Solid-state preamp with tube power amp

How important is it to use a tube preamp with a tube poweramp? Will a solid-state preamp "undo" the tube effect of the power amp?
This is unorthodox. It's usually the other way around. Not likely to work well, but I would never say never.
not important at all...mixing tube and solid state gear in any combination can produce great music........i've always preferred the sound of my compact discs with a tube somewhere in the signal path.
Actually, this is the setup being used by Tom Evans Audio Design in their ultra-fi gear. They argue that ss is most critical at the preamp level, since tube noise overwhelms the tiny signals there. The preamp just won HiFi+ product of the year; the amp is not yet released but has been mentioned very favorably in that magazine. You can read their arguments at
I completely disagree with Elinor. I currently use a solid state preamp with a tube amp, and find it my favorite of all the combinations.

I encourage you to audition a solid state preamp with a tube amp to see if you like it, rather than dismissing it without hearing it.

I'm a contrarian and use a SS phono amp and preamp, along with a tube power amp. Love it! Quiet as the tomb, musical too.
I have used every combination. I still have my original APT Holman solid state pre and Hafler 500's that I bought new. I bought used a CJ tube amp and then a used CJ tube pre. In my system there is no question that the best combination is using both a tube preamp and amp. I don't know about the synergy available from some of the newer solid state in combo's, but from my perspective tubes are where it's at.
Bill Thalmann of Music Techology and a former engineer at Conrad Johnson uses a Motif MC-10 solid state preamp with a CJ Premier tube amp. The MC-10 is similar to the CJ PFR.
He is very happy with this combination.
I have both ss and tube in the same preamp! I have a CJ PV-14LS... tube input and mosfet output... this feeds my CJ MV60 very nice combo..
Using a solid state will not alter the sound of your tube amp - in fact its easier to match a ss pre to a tube amp than the reverse. Both add in similar ways to the sonics. Personally I would never go back to a ss state amp - I just love the sound of tubes in the pre-amp stage - and as a part time hobbist I enjoy expirimenting with alternate tubes to change the sound a bit from time to time. That sure beats having to buy a new ss pre amp when i want change.
Having spent 30 years as an audiophile and having owned tons of gear, I can attest to the fact that often our current system tends to dictate our response..i.e..we don't want to be honest with ourselves in absolute terms! In other words, we delude ourselves that what we currently have is the best combo! As for myself, the latest transformation of my system has been done upon reflection of the vast number of combinations of gear that have gone through my house. What I did cost me dearly, not just in terms of cost, but in terms of my audio ego! I traded in a pair of Dunlavy SC-5 speakers for Watt/Puppy 6's plus 11,000. I then had to have Transparent cable to lash it all up...$18,000!! They were good speakers, but the thrill was gone from the music. I traded them back after 9months for a pair of B&w 801 nautilus speakers...they were less than exciting as well. In the end I traded them back in for my original Dunlavy's. Of course the Transparent cable mucked up the sound with my old speakers back in the system so I traded for Harmonic Technologies Magic Cables all around. In the end, all is extremely satisfying. So, with this lesson and many others under my belt, I say to you that putting a solid state pre-amp in front of a tube amp is not going to yield the most musical of results. It may sound nice...but not full, dynamic and solid the way live music sounds! I have owned all kinds of tube amps and pre-amps as well as ss amps and pre-amps (I like to mix and match), but no system has sounded better than the ones with a great Tube pre-amp and world class ss amp! SS pre's squash the life out of the signal...the tube amp adds back some body and action, but to a brutilized signal. A tube pre-amp adds life and tonal color as well as dynamics that a great ss amp will pass on without the smoke between notes!

Dave Borda