S interconnect for use with the ProJect CD transport, but will work fine with any streamer or CD player.

A very looked over -and still very much loved by me - pre is an SPL Elector. Balanced clarity, really preserves the signal, great stage, scale, depth. Just a smidge of warmth, but not in any way that arrests the tonal character of the presentation.

it doesn’t have a company remote, but will learn the signal from an Apple type remote with zero issues.

TMR usually has them at great prices. 


Interesting that you’re looking into getting a Starkrimson, I was actually looking at maybe getting one for my SPL!

Still, so many great choices out there.

I found a Fabulous pre-amp for my Peachtree GaN 400 amp....The Audio GD HE1- SLR XE from Underwood Audio.....Synergy at it's best. Very Tube like sound because the pre has 10 tubes and it's own regenerative power supply.,..a $10 K value for 4K !