Preamp shootout: Linear tube audio, Modwright, etc.

Hi Audio friends,

The world of preamps is taking me down a lot of rabbit holes and I'm curious what everyone out there thinks.  My journey here started with using my Dac direct to amp.  As soon as I inserted a dedicated pre the debate over pre vs. no pre ended.  Didn't realize I was missing a third of the music.  My current rig: wilson sabrina's, Coda TS v2 power amp, exasound DAC, silnote & cardas cables .  I was using a Modwright LS100 and I'm currently trialing the Linear tube audio ref pre.  The LS 100 is holographic, images well, but is not nearly as open or detailed as the LTA.  The LTA is gorgeous through the mids, but is a little muddy through the bass and not really suited for hard rock.  Wonder if different tubes would make a substantial difference to the LTA?  If anyone has experience please share. 

What other options might be considered in this price range?





Anybody know


What are the improvements that can be made in the excellent AVM Evolution PA 5.2





Anybody else running the AVM PA 5.2 that can comment on it as well as any other tube recommendations? Comparisons to other preamps are most welcome as there are not many places to demo anything nearby to me. 

Sorry I missed this guys.  The stock tubes from AVM are good sounding and extremely quiet but are not great in terms of detail and imaging. 

Staging is enhanced with good NOS tubes in every direction.  I find depth is most enhanced by Mazdas.  Mazdas are also quite detailed and tonally relatively neutral and flat from a frequency response perspective.


Mullards are slightly rolled off in the treble.  Big staging in every direction and strong levels of detail with a richer midrange.  

I have not tried other options.  I have since sold my PA5.2 and those are the only tubes I rolled in.  You could reach out to Tube Depot or Brent Jesse to see what they have to say about their options for ECC83s.