Preamp & Subwoofer impedance mismatch?

I have Primaluna Dialogue Three preamp which according to Stereophiles has around 4000 ohms output impedance at around 20Hz and 2400 ohms output impedance at 1KHz and 20KHz

Right now I am hooking it to a Parasound A21 with input impedance of 33K ohms

However, I want to add a JL Audio E112 to my setup and was on planning using the build in high pass filter feature of it

The problem is, I just find out E112 has input impedance of only 10K and concern the mismatched impedance between my preamp and E112 will cause bass roll off

Do you guys think if I can eliminate the issue by add an active crossover between the preamp and subwoofer?
(I am looking at either JL Audio CR-1 with unbalanced input impedance of 50K or Marchand XM66 which either has 50K or 100K input impedance?)


Showing 2 responses by almarg

I believe that I heard that JL has new subs with higher input impedance to address this issue.
Good point, but looking at the JL website it appears to apply to the Fathom v2 series (those models having unbalanced input impedances of 50K, although their balanced input impedances are only 10K), but does not apply to the E-Sub series the OP is considering.  And the Fathom models cost considerably more than the E-Sub models.
In the event that I decide to add a active subwoofer crossover, I assume it will essentially act like a SS buffer right? Since both crossover has high input impedance (50K / 100K) and really low output impedance (100 ohms / 150ohms).

Good luck.  Regards,
-- Al
While the 10K load would certainly not be an ideal match for the preamp, a mitigating factor is that the **variation** in output impedance between 20 Hz and higher frequencies is not huge. In many other tube-based preamp designs the output impedance may be 3K or 4K ohms at 20 Hz, but only a few hundred ohms at higher frequencies. That kind of variation would result in a much greater deep bass rolloff than in this case, when working into a low impedance such as 10K.

And of course whatever deep bass rolloff will occur can be compensated for to at least a crude approximation via the adjustments that are provided on the sub.

So IMO it’s probably worth giving it a shot with a direct connection. If that proves to be unsatisfactory you can always add a buffer stage or crossover later. Also, while I’m not familiar with the crossovers you mentioned, a member here who has a high quality ARC-based system and faced a similar issue a few years ago resolved it by having Tom Tutay of Transition Audio Design in Florida build a custom made buffer stage for him, which provided high input impedance and low output impedance. I believe the cost was much less than $1K.

I don’t think Tom has a website, but a little Googling should provide you with his contact information.

One final point to keep in mind: If you were to ultimately decide to not utilize the high pass filter function in the sub, and drive both the sub and the power amp from the preamp using the preamp’s two pairs of output jacks, keep in mind that those two pairs of outputs are most probably driven from the same output stage, with the two output jacks for each channel simply jumpered together inside the preamp’s rear panel. That connection arrangement would therefore result in the preamp’s output stage seeing a load impedance of 10K in parallel with 33K, which is only 7.7K, an even worse situation than the one you are contemplating. Although an alternative in that situation would be to connect the sub at speaker-level, to the outputs of the amp.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al