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I recently added a Modwright SWL 9.0 Line Stage from Dan Wright that had just been rebuilt with upgraded power supply, new tube board, and MWI caps. Remote volume control is included, it has HT bypass, and there are only two tubes in the unit.
This unit is hooked up to my Arcam AV-9 Preamp-Processor.
I absolutely love the sound of it, it was just what I was looking for.
I would check out the Prima Luna Dialogue Premium. I had it w/my older Aerial 6's. was an excellent combo. Tubes are auto bias and they last a long time. Currently w/my HT setup I have a Luxman CL38U-SE. w/my Aerial 5T's. Best preamp I've ever owned. Doesn't have HT pass through but I hooked up my Bryston Amp w/balanced cables to my HT processor and the RCA outputs from the same amp to my Luxman. I just flip the switch on the amp for movies or music. Woks well. So you really can work around a HT passthrough giving you more choices.
My amp won’t work like that. It’s an Odyssey, and IIRC, the RCA and XLR connectors are wired together inside the amp, so it’s not a true ‘balanced’ amp, and doesn’t have the switch....at least that’s what my foggy memory is telling me from a couple years back when I was trying to determine if there would be a benefit to going ‘Balanced’. Open to correction if someone else knows better, which is likely :)
Luxman I also heard the new EVO400 at my local dealer and the system sounded great. It just didn’t have any of the equipment attached that I have, so who knows. They will let me trial it though...I’d rather narrow down my choices before taking them up on it.
Any input on tube life if the preamp has to be in for HT bypass? I read in the EVO400 manual that it does.
I had my Prima Luna for 3-4 years and didn't have to change tubes. They build their products w/lower gain to preserve tube life. My current Luxman CL38U-SE is 2 years old and as quiet as the day I bought it. The only tube preamp I had a problem w/was a CJ ET-3 SE. Has about a 26 gain factor and just ate the 6922 tube very 6-8 months. Was like clock work and it got noisy. Like sitting on a time bomb. That was my personal experience.
From a usage standpoint, it would need to pass the HT signal even when turned off. The system is used daily for tv/movies, and needs to operate the same way for my wife with the new preamp. I would turn it on to use only for music, and I’m fine with the ‘extra step’ of turning it on. Alternately I suppose I could swap cables, but why even have HT bypass then.
The Prima Luna I’ve heard would require this extra step, according to the manual, unless owners in the real worl know otherwise