Review: Forte Model 2 Preamplifier

Category: Preamps

Forte was the sister line to Threshold and the Forte line was produced under the direct supervision of Nelson Pass,co founder of Threshold.

With that being said much of the technology from Threshold found it's way into Forte Products and the Model 2 PreAmp was no exception.

The Forte Model 2 has an exemplary phono section it it. Fully versatile to 3 different gain levels for Moving Coil Low Output,Moving Coil High Output and Moving Magnet as well as being able to select impedances and capacitance. Very few pre amps offer this much versatility,plus the RIAA equalization is within 0.5 dB!!. As far as phono sections goes it doesnt get any better than this.

This preamp has a separate out board power supply and RCA tiffany plated connectors. This is a Pure Class A Dual Channel PreAmp,with the build standard that has become the Nelson Pass trademark over the years.

The sonics of this pre amp are to die for. I first tested the phono section of this pre amp using a Signet Moving coil cartridge. Using the Piano music of David Lanz and others on the Narada Label. Was totally astounded by the depth and clarity of this pre amp,and by its dead silent background. Sonic signature of this preamp from Nelson Pass is truly extraordinary.I can think of only a small handful of pre amps that can excel the Model 2. And when price is an issue,there are zero contenders.

Almost $900.00 when new,at there secondary market price of $200.00 to $300.00,these are an absolute steal.

As far as the line stages go,the same sonic signature is there,pure Nelson Pass at his best. Connected a Mini Disc Player/Recorder to it. The most amazing thing is that the mini disc sounded so analog I had to check twice just to make sure it was the Mini Disc unit I had on.Same goes for the CD Player,removed the trace of hardness I had decided to put up with. Now the CD Player sounds very analog.

In short this has to be one of the best bargains out there in high end analog. Very underated and priced so ridiculous as to be absurd.

Will clearly exceed any preamp up to the $2,500.00 price range. Are there better -yes-but it will cost you dearly.

Associated gear
Threshold Cas 2 Amp,Nad 4020A Tuner,Oracle Turntable,HK T 60 Turntable,Denon 1560 CD Player,Sony Mini Disc Player/Recorder.

Similar products
Threshold,Audio Research,Krell,Sumo,Nad,Adcom,etc

For additional info on the Forte Model 2 PreAmp refer to Stereophile Magazine May 1989 Sam Tellig is the reviewer. Has a very high recommendation from him.
I am about to acquire a Forte 2 preamp but it is without manual and I understand little about this preamp. Can anyone help with advice on how to best operate it with my system -- which includes a pair of vintage Dahlquist DQ-10s and NAD 100 watt RMS amplifier?
dear Sir,
Are you still interested in info on the forte model 2?
I bought one new in 1989 and was in my main system until I traded straight across for a Classe'DR5 in 2000. A worthwhile upgrade was to replace the LT1028 linestage ic's with Analog Devices AD 744's. The result was a much more transparent and dynamic sound. Also replaced the input wire from the CD jack to the circuit board with pure silver wire. My hotrodded Forte'2 was a lovely sounding preamp and I sometimes regret that I let it go.
I recently purchased a Forte Model 2 as a back up. .. . . what a Steal of a Bargain! I'm a "Tube Junkie", but this little Forte should be considered by anyone needing a top notch preamp on a budget. . . you won't be disappointed!