For the pre-amp DAC strength, I am using a Naim NAC 272. They retailed for $7,200, but can be had used for about $2,100. Great SS device that doesn't run very warm.
- 61 posts total
@snapsc I think this is the same issue that has kept tubes alive in the power amplifier arena for so long. By comparison, the solid state preamps I've heard sound less lively and thinner than most tube preamps I've heard. I think this relates to distortion but I've done no measurements one way or the other to confirm this. However, tube preamps tend to be much lower distortion than tube power amplifiers. Solid state preamps tend to be even lower distortion; the 'measurement guys' will have you believe that distortion is so low as to be inaudible.
Tests we've done suggest otherwise until the distortion is below the total range of human hearing, which is about 120dB (so less than -120dB). That is my surmise; a lot more research has to be done in this area and I don't see anyone actually stepping up; the measurement guys say this was all solved 40 years ago yet clearly, it wasn't.
The result of that is tube preamps from 40 or more years ago still sound musical if properly refurbished but solid state preamps from that long ago don't get taken seriously. So I this is the best answer I can give, which is not at all definitive; belief and knowledge being two different things.
Ralph...I think you make a great point that there are still aspects of the electronics/hearing/brain interpretation barrier that we don't completely understand.
I suspect that it is the liveliness/thinness/detail conundrum that has people trying a lot of gear before they find that which suits their own personal tastes the best.
Again, thanks for your comments.
I have a Holo Audio Serene KTE preamp paired with class D, GanFet, AGD Audion Mkiii mono blocks. This is the best combination I have heard in my system! I understand it’s all about system synergy, so it takes time to get it right. I listen to 90% traditional jazz and the creepy crawling details, treble, midbass and bass I hear with this combination, and no brightness is very impressive. This is the first time I’ve owned a complete solid state setup that didn’t sound bright in the treble on many songs that I use for auditioning gear. The AGD amps have a lot to do with the smoothness of the treble.
- 61 posts total