Tarbishaw is back best pre amp for my system.

I received two emails from participants on this form,which was soooooo nice of them to take the time to do that,and also showed me just how dedicated you folks are .Been up the last 3 days to the Wee hours of the moring reading all the Q &answers really learned alot.
Participant asked me what pre I was using,told him it was the Classe 30 ,emailed me back & said that was my to quote" the TV show" my weakest link".Suggested I get a BatVK3i,did alot of reading on them &they sound like a awesome machine,but to many tubes to deal with.The only one I would consider would be Blue circle has only two tubes.I called the owner Gillbert Yeung had a good talk with him , said he would put a ht pass through in it & the more expensive circuit in it.The two SS preamp considering are the Adcom 750&Musical FidelityAc3 both have very good reviews the Ac3 looks so nice.

p.s. sean if you're reading this, I was horizontally biamping my mirage m3's which I needed to do, the om5's this wasn't necessary, and thankyou for bringing to my attention stereo separation by vertically biamping, it sounds so much better.


Ann Marie
I know, I know, I've already stated my opinion but figure I'll get the debate going here in the forums. The number of tubes in a preamp is irrelevant; the tubes are inexpensive and last for at least two years before they need to be changed. Hell, I roll my tubes before they need to be changed cuz I like trying different brands. Gotta love the glow of tubes at night. Assuming you don't want to spend much more than $1000 (used) on a line stage my vote goes to BAT, then ARC, and in third place CJ. I'm not familiar with Blue Circle or Rogue, how about it guys, opinions?
I think my BAT VK3i beat my ARC SP9MKII, at least for line stage. I think the ARC phono stage is better.
Tubes used at the levels within a preamp should literally last forever or just about. That is, according to a tube tester. Your ears might tell you something differently though.

I don't agree with Jeff's comments about the quantity of tubes within a circuit not mattering. Keep in mind that this is just my opinion ( which means very little to anyone other than myself ). From my point of view, simplicity ( within reason ) is best. The only way that i would say "more is better" is if they were using twice as many parts to duplicate circuitry for each channel, i.e. "dual mono". I've been told that sharing a stereo signal within one tube DRASTICALLY cuts down on performance as compared to a truly optimized "dual mono" arrangement.

As to the vertical bi-amping suggestion, glad it helped. I would normally prefer horizontal bi-amping IF the amps were actually doing low frequencies also. Since you already have the low freq's covered with the speakers built in amps, i "assumed" that vertical would work best in that situation. Sean
Sean, I agree with you disagreeing with me. Boy am I confused. I was referring to re-tube costs being insignificant and the number of tubes will not dictate the quality of the preamp. If preamp A has 2 tubes, and preamp B has 4 tubes, you cannot surmise that one is better than the other.
Ann Marie, do NOT be afraid of more than 2 tubes! These are preamp tubes, and as others have said, they last a LONG time and are SIMPLE to replace when the time comes. The BAT is a great preamp and available now at such great prices on this site that I cannot stand to see you write it off for the reason of tube fear. I have the BAT VK30SE and it is such a great product, you simply must give the 3i a try. Though I am no tube expert, I have even learned to bias the power tubes on my power amps. Stephen Monte sold me a handheld meter, and I was off and running. But you won't have to do this w/preamp tubes, so please conquer your fear.
Your audio friend, Sarah
PS in regards to your earlier email, I was not aware that Cape Bretonians were born with Celtic fiddles up a body part! They sure play like the devil.
Hello Ann Marie,
On the topic of the VK-3i I must express my love for this pre-amp and don't worry too much about the number of tubes it has. Even if you replace all 6 tubes at once it will only cost you about $140 with a phone call to Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio and they are fantastic tubes.

The main point of this is the sound that the VK-3i produces. If you have not been "moved by the music" in a while you owe it to yourself to at least try the BAT out. I have compared it to many other pre-amps including the Adcom and found it's sound to be one of the most engaging at it's price point. My VK-3i now resides right next to my Krell KRC-HR and more often than I would have ever thought the VK-3i is the one that is hooked up for action. If you find a well priced used one you can certainly resell it for what you paid for it. VK-3i's don't last long on the open market when it comes to resale. Musicality is one of Victor's strong points that shows in all his products and keeps them in demand.

Good luck and Always Enjoy the Music,
Hi Ann Marie.

It looks like you've started a great thread here. I know you and I share some of the same tubephobias, but it seems the more experienced members here have given some really good advice. By the way, those prices I quoted you were in US$, so the Canadian price would be roughly 60% higher.

I think you're lucky you live in Canada. You folks really know how to design and build some great gear. Blue Circle, Magnum Dynalab and Simaudio to name only a few, make great stuff. Those Virtual Dynamics power cords I'm using are also from Canada. Gilbert Yeung seems like a nice a super person. I think people like him and Victor Khomenko of BAT have a real and honest passion for what they do. If you can swing the price of used VK3i, I'd say go for it. As for me, my Blue Circle BC21 is producing a wonderful song way into the wee hours.

The main difference in my experience between SS and tubes is the romance those little glowing glass beauties introduce to the sound. If that's a quality you're looking for in your sound, give em a try. It's made me a believer. Have fun and good luck!