I believe that also it may need tubes replaced.
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Most tube preamps either have a manual mute switch, or an automatic one, or, the preamp should be turned on, and STABLE, before turning on the amplifier.
That is a well known fact. (ior should be..)So why are you turning on the preamp After the amp?
Just so you can listen to the tubes waking up?
I guess... Tubes making crazy wierd noises starting up is NORMAL.
And the hiss. If you cannot hear it while playing music seated at your listening position at the normal levels you listen at... Then NO PROBLEM.
Youra6 what is the sensitivity of your speakers? It's possible the speakers you own are far more sensitive than the reviewers speakers, hence the hiss. Note that with preamps that haven't any mute relay, when they initially power up, it's a good idea to turn the preamp on first, wait a minute then turn the amp on. When shutting off the system, shut the amp off first then the preamp. So, the preamp is first on last off. Hope that helps. I would contact Cary to make sure this is normal..