Solid State Monoblocks-Tube Preamp or Solid State?


Assume you are starting to build your system with solid state Class D monoblocks.

You are now looking for the best match as your preamp. Which type will you search out? Solid State or Tube?

What factors do you put at the top of your decision making process?

Would Classical Music lovers prefer a tube preamp in order to bring some warmth and softness to the solid state amplifier components? On the flip side, if Rock and Roll is what drives you. Would you be looking for a solid state amplifier because it benefits from faster switching than tubes can provide?

Or, does your musical selection not enter the discussion. Could it strictly be an equipment compatibility issue? Any worries regarding tube failure in the preamp causing damage to the solid state amplifiers.

My monoblocks are Spectron Musician Mk iii's. I am leaning towards the Joule Electra LA-150 or LA-300, but still have some concerns. Any other preamps, solid state or tube? BTW, speakers to be used will be the Gallo Ref 3.5's
bhpedalpusher
Wouldn't you want to run the Spectron's with a balanced preamp?
I'd 2nd to balanced preamp either Atmasphere or BAT.
I am running my Gilmore Raptor monoblocks with a Shindo Auriges tube preamp. Even though the Raptor accepts balanced I run single ended. You should get the pre that sounds the best toyou regardless if ss or tube. I don't think that the balanced issue is important at all.
Alan
I am running my Gilmore Raptor monoblocks with a Shindo Auriges tube preamp. Even though the Raptor accepts balanced I run single ended. You should get the pre that sounds the best toyou regardless if ss or tube. I don't think that the balanced issue is important at all.
Alan
3rd for balanced. Absent from the list is passive volume controls, which, if the source has a high enough output (2V) and a low enough output impedance (< 100 ohms), can be viable. Some TVC's or Bent Audio modular or Goldpoint have balanced outputs.
Tubed and balanced connection. Look for a VAC Renaissance.
Not all tube gear lends softness or warmth. Modern/current production tube amps and preamps can be very detailed and analytical. They can even bring out the sparkle, that people speak of. Therefore I agree with Arh that you must choose the pre based on the sound.
I bypass the preamp with a Wadia CD player attached directly to the Spectron mono amps with great, revealing results. I would think a tube pre amp will be better off with a tube amp.
Thank you for the responses.

It sure would be nice if there were still HiFi Audio stores in business where the various types of preamps could be evaluated. Are there any left here in Los Angeles?????

Some of you feel a balanced is better and others don't think it matters at all. From the answers given so far it appears that musical preference or style played through the system most often does not enter in to the decision process.
Klyne Series 7: I love mine.
Parts express offers some class D mono blocks for about $150 each. At that price it is worth a try. If not suitable you could sell them off for about $100 each. Talking about this will get you nowhere, just try them.