Quicksilver's new Tube pre amp, German caps 12AT7 $995 great sound and
Made in USA
JohnnyR dealer for Quicksilver
New for 2015, the latest version of the Quicksilver Line Stage offers a simplified switching and signal path. With almost 10 times the output current capability of the previous Line Stage it will drive any amplifier input impedance and interconnect cable with ease. The new Linestage embodies the Quicksilver philosophy "simplicity is the essence of good engineering".
Bandwidth 0.1 Hz to 100 KHz +0,-3db
IM Distortion less than 0.02% at 1v output
Harmonic Distortion less than 0.02% at 1v output from 10 Hz to 40 KHz
Gain 18 db
Input Impedance 100 Kohm, 20 Hz-20 KHz
Output Impedance 100 ohms, 20 Hz-20 KHz
Output Polarity +180 degrees
Maximum Input 30 volts RMS, 20 Hz-20 KHz
Maximum Output 60 volts RMS, 20 Hz-20 KHz
Noise 20 microvolts RMS residual IHF weighted noise output with gain control at minimum
Tube Complement 2-12AT7
Dimensions 3"H, 9 1/2"D, 15"W
Front Panel 3 1/4"H, 17"W
Weight 12 lbs.
U.S. Warranty 3 years parts and labor
Tubes 90 days
Over the years, I've tried many different flavors of preamps, solid state, transfromer-based passive (which was superb, by the way), and now my second tube preamp.
I had the itch for some time to build a tube preamp, so I built a Transcedence Sounds Grounded Grid kit. I liked it so much, I sold my longtime favorite passive pre, and am using the Grounded Grid pre every day.
I put in better ouput caps, NOS Amperex 12AU7 tubes, better wiring and a motorized remote volume control, but I understand these units sound great without doing anything extra to them, and, for $499, you can't hardly beat the price.
I highly recommended giving one a try.
Maple shade or if you can snag a good deal on a Dodd.
I have been delighted with a BAT VK-3i for the last 15 years and it pretty much fits the bill you want. Total of four controls--power toggle, mute toggle, volume knob, source switch. Fully balanced circuitry. XLR and RCA inputs and outputs. Phono was an optional add-on, as was the remote. Built like a tank and you can tube roll. BAT provides amazing service and support too.
Quicksilver is outstanding gear. I have a ten year old preamp and never a glitch.
Problem is that you have not stated a budget. If between $1000-$1500 then then I +1 the Quicksilver. I own a Jolida Fusion and at $1300 I believe it would be hard to beat. If you have a greater budget the flood gates open. I am not sure what I would do if I had greater $$$ to spend on a tube pre, however tube pre it would be.
How about the Musica Bella line of preamps from Response Audio?
Bill Baker is a nice and knowledgeable guy to deal with.
FWIW we just introduced a new tube preamp that is a bit of a departure from our normal fare, called (for now) the Ultraviolet. Its available with or without phono.http://www.atma-sphere.com/Products/#UV-1
Bill may be the nicest guy in the world, but a half-dozen emails and calls I made about one of his amps I own went unanswered .
Ralph, that's a great looking basic preamp you have there. Can you give us some sense of the price?
Happy New Year to all.
Yes price and what makes it so "different" from other atmosphere products please.
Shubert, If you can contact me here through AudioGon and let
me know who this is and what piece you have, we can figure
this out as well as why I did not get or respond to your
inquiries. You can also try emailing me again at the
Sorry to post this in this thread....now back to the topic at
OK- since you asked: Line stage is $1900, w/LOMC phono section $2800 (uses SUTs). Regular phono is $2300 (no SUTs).
Its 'different' from our other preamps/amps in that it is entirely single-ended instead of entirely balanced-differential. But it does run 6SN7s in the line stage and no mistake- 6SN7s are a great sounding tube.
Greetings everyone. Audiogon has a known software bug which did not allow me to respond. The support desk just gave me a work around, so I hope this reply shows up.
I am looking in the $500-1000 dollar range as this system is for background music, not critical listening, and the rest of the system is mid fi quality at best. Wanted to use a tube pre amp to smooth out compressed, digital music which is streamed from various sources and to add some warmth to the system. Provide clarity so you can easily talk over the music. Perhaps I should look at kits. I am surprised a simple pre amp as I have described, with just one or two relatively inexpensive tubes needs to cost so much $$. I guess tube gear are a niche market and just cost more. Thank you very much for all of your replies, but just about all of them were targeted to a pretty good stereo system, not a multi zone background music system.
So as for the rest of my system, it seems I can either get a pro 8 channel power amp and a mixing board to take stereo into the 8 channels OR use a powerful stereo power amp and a speaker multiplier which uses resisters to increase impedance as needed (and thus is not as efficient) and a stereo pre amp. A reasonable mixing board is $250. Since I posted this thread, I have been warmed that a two channel power amp needs to be a PRO amp or else it will probably fail within a few years as home stereo amps were not designed to drive across a few hundred feed of wire. And I have not even mentioned the speaker placement/design as that is fairly complex as well if you want uniform sound and minimal zones with sound interference. Not such a simple project if you have not done one before, but interesting. Again, thank you for all of your suggestions.
I would suggest the Antique Sound Lab Line Two DT
, which uses one 12AU7 tube and costs $450.
A few years ago I used its predecessor model, the Line One, in my system while my main preamp was down. It performed very respectably, and of course its sonics can be significantly modified and tailored at modest cost by substituting different makes and vintages of the one tube.
The one caveat I would cite is that its output impedance is spec'd at 1,000 ohms, and most likely rises to significantly higher values than that in the deep bass region. Therefore, and taking into account your mention of the bottom octave as not being a concern, I would not recommend using it with a power amp or mixing board having an input impedance of less than around 25K, and preferably somewhat more.
Regarding driving the 8 speakers, assuming that you don't need to be able to control their volumes independently you might want to consider the possibility of connecting each of the two channels of a stereo amp to two paralleled pairs of two speakers in series. If each speaker is 8 ohms the amp would then see a load on each of the two channels of 8 ohms, although the maximum amount of power the amp could deliver to each speaker would be 1/4 of its rated maximum into 8 ohms. Also, for good sonics all of the speakers (especially the ones that are wired in series) should be identical models.
Good luck. Regards,
P.S. to my previous post: By connecting the speakers in the manner I described (two speakers in series paralleled with another two speakers in series, for each channel), you would most likely not be using long runs of + and - conductors that are in close proximity within the same cable. That would greatly minimize the contribution of the wiring to the load capacitance seen by the amp between its + and - output terminals, which I would expect to eliminate the concern you expressed about driving long runs with amps that are not intended for pro applications.