A decent preamp for Altec 604 speakers

I am addicted to high efficiency speakers. I own Altec 620 monitors (6048G). Outstanding but require very good electronic. The mids tend to magnify poor elements ... Some told me to get a tube preamp... I had a few tube amps in the past and got sick of all the care they need. So I rather go with SS. I need transparency and a very smooth medium. I listen to vinyl, mostly acoustic and electric pop. Up to 1k for a used gear. Thanx.
I've owned Altec 604B's and 604c's along with Model 19's, Tannoys and Khorns. Although I'm the North American distributor for Eastern Electric, I can honestly say the MiniMax preamp played well with all these high efficiency speakers.
I use the Altec 604-8K, much the same as the -8G but with the Tangerine phase plug, revised crossovers and Manta Ray horn. In my main system, I use the Tannoy System 15 DMT II, not quite as sensitive as the Altec, but still over 95 dB

I use a Meitner PA6i preamp, upgraded by John Wright (www.museatex.com). My second choice has been the Bryston BP-25 with the MPS-1 power supply or BP-26 with the MPS-2 power supply.

When you can find them, the PA6 and PA6i go for anywhere from $400 to 600 ($2350 retail in 1990). John Wright charges $500 for the "Plus" upgrade. An astonishingly good preamp, tonally rich yet very detailed; also astonishing bass. Even better when you use it with the Meitner STR-55 or MTR-101 power amps, but excellent with any quality power amp.

Hope this helps.


I have identical Altecs. I tried a few SS (vintage) amps with them and found them all fatiguing and shrill in the topend and settled on tubes (McIntosh MC40's). Now, I can and do listen for hours without fatigue. From my search, I don't know that I have found anyone that uses SS amplification with 604's. Most owners use low wattage SET and seem very pleased.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. You might want to post your question on the AudioAsylum HiEff forum. Several longterm 604 owners over there who could be helpful. Or the http://alteclansingunofficial.nlenet.net/index.html

Good luck and I love your speakers!!
Ive used thier seperate componants for years, you cannot beat the compression driver its great. Getting the woofer portion to match is the biggest thing and the woofer handles a large amount of frequencys (full midrange) ect. Id look for the most extended gear for the frequency extremes. I hear your looking into solid state Krell ksa150 would be nice would really take a hold of those 15's but not make the compression driver go crazy either. Id like to hear them myself with rogue 120 mono tube amps, these are not typical solid state, they will push you back in your seat with that 96 db efficency. Both of those are 1400 or so anyway good luck.
I have the 604 D and have found tubes really sweet with these speakers. While not knowing a SS amp to recommend, I would suggest a nice integrated, maybe like the sli-80. Don't need much power, you could go all the way down to a 7 watt set and still drive the 604 very nicely.
Im sorry I shuld have looked at you ad more clearly You need a preamp.
thanx to everyone. Joel, the BP 25 was on my list. Never heard the meitner. But it seems more tricky to use since there is no volume on the machine. I would have to use the remote and I am not very comfortable with the idea of being dependant on a remote. Thanks again to everyone...