Preamps can color sound considerably. Surprising?

Had the pleasure of listening to 4 hi end preamplifiers this weekend. And each preamp sounded very nice. But they were different. Each preamplifier has different circuitry and within the frequency spectrum there was more vibrancy in some areas versus other areas. Amplifiers are the same way.

It takes a while to appreciate sound differences between preamplifiers. And then you got the issue of Breakin which further changes the color.

clearly designers are playing around with all the internal circuitry in a manner that hopefully will be appealing. Clearly, these units do not get out of the way when it comes to moving a signal through the box.

I think solid state is more susceptible to coloring versus tubes. Tubes color sound as well.

It's all about marketing different ways to color Music. This isn't necessarily bad but it's never really talked about this way.





Great topic and completely agree, since I require no switching or phono stage, what is this but a volume knob? Having had the Freya + to play around with tubes, I was puzzled when it blew up and needed a replacement when it was out for repair. The electrocompianet preamp I got from the dealer naturally went with the amps I loved and purchased from that company, but overall veil lifted and all that nonsense was true. I actually think the preamp is more important than the amp. Driving Maggies isn’t easy but somehow everything sounded better. Need to put the Freya up for sale, it’s great but no comparison. 

get all the components from the same manufacturer....they'll work well together

As a manufacturer, each tube has a different sound 6922/6DJ8 - 6SN7 - 101D - etc.  We designed a preamp where you could change output resistors from metal, carbon, etc., etc,.  It actually was an easy way to change the sound based on the recording and in our opinion save time in changing interconnects.


Every time we build a component, we end up feeling that the one we just built is more important that the last one.  At this time after building Class A tube mono blocks, we think that this is the most important part of a system. While the DAC and preamp are important, these Class A amps are just stunning in every system we have demonstrated them in from horn systems, to Sonus Faber, to Vivid, to YG Acoustics.  But keeping on subject, you have to determine what sound you prefer in your system and be happy with what you select.


Happy Listening.

Thank you for the nice comment about tube amplifiers.

Big problem is most dealers don't carry a variety of high-end components and comparing them it's not practical