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Thread: Passive Preamps

  1. #1
    Join Date: Apr 2013

    Location: Solihull, UK

    Posts: 357
    I'm Bob.

    Default Passive Preamps

    Can anyone offer a recommendation on a passive preamp?

    Ideally it should have 4 inputs plus a tape in / out. It'll also need to be able to accommodate a pass thru although I guess I could just use an input and turn the vol control up to max (right?). A remote control would be useful but I could live without it if there are other benefits.

    I need it to just be audibly invisible. No colouration, neither adding nor taking anything away. This would be going straight into my Musical Fidelity A5cr Power Amp.

    I'd also be grateful to hear from anyone who's tried a passive and found it didn't meet their needs. For what reason?

    Many thanks, Bob
    Source: Orbe SE / SME IV / SAE 1000LT (again) / AT33 PTG II
    Source: AKAI GX-635D - Seriously Serviced by VintageTech
    Source: WD NAS / Cyrus Stream X2 / Chord DAVE
    Source: Oppo UDP-205 (CD/DVD-A/SACD)

    Amplification: Icon Audio PS 3 Sig Phono + Audio Research LS27 + Musical Fidelity A5cr Power Amp
    Loudspeakers: ProAc Response D28
    Cables/stands: Mark Grant G1500HD + Linn K20 + Cat 5e
    Other bits: Okki Nokki keeping things clean

  2. #2
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: west mids, UK

    Posts: 2,290
    I'm Phil.

    Default

    well I am surprised to see a request for a passive after using an arc ls 27 which is on my wish list sometime [ having had a few arc pre amps ] . it would take a very good passive to beat that . also passives with HTB are very very rare . think i saw a MFA once with it

    just for interest the freya has loads of inputs and is incredibly transparent , more so than my pre 3 vbs . its a passive . it would be interesting to compare it to your LS27 . there is one here and not too far from you !!

    https://theartofsound.net/forum/show...assive-pre-amp
    1]bel canto pre 3 vbs /MSB s200 , /rotel cd/ bel canto fm1
    sonos, . tannoy eaton legacy 2]arcam a75 marantz sa8005 jolida modwright dac and RFC impulse ta`us , track audio stands

  3. #3
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 25,743
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    Nelson Pass DCB1 - you'd have to build it yourself or get someone to build it though. Not commercially available as a built unit. But you could specify as many inputs as you wanted plus a pass through. Passive with a buffer so you have to plug it in but there is no gain stage.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SLP1200 CD Player * Nelson Pass DCB1 Pre amp / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  4. #4
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 4,947
    I'm Alan.

    Default

    Nelson pass DCB1 is amazingly transparent, depending on the volume control element.
    Just to provide more information this is a potentiometer or stepped attenuator followed by the DCB1 buffer stage.

    Other buffer stages can be used, there are valve based buffer stages available as well, from other vendors.

    A stepped attenuator of sufficient quality will give the best performance, a lot use the Khozmo series attenuator, an alternative that is a little less expensive but of equal transparency is the Acoustic Dimension stepped attenuator.

    Both Khozmo and Acoustic Dimension are available with remote control, though the AD unit is a fair bit cheaper.

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2017

    Location: West Sussex, UK

    Posts: 735
    I'm Steve.

    Default

    I love my dcb1, its now on it's 6th carnation and each upgrade has been an eye opener.

    It's a very adaptable machine with lots of upgrade paths and a variation of configurations

    Steve..
    Project 2experience sb dc, Cart: At33ptg
    Aragon 4004 dual mono
    Monarchy Audio SM70
    CD Player: Cyrus cd8se
    Spotfire Speaker Cable

    Steve...

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jun 2014

    Location: Chorley Lancs

    Posts: 4,141
    I'm Steve.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by STD305M View Post
    I love my dcb1, its now on it's 6th carnation and each upgrade has been an eye opener.

    It's a very adaptable machine with lots of upgrade paths and a variation of configurations

    Steve..
    I'm intrigued by this - is the DCB1 expensive to buy, are they only kit form, and if so how hard are they to make, bearing in mind I have sausage fingers and zero experience with a soldering iron. The idea of getting a pre amp for not too much money, then upgrading as funds become available is quite appealing.
    Excuse me, are you the Judean People's Front?

    T/T: Inspire Monarch, X200 tonearm, Ortofon 2M Black. Phono: Yaqin MS-22B CD: Densen Beat B400 Plus; Headphone/pre: Myryad Z40; Amp: Audion Silver Night 300b stereo
    Speakers: Zu Omen Def. Atlas Equator interconnects, Atlas Hyper 3.0 speaker cables

    T'other system:
    Echo Dot, Amptastic Mini-1, Celestion 5's, BK XLS-200 DF

    A/V:
    Panasonic 42" plasma, Panasonic Blu Ray, Sony a/v amp, MA Radius speakers, REL Storm sub

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2014

    Location: london se6

    Posts: 644
    I'm AndyElectroNumpty.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pigmy Pony View Post
    I'm intrigued by this - is the DCB1 expensive to buy, are they only kit form, and if so how hard are they to make, bearing in mind I have sausage fingers and zero experience with a soldering iron. The idea of getting a pre amp for not too much money, then upgrading as funds become available is quite appealing.
    Snap! I just did this , see the build thread. With no electronics experiance at all and it has worked out fine . Still running in but certainly showing potential even in stock form. If you are willing to then I would say have a go as there are plenty of people here and on DIY audio who would help out. I sent to board to Alan for a bit of numpty trouble shooting but apart from that was fairly straightforward.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    At the cutting edge of Numptyness!

  8. #8
    Join Date: May 2017

    Location: West Sussex, UK

    Posts: 735
    I'm Steve.

    Default

    Hi Steve

    They aren't to bad to build, ive built 6 so far and there are a couple of others on aos who have built them too.

    Price wise somewhere between 460 and 600 depending on spec, fit and finish.

    Regards Steve
    Project 2experience sb dc, Cart: At33ptg
    Aragon 4004 dual mono
    Monarchy Audio SM70
    CD Player: Cyrus cd8se
    Spotfire Speaker Cable

    Steve...

  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 9,042
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Yup, best pre I've personally heard and if you invest in it, it gets better and better.

    If you aren't 100% on it, Firebottle is more than capable of putting these together.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+/Allo Boss 1.2/Isolator 1.3 & 2x LPSU's with Volumio & JRiver
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

    Alternative reading: http://www.audioaddictsforum.com

  10. #10
    Join Date: Sep 2013

    Location: North Island New Zealand

    Posts: 1,336
    I'm Chris.

    Default Bake off needed

    Is a bake-off needed ?

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