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Thread: Pre-amp recommendation please

  1. #1
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: South Beds, UK

    Posts: 1,173
    I'm kickinbacklistenintotchoons.

    Default Pre-amp recommendation please

    OK, I'm not sure that such a thing even exists, but here we go anyway.

    I really like my Quad 34 pre (with mm phono card), mainly because of the wonderful tone controls. The thing I don't get on with is the stepped attenuator volume control. I am very sensitive to volume and quite often adjust volume track to track, considering ambient conditions etc.

    It wasn't a problem when my old power amp had a pot volume control, but my new one doesn't, and so I rely on the stepped attenuator of the Quad.

    And don't you just know it, the ideal volume is always between two steps !!

    So, my question to you learned gents is, do you know of any Quad like pre-amps, with mm phono, continuous volume control and decent tone controls in the 2 - 300 mark ?

    Be interested to hear your thoughts / suggestions.

    Thanks.
    Mike (that's me)'s stuff -

    Analogue:Garrard 401 / OL Silver / AT33PTGII, Remton 383 MkII valve phono
    Make music louder: TVC pre, Nirvana Electronic Works A60, 60W / Ch Class A power
    For when there's no Analogue: Doge 6 CDP
    To discover loads of new music: Spotify into foo'd Xiang Sheng DAC-01A
    Music boxes: Heco Celan 300
    Cleaning duties: Okki Nokki 2

    Y'know, sometimes, Satan, come as a man of peace.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: London

    Posts: 394
    I'm james.

    Default

    Add a passive or a Pass buffer with volume control after the pre for finer control? Or if you use digital sources use digi volume control. There's nothing quite like the Quad pre's that I'm aware of and the style is unique so...

    Sent from my BLA-L09 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: west mids, UK

    Posts: 1,875
    I'm Phil.

    Default

    I sympathise with you , one main reason I use my bel can to pre 3 is it has 200 volume steps,remembers the vol of each input and costs just 600 sh .big shame it does not have tone controls though
    1]bel canto pre 3 vbs /MSB s200 , / onkyo sacd/ bel canto fm1
    sonos, . tannoy eaton legacy 2]schiit saga pre , firebottle mono`s marantz sa8005 bel canto 3.5vbss and RFC impulse ta`us , track audio stands

  4. #4
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 36,832
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    The Audiolab 8000C and NAD 1020 are not that dissimilar to the Quad 34 in presentation and have the features you want.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: South Beds, UK

    Posts: 1,173
    I'm kickinbacklistenintotchoons.

    Default

    I did think of doing that James but another box and another set of cables ? They could degrade the sound, surely ?
    Mike (that's me)'s stuff -

    Analogue:Garrard 401 / OL Silver / AT33PTGII, Remton 383 MkII valve phono
    Make music louder: TVC pre, Nirvana Electronic Works A60, 60W / Ch Class A power
    For when there's no Analogue: Doge 6 CDP
    To discover loads of new music: Spotify into foo'd Xiang Sheng DAC-01A
    Music boxes: Heco Celan 300
    Cleaning duties: Okki Nokki 2

    Y'know, sometimes, Satan, come as a man of peace.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: South Beds, UK

    Posts: 1,173
    I'm kickinbacklistenintotchoons.

    Default

    Thanks Geoff. I'll look into those.

    Does anybody know if it is possible to change the stepped attenuator for a pot in the Quad 34 ?
    Mike (that's me)'s stuff -

    Analogue:Garrard 401 / OL Silver / AT33PTGII, Remton 383 MkII valve phono
    Make music louder: TVC pre, Nirvana Electronic Works A60, 60W / Ch Class A power
    For when there's no Analogue: Doge 6 CDP
    To discover loads of new music: Spotify into foo'd Xiang Sheng DAC-01A
    Music boxes: Heco Celan 300
    Cleaning duties: Okki Nokki 2

    Y'know, sometimes, Satan, come as a man of peace.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Dec 2014

    Location: UK, East Midlands

    Posts: 1,156
    I'm Mike.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Idlewithnodrive View Post
    Does anybody know if it is possible to change the stepped attenuator for a pot in the Quad 34 ?
    Just had a look in my 34 to refresh my memory and indeed the attenuator is noticeably larger than most standard pots so you would encounter problems lining up the shaft with the front plate. Complicated further by the balance control mechanism which relies on a collar that the attenuator shaft runs through (as pivot and anchor).

    Obviously If you can find a pot with matching casing dimensions that would makes things easier. Can't check the pin spacing without too much dismantling but your first obstacle would be the symmetry/match I would think.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Dec 2014

    Location: UK, East Midlands

    Posts: 1,156
    I'm Mike.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Idlewithnodrive View Post
    Does anybody know if it is possible to change the stepped attenuator for a pot in the Quad 34 ?
    Just another thought on this - in terms of mechanics; as a standard pot is smaller it should be possible to mount it with the pins facing upwards (or sideways) and run wires from the PCB to connect. This is provided you can mount it to the inner chassis OK and run the shaft though the balance control mechanism. Whether it would present a problem electronically I have no idea, I think the attentuator is nominally 50k but don't know whether a 50k pot would provide a match ... I'm sure someone much more qualified can confirm

  9. #9
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 4,347
    I'm Alan.

    Default

    Shouldn't be a problem to change the pot I think, from memory the original is quite large as stated above. Fitting the same resistance won't affect the sound.

    I have a feeling that the original isn't a stepped attenuator at all, just that there is an indent mechanism built into the pot. I wonder if that can be defeated to give continuous rotation.
    I will gladly look at it for you if you wish.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 4,347
    I'm Alan.

    Default

    I have the circuit diagram at home, I'll check it when I get back later.

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