There's has been much positive talk and commentary regarding the Linear Tube Audio Micro ZOTL preamp. Professional reviewers and actual owners are very happy with its sound quality.
I read up on both preamps mentioned. It seems as if the Micro ZOTL is primarily a headphone amp and only puts out 1W. Is this really enough output to serve as a preamp. I'm not really knowledgeable on in depth electrical issues. Also it actually has speaker inputs. I assume if I were to set up as a preamp I would continue to run my speakers from my LM. The Shindo is of course beautiful as well but the price of the Micro ZOTL is attractive!
Any other preamp contenders?
I’m also thinking a Shindo Preamp, in this range the Aurieges MM, with phono. You would be simplifying the system, but also some of the loading and gain options of your Chinook. If you want to explore this area, I would think Arizona Hi-Fi or Don Better to be good sources. Not sure if you have thought about an SUT, which may be another option to explore along with the Shindo. With the above suggestion, you would replace your Manley. If you prefer to keep it, there’s also the Aurieges L, line stage preamp.
Thanks all. I will email teajay.
fjn04, there are two Aurieges listed now...one is an older version with 2 units (w/separate power unit) and the other a combined 1 unit. Do you, or anyone else, know if there are any sonic differences? Not sure why Shindo went from original external power source to internal power later.
Just curious, are you using the stock tubes in the 518ia or have you swapped them out; and if the latter what do you feel is missing that is casuing you to want to go with a separate preamp? I have the 518 and with the exception of the stock 845 swapped in NOS 5AR4, 6L6GCs and 5751s and find it pretty engaging as is. Thanks
Sorry- I haven't a clue, though I do find that 2 chassis version to be very interesting. Matt at Pitch Perfect will sometimes have a used one for sale as well. I ran my Monbrison in to an LM 211 IA without issue, but the 211 does not have a PRE IN like your 518. So in my case, I believe it may have been a compromise. I would reach out to users of Shindo pre and LM with PRE IN.... I would ask their opinion to see if the LM PRE IN allowed the Shindo to open up VC enough, and have small enough steps. I don't know the technical terms well enough to explain my last point, but hopefully you understand.
facten....yes I have rolled some tubes. Philips 5R4GYS rectifier, SED Winged C EL34s, and Psvane TII 12ax7. Haven't changed out the 845s yet but would like to soon. Not sure which ones so haven't done that yet.
I don't really feel (or know) anything is missing per se. I've had it set up like this for about a year and am very happy with my system as is overall. But can't help but wonder if I added a preamp could I be "happier." Just thinking it could be even better. Most people I have talked with seem to think a compatible preamp would add some more dimension and be a positive addition. What speakers are you using?
I believe that the Shindo Aurieges has fairly high gain. You "may" run into the issue of using the VC in only the lower setting (9 of clock range) or it could become too loud. Matt would likely know if that’s a potential concern. In most cases a good active preamplifier is an asset and will improve the sound quality IMO. Overall system gain is something that requires consideration.
Charles is right about the high gain. You can run the Shindo through the line input if that is the case and use the (I think) passive volume control on the Line Magnetic as a trim pot, like the trim pots on Shindo amplifiers.
You should also try the direct input. See which one you like best and which sounds best to you.