Just how good is the Dynaco Pas-3 pre amp? Pat-4 pre amp? I am thinking getting one to use with a Audio Research power amp mostly because I need to save money. Any thoughts? Thanks Nick
A PAS-3, in restored condition, can sound pretty good. A PAT-4 is early solidstate and sucks.
Circuits and audio quality are good. The quality of switches and pots is less than ideal. No pretty cosmetics.
The reviews of the PAT4 in Stereophile years ago put it in the same league as the PAS-3. I got a PAT4 on ebay for $75 that works great. They are old, though and I think it takes a little bit of luck to get a decent one (either 3 or 4) sight unseen. there have been several 3's here on audiogon recently. One thing I have found with old vintage equipment is that the ear of the beholder (ie the seller) is sometimes more charitible than another's ear. Good luck. Also if you can find a Hafler preamp--they are newer and from the same lineage.
Dynaco Pas-3 is an exellent choice
But it takes a lot of work.

Switches are noisy,
Power supply needs a lot of help
Circuit boards used cheap substrates and tend to lift, decay and sound bad

A nice, well restored PAS3 can sound very nice indeed, but a ratty old ebay one is likely to require lots of work. Of course if you think this stuff is fun (as I do) then it's a nice challenge.

My $.02
Hope this helps!

Hey thanks to everyone for the info,Nick