Line Stage Preamps that blew you away $2500 Edition

Passive, tubes, solid state, jewel encrusted moon rocks, whatever. 

tell us what line stages blew you Away in the $2500 ish price catagory.


I think there have been many excellent suggestions. I don’t believe any of which would be a bad choice. Tubes every 6 months? That can’t be normal,can it?  Maybe have a tech take a peek under the hood. I’ve been running tube preamps for about 7 or 8 years now,and only had 1 tube failure.  

@tyray My subs are now pig tailed off the speaker terminals of my mains. So banana from amp to lower posts -> spade jumpers to upper posts -> these cables banana from upper posts to RCA in on the subs.

He said: "1500 hours sounds pretty normal for tube life. We supply the chinese tubes and they last 500 hours and the Mullard 4004 about 1500-2000 hours".

Wow! I didn’t know you could do that! But it makes sense. It’s just a typical +/- connection. If the mains are 8 ohm and the subs are 8 ohm and the amp is 8 ohm it reads a 4 ohm load because they are wired in parallel? And the 4 ohm load gives a little boast. Bloody brilliant.


Put the Quicksilver up for sale. And get a different preamp. No problem if used.


@tyray  Its more or less how REL does it. I like the change. As for the Quicksilver I don't know where to go after. If I knew a solid state that sounded the same I'd have it already. My fear with passives is sounding thin, otherwise I have my eye on one that does both active and passive.

I have a passive pre that I pop in occasionally. It’s an older Promtheus Audio TVC. I’ve used it with a few different amps,and I never felt the sound to be thin. Before I made that purchase,I bought a Schiit audio SYS. Within a very short period,I knew this would work for me,and began my search for the Promitheus.  I’m currently running tube preamps in my systems. I really enjoy the tube flavor. However, I can’t see myself letting the passive go.  Sometimes,I just like different.