tube preamps

are these to good to be true. I have been thinking of adding an inexpensive (under 2K) tube preamp to my SS integrated amp. The very positive audiogon reviews on these lower priced models are everywhere. What am i missing....they seem to be a no brainer compared to models in the 5K range.
If you have never tried a good tube preamp with your ss amplifier you are in for a treat! One of the best bargains out there right now is the deHavilland Ultraverve tube preamp which can be found used for 1700-1900. I use mine with a Bryston ss amp. The sound is deep, smooth, detailed and, the best part, like real music. I will never go back to an ss preamp again.
That can be a no brainer in fact if properly matched to your amp. Especially if you are tired of the sound of a SS preamp and want something with a bit more body, meat on the bones if you will.
I miss my TAD 150 that I had paired with a Sim Audio SS amp (went back to home theater). I was surpirsed by the sparkle and openess of the top end, as well as the tight, well controlled bottom end. I thought that's what I'd sacrifice by going with tubes. I didn't get that euphonic colored sound most tube lovers rave about, but I did get some great sound. I'm not sure if it's the tubes that make the difference or the overall design and quality of the components, but probably both. I wouldn't worry about the whole tubes vs. SS debate and just find yourself a good preamp, that matches with your amp. I think that "tube sound" everyone talks about comes from the power amp, not the pre.
A classic match-up!Hard to spend too much on a good one which is nice also.Just double-check impedences etc.You can borrow my Counterpoint for a week while Im on the road if you are by Mpls......
I have been running a tube preamp with my solid state amp for a while now and love it. It will depend on proper matching though so YMMV. I use a Joule Electra LA-100 MkIII (a used one on Audiogon now for a great price) with a TRL D-225. I have a Music Reference RM-9 coming tomorrow and it will be intersting to compare the tube/ss and tube/tube set-ups.
May I suggest trying a eastern electric "MINI MAX" preamp. They are cheap and excellent sounding. You dont need matched pairs of tube either, big plus. Over here the mini max has compared diretly to some units at 2-3 times its list price. Ads
adds a bit of tube warmness, with realworld recordings its a plus.
Is the eastern electric "mini max" still in production? I went to the website and it looked like it hasn't been updated since 2003.

You didn't mention the SS amp you will be matching it with. I have found some interesting matches tube/ss over the years.


The tube/ss will be a bit faster. When you first go to the tube/tube you might be disappointed. But I bet if you keep listening you will fall in love with the tube/tube matchup. You might sacrifice some bass. But the rest of the of the music will come alive!
You will sacrifice punch, drive and dynamics, not to mention bass with most tube amps. If you don't listen to 70s rock and old jazz that may not matter to you, but I do. IMHO a good tube pre gives your air around instruments, widens and deepens the soundtage. I am definitely in the tube pre SS amp camp. For me the TAD-150 is doing the trick paired with a McCormack DNA-125 amp.
I just purchased my Minimax brand new from Morningstar Audio about 2 months ago.So yes they are still in production.I really like it by the way.Was going passive prior but i like what this little fella has added to my systems character.Nice preamp
Never seen a transistor setup that can match the slam, bandwidth, clarity and body of a good tube setup. There's nothing wrong with setting your sights higher!
You need to make sure that the SS amp you’re going to use is not DC coupled, or you may be looking for some new speaker drivers also.
The real no brainer would be buying a $5k preamp (like an Audio Research, Conrad Johnson, or Granite Audio) used on Audiogon for 1.6k !!!