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Thread: Fancy a cheap passive pre-amp?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 26,951
    I'm Geoff.

    Default Fancy a cheap passive pre-amp?

    Just as a bit of fun and something else to play with, I've been using one of these for a little while: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Little-Bea...4AAOSwZ4dZEtWt

    It's dirt cheap, but well built and looks pretty funky and it sounds way better than you'd expect. It works a treat with my Quad 306. I'd imagine it would pair up well with a Leak Stereo 20 as well. At twenty five quid you can't go far wrong really, even if it's just kept as a back-up. You do have to wait for it to arrive from China. Mine took about three weeks. The seller is reputable.

    These are available from various far east sellers and 10k, 20k and 50k options can be found. Mine has the 20k pot.









    .
    Last edited by walpurgis; 31-05-2017 at 11:08.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  2. #2
    Join Date: Oct 2011

    Location: Charente, France

    Posts: 3,515
    I'm Nodrog.

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    What a crazy price. Very tempted.

    I use a Creek passive with the Stereo 20 and the 306 / 303 so having a spare sounds a very good idea. I wonder if I will hear any difference!

  3. #3
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 26,951
    I'm Geoff.

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    Hi Gordon.

    I had a Creek passive years ago and from memory, I'd guess this Little Bear could be better. I found the Creek slightly thick sounding and I was using a Stereo 20 at the time, that's not something I'd accuse the Little Bear of.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Forest of Dean, Glos & Cambrian mountains, Wales

    Posts: 8,640
    I'm Jerry.

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    Interesting!
    So it can be used as a 2 input passive pre? - 1 RCA and 1 XLR?

    Would go well with Jez's impedance buffer widget.
    Jerry

    Main systems:
    Spotify Premium streaming, Cambridge Audio 851D DAC, Pure Sound L10 pre, Pass X150 power amp. Speakers: MBL 116F. Cryo Silver i/c & Western Electric 16GA spkr cables. ProJect and Nordost Magus power cables

    Headphones: Fostex T50RP mk3, AKG 551, B&O H6, PSB M4U-1, B&O Form 2 & 2a and Sony XBA-H1 & SoundMagic E50 IEM headphones

    2nd system: Spotify Premium streaming / Pioneer DV-535, Audiolab MDAC, Black Cat power amp, Chario Syntar 100T speakers. Headphones: Fostex T50RP mk3, SoundMagic E10 IEM headphones

    3rd system: Portable CD player, Kinter MA-180 T amp, Klegg Symphony 102 speakers

  5. #5
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 26,951
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jandl100 View Post
    Would go well with Jez's impedance buffer widget.
    That's a distinct possibilty.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  6. #6
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: NE England

    Posts: 4,389
    I'm Jez.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jandl100 View Post
    Interesting!
    So it can be used as a 2 input passive pre? - 1 RCA and 1 XLR?

    Would go well with Jez's impedance buffer widget.
    Yes it would. Any passive will work equally well with it and it converts the passive into an active. I wouldn't touch one of those little bear ones with a ten foot pole personally though. Too cheap to do the job reliably. Handy for those who don't want to bung a decent pot in a box and build it themselves though.
    Arkless Electronics-Engineered to be better. Tel. 01670 530674 (after 1pm)

    Modded Thorens TD150, Audio Technica AT-1005 MkII, Technics EPC-300MC, Arkless Hybrid MC phono stage, Arkless passive pre, Arkless 50WPC Class A SS power amp, (or) Arkless modded Leak Stereo 20, Modded Kef Reference 105/3's
    ReVox PR99, Studer B62, Ferrograph Series 7, Tandberg TCD440, Hitachi FT-5500MkI, also FT-5500MkII
    Digital: Yamaha CDR-HD1500 (Digital Swiss army knife-CD recorder, player, hard drive, DAC and ADC in one), PC files via 24/96 sound card and SPDIF, modded Philips CD850, modded Philips CD104, modded DPA Little Bit DAC. Sennheiser HD580 cans with Arkless Headphone amp.
    Cables- free interconnects that come with CD players, mains leads from B&Q, dead kettles etc, extension leads from Tesco

  7. #7
    Join Date: Apr 2017

    Location: Cheshire UK

    Posts: 114
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    Im looking at the ones from Tisbury Audio and NVA.

    The passive pre and power seems to be absolutely ideal and Im feeling the vibe. Im just wondering If I need XLR?

    That little bear product just looks a bit cheap and just doesnt do it for me. Little Bear? I will buy into a nice wood panel and a UK quality vibe. Hand crafted by angels in the countryside will have me reaching for my wallet Made In the UK is a big selling point for me

    I will have to search for more threads on passive pre amps

    Best wishes
    Martin

  8. #8
    Join Date: Sep 2013

    Location: North Island New Zealand

    Posts: 826
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Minstrel SE View Post
    Im looking at the ones from Tisbury Audio and NVA.

    The passive pre and power seems to be absolutely ideal and Im feeling the vibe. Im just wondering If I need XLR?

    That little bear product just looks a bit cheap and just doesnt do it for me. Little Bear? I will buy into a nice wood panel and a UK quality vibe. Hand crafted by angels in the countryside will have me reaching for my wallet Made In the UK is a big selling point for me

    I will have to search for more threads on passive pre amps

    Best wishes
    Martin
    Hi Martin
    Good choice, viewed properly you are further money away from a proper passive - one that
    has no grinding contacts or wiping surfaces, at all, in the signal path.


    Cheers / Chris

  9. #9
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 621
    I'm Andrew.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Light Dependant Resistor View Post
    ... a proper passive - one that has no grinding contacts or wiping surfaces...
    Light Dependent Resistor is adamant that mechanical/physical contacts are a problem from an audio point of view but personally I'm not convinced.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 621
    I'm Andrew.

    Default

    BTW, Black Adder is selling a nice passive here on AoS
    http://theartofsound.net/forum/showt...y-nice-indeed)

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