Also have a 4B-ST and have owned both those preamps and still have the Rogue 66. Not as detailed as the BP-25 but the tube "warmth" makes the listening hours just slip by...
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I am in the same situation as yourself..looking to change from a SS BP-25 Bryston preamp to tubes.
As pointed out to me by someone in the know..you have a very good preamp amp with the BP-25 so make sure that you look for the same or better quality tubed preamp if you want to see a significant improvement.
The two tubed preamps suggested were..Rogue Audio 99 or BAT V50.(something like that)
I was very excited with the fact of changing to tubes but that statment brought me back to earth and changed my way of thinking.
So am I on the right track only looking at tubed preamps in the $2000-$3000 range and nothing less.
Sorry I didn't answer your question but hopefully we can both benefit from some further responds.
I'd opt for tubes.Rogue is great and Mark O'Brien is there on other side of phone to back it up if need be (real nice guy to).Other (used) pre's to maybe think of would be the Audible Illusion Modulus 3A,BAT VK3i.But Rogue would be great and I hear that Magnum upgrade is worth the money and would be just the ticket with some good NOS when you ready to tube roll.
TUBES IT IS!! I now need to search for where I can find a Rouge 66 / or Magnum. I have looked on this site for used, and they seem tough to find. I suppose I will look for a new one, via a mail order dealer. (No audio shops near me seem to carry them) If anyone has a positive mail order experience with a new Rogue purchase please let me know.
Thanks once again everyone,
You have all made this much easier that I expected. I spoke With Mark at Rogue, and he is just as pleasent to deal with as everyone mentioned. I have ordered a Rogue 66 Magnum with remote from one of his dealers and can't wait to receive it. Being completely new to tube gear, does anyone have any additional suggestions for setup, break in etc.
Alan- Great choice!
Get yourself some Black Diamond Racing cones #4
They deepen and tighten up the bass like you won't believe! Get a bit of weight on top of the 66 too.This will help reduce microphonics,again for deeper and tighter bass.The cones and weight combo is the best tweak I believe for tube gear.I use (3) 1 lb. brass cones on top of my 99.
Talk to Mark about filling your output power suppy with sand.This WILL lower the noise floor.Or you can do a search for my description of how to go about it.
Again,great choice Alan!!
As stated above I to have a Bryston 4B ST power amp and had the opportunity to audition,in my own system a Blue Circle
BC3.1, and all I can say is..WOW!!!!!!
In all fairness ,the BC3.1 is a more expensive preamp than my previous Bryston BP 25 preamp,but the improvement in sound is worth every penny.
Before you buy try a Blue Cicle preamp.
They have a excellent entry level preamp BC 21.
There is a couple for sale on Audiogon at this moment.
Customer service is EXCELLENT..
Good choice with the Rogue. I demoed both the 66 and 99 and ended up with the 99 bought as a demo which I have mated with a Bryston 4BST. I've just had it upgraded to Magnum and will probably keep it forever.
My point is writing is tha like the 99, the 66 can be tweaked with tube rolling (replacement) which can significantly refine the sound of the amp to suit your taste. There a lots of tubes available online, each of which can give you different sound and it is just plain FUN to play with the preamp 'til your heart's content.
Also, whether or not you tube roll, you might want to try some Hal-O tube dampers at about $12.00 each. They are definitely worth the small investment which results in clearer, more defined imaging by minimizing microphonics which can muddy the sound of tubes - a noticeable difference immediately.
Also, consider Vibrapod isolators under the preamp. You don't really notice that the preamp needs anything until you try them (as well as the Hal-os) and then don't want to do without them. At $24/4 it's a cheap investment with noticeablly good results.
Have fun tweaking.
If you are swithing to Bryston you probably know what is the sound like. Bryston is very good amp based on true sound. I would suggest to find preamp with similar behavior, IMO BVaudio P1 reference preamplifier and Bryston 4BST would be a great match. Read some reviews about BVaudio, you will probably be sceptical about it, give it a listen, you will see. Best value for the money components.