Source to two Preamps question:

Just wanted to check with all of you and determine if what I'm about to do will wreck my sound or is just plain wrong and lazy.


1) I have a Solid State setup (Audio Refinement Multi5 and Pre5) and Tube setup (Cary Integrated SLI-80), I use both a lot, but am getting very tired of changing output pairs on the back of my source each time I want to switch between them.

2) My proposed solution is to put the output pair into the Pre5 and then use the tape monitor loop directly to the Cary whenever I want to use it.

3) Can you stack preamps on top of one another like this? Source->Solid State Pre->Tube Pre via tape loop, or would it sound better how I was doing it originally?

So far it seems the tape loop disables all volume and passes through -- but I just want to make sure that the tape loop takes all the preamp circuitry out of the 'loop' before I make this permanent. I'm looking for the Pre5 to be totally transparent when using the Cary. Is that what the tape loop does?


Home theatre passs through should work if your preamp has one.
The preamp circuitry is not out of the loop when you use the tape outs. You can listen to both setups and determine if there is any signal degradation when connected.
I use my Sunfire theatergrand with my Linn Axis turntable in that way. My tubed Audioprism pre-amp does not have phono pre-amp...the tape out on the Sunfire works fine and sounds great.

The tape out idea does not work for multichannel though because as you stated, no volume control along with other problems.

Jond has the right idea for multichannel if you have (pass through) on the second pre-amp. If you do not then you can use (unity gain method) which means any (AUX) input will work with the second pre's volume set at mid-point or so.