Tube preamp recommendation ...

Hi guys. I am looking for a tube preamp for my new system. At the moment its looking like either plinius or bedini power amp with Shahinian obelisks. I was thinking of trying a tube amp for a change and something that is a little it exotic and has to look nice as well. The souind should be very transaparent, wide, neutral and highly musical possibly with a touch of warmth.
How about a nice Joule Electra LA-100/150 series preamp??
That should fit the bill.
I've used Plinius SA-102 with Aesthetix Calypso to good effect in the past. The two can be had for approx. $2,500 each.
Shindo Auriges
Loutus like the new direction.

Shindo Monbrison
Aesthetix Saturn Calypso
Manley Neo-Classic 300B Preamplifier RC

Which plinius and bedini power amps?
SB-301 or Classic 10
I 2nd Shindo. I have been enjoying the wonderful pairing of my Shindo Aurieges and Bedini 25/25 driving my Omega Alnico Super 8's for nearly a year. Just superbly musical!
Provided you don't need gain, the Dodd Audio Battery Tube Buffer is the most awesome preamp. Does everything you say you want.
My first thought was the Aesthetix Calypso as well ...
The Rogue 99 Magnum is a very fine preamp and the 6SN7 tube is very musical.
With regard to the Dodd buffer, note that it is a passive which can be highly system dependent. Very transparent, but a passive can also have diminished dynamics, drive and oomph. This is what I found with the Dodd in my system, though in other respects it was excellent. If I were to go passive, it is likely what I would choose. But for me, a quality active pre wins out. You do need to spend to get the level of detail that a passive gives, but I find it worth it.
thanks guys

How about CJ act 2 series 2, or ARC REF 5 ?
Or you might consider the Heron Audio VTSP-3A...
Or you might consider the Heron Audio VTSP-3A... CJ is great as well ......
CJ and ARC are two very different animals from two opposite ends of the spectrum. The CJ will give you the musical and warmth that you seek, the ARC will give you the transparent and neutral that you seek.
If you are looking for something in between these two polar opposites, you might consider a previously recommended Joule Electra or a VAC Renaissance or Signature preamp.
Conrad Johnson Premier 16.
I love 6SN7s so a Cary preamp would be my recommendation. You can find good NOS/OS tubes to roll in order to fine tune the sound to your liking.
Look into Purity Audio...their pieces are getting a growing amount of attention and fit your description...
einstein the tube mk2, you can change all the 8 Philips Jans 6922 and 1 Tesla ECC82 by 8 NOS Mullard CV2493 or Telefunken E88CC, and 1 Telefunken ECC82 for the gain stage. for inputs, you have various options for NOS matched pairs like Philips E188CC 7308 D-getter tubes, NOS Mullard E188CC tubes, NOS Siemens CCa tubes, NOS Telefunken CCa or E288CC tubes. They are all superb and give you the best sound of tubes, an amp which you can keep forever.
Mystere CA-21 preamp. Beautifully engineered. Everything you are looking for and more at a very fair price.
Roscoeiii, I am confused about your use of the term “passive” in reference to the Dodd preamp. According to the sixmoons review, it has 2 tubes, an input impedance of 100k and output impedence of less than 200 ohms. What is passive?


It is passive in that it does not offer any voltage gain. Only volume control. In the case of passive buffers (of which the Dodd tube buffer and the FirstWatt B1 are the two best known) will also affect input and output impedances as well as providing no-gain volume control. For non-buffer passive preamps, sometimes impedance mismatches are responsible for less than ideal sound (particularly if a source has a high output impedance).

Particularly with digital sources, which tend to have 2V output signals, the idea is that no additional voltage gain is necessary. For phono outputs, often the signals are much smaller, so make an active pre necessary for certain sound levels.

But in my experience with the Dodd, while it was an excellent preamp, it still did not entirely overcome the lack of dynamics and oomph that I tend to associate with passives I have tried out in my system.
hi guys, gone with a CJ ARC mk2 as one came up at a good price

we'll see how it goes

when i get it i plan to A/B it with a Tron Seven ref.
sorry.. read that as "CJ ACT 2 mk2" !
Roscoeii, thanks. I understand now. I do know he has buffers and he has preamps. I remember reading that his new generation preamp has gain. I don't know if his older preamps had gain or not. I do know I liked my friends original Dodd preamp in his system.

Hi Bob,

Yes, Dodd has both active preamps and the Tube Buffer, which is passive. I'd love to hear the active Dodd someday. But I love on my Musical Fidelity kW preamp, and don't see it going anywhere anytime soon. It has slayed much competition (as always, in my system). I may not have recognized the areas in which the Dodd Buffer came up short if not for having this preamp to compare it to. The kW is also what convinced me of the importance of a preamp for a system's overall sound.