Why are Tube Pre-Amps so Expensive?

2»

Comments

  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,529
    delkal wrote: »
    I understand the price for something "good" is relative. For some a $1000 pre is unheard of and for others that is the minimum they would have in their garage rig. I wouldn't say a grand is out of the question but I question why a line stage only Pre needs to be that much (and no, I don't need a tape loop either)..........Maybe it does, I just don't see it yet.

    Obviously, you haven't priced quality parts lately. Good quality capacitors can cost in the hundreds for a single cap. That's not counting any wiring, resistors, jacks, etc. Then, there is the design phase. My labor cost on the Joule upgrade was equal to the parts, and, I think he was very conservative on his time logged.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • TEAforONETEAforONE Posts: 37
    edited August 9
    Take a look at Aric Audio. Well under a grand if you don't want/need a phono stage. I own the Unlimited,and love it! Also take a look a Mapletree Audio. I've never heard one,but they seem to be highly regarded.
    First Watt,Monarchy Audio,Aric Audio,Promitheus Audio,Pro-Ject,Hornshoppe,Nola,HSU,Onkyo.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,724
    edited August 9
    Where are you seeing preamps for "well under" a grand on Aric's site?

    Got Dayens?
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 317
    What are the thoughts on preamps with surface mounted and "micro parts"? A few of the preamps mentioned have them. But lets keep this in the context of upper midfi sound.

    I have an idea they can't compete......but can they be "good enough" if on a budget? I guess I am biased and like "real" resistors and caps. Something you can fix if they break.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,724
    edited August 9
    Unrelated: I don't like the term "Mid-Fi".
    Got Dayens?
  • Viking64Viking64 Posts: 3,283
    I don't like the phrase "back in the day".
  • WagnerRCWagnerRC Posts: 1,729
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Where are you seeing preamps for "well under" a grand on Aric's site?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/153130665777
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,724
    Thank you, sir! I find it amusing how many line level preamps fail to provide that elusive 5th input. ;)
    Got Dayens?
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,056
    A balance control (or L and R volume controls or trimmers) is a very good thing to have. I wish I had one sometimes.
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 317
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Unrelated: I don't like the term "Mid-Fi".

    I don't like it either......I want good sound too but sometimes you need to draw an arbitrary line sometimes.

    Reading some reviews online (not here thankfully) spending under a grand on any piece of equipment isn"t even close. "It sucks and is not even close to my $10,000 (fill in the blank). Get get that instead"

    That's why I like it here. A lot of people that know true Hi-Fi and appreciate good sound. But these same people also understand reality and can give you an unbiased opinion. Does it sound good for the price or not.

    I value this kind of input.


  • delkaldelkal Posts: 317
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    A balance control (or L and R volume controls or trimmers) is a very good thing to have. I wish I had one sometimes.

    I have to agree with you there. Every now and then you think something is messed up and doesn't sound right. A quick R-L sweep can quickly narrow it down.

    Usually it is nothing but it is a quick check. Then you can get back to listening.

    I can do without it but I will eventually miss it too.

  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,724
    I certainly understand the functional purpose and real world situations where a balance control would be useful.

    I'm simply stating that for my own preference of a minimalist preamp design, I would prefer to not have a balance control in the signal path.
    Got Dayens?
  • stretchlstretchl Posts: 1,080
    Clipdat wrote: »
    I like everything about it except the fact that it has a balance control on the front panel.

    Bc you don’t like balance controls or bc you don’t like the placement? With the tinnitus in my right ear I’m very thankful for the balance control on my Joule.

    Just curious.
    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'
    - Isaac Asimov

    Hi-Fi
    Apple Lossless --> Squeezebox Touch --> Joule Electra LA-100 Mark iii --> MIT AVT2 IC's --> Adcom GFA-555ii --> MIT EXP S2 Cables --> LSiM-705's
    Visuals
    http://StretchPhotography.com
    http://Vimeo.com/channels/stretchphoto
  • stretchlstretchl Posts: 1,080
    edited August 9
    Woops. Just saw the answer to this, above. Carry on...
    stretchl wrote: »
    Clipdat wrote: »
    I like everything about it except the fact that it has a balance control on the front panel.

    Bc you don’t like balance controls or bc you don’t like the placement? With the tinnitus in my right ear I’m very thankful for the balance control on my Joule.

    Just curious.

    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'
    - Isaac Asimov

    Hi-Fi
    Apple Lossless --> Squeezebox Touch --> Joule Electra LA-100 Mark iii --> MIT AVT2 IC's --> Adcom GFA-555ii --> MIT EXP S2 Cables --> LSiM-705's
    Visuals
    http://StretchPhotography.com
    http://Vimeo.com/channels/stretchphoto
  • stretchlstretchl Posts: 1,080
    I remember my first bad acid trip.
    Viking64 wrote: »
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    no one says you have to use them. Many have a switch that take them out of circuit as well.
    NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!! :p


    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'
    - Isaac Asimov

    Hi-Fi
    Apple Lossless --> Squeezebox Touch --> Joule Electra LA-100 Mark iii --> MIT AVT2 IC's --> Adcom GFA-555ii --> MIT EXP S2 Cables --> LSiM-705's
    Visuals
    http://StretchPhotography.com
    http://Vimeo.com/channels/stretchphoto
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,724
    I like that!
    Got Dayens?
  • SCompRacerSCompRacer Posts: 6,914
    "Why are Tube Pre-Amps so Expensive?"

    Cause folks keep buying them.... :D
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's * Audio Research Reference 3 * Bottlehead Eros Phono * Park's Audio Budgie SUT * Krell KSA-250 * Harmonic Technology Pro 9+ & Pro 11+ * Signature Series Sonore Music Server w/Deux PS* Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC * Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive * AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm * AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R * Richard Gray 600S * NHT B-12d subs * GIK Acoustic Treatments * Sennheiser HD650 *

  • TEAforONETEAforONE Posts: 37
    Aric Audio has the Unlimited w/phono stage for $950. If you contact Aric,you can get the Unlimited without phono for about $100 less. That puts a brand new tube pre at $850.
    First Watt,Monarchy Audio,Aric Audio,Promitheus Audio,Pro-Ject,Hornshoppe,Nola,HSU,Onkyo.
  • DawgfishDawgfish Posts: 2,529
    I've had surprisingly many situations where I found the balance control to be very handy. I can understand the minimalist approach though. My opinion is I wouldn't let that get in the way of a good deal on a tube pre if it had a balance control bo matter what the brand might be, but obviously your mileage may vary.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,056
    stretchl wrote: »
    Woops. Just saw the answer to this, above. Carry on...
    stretchl wrote: »
    Clipdat wrote: »
    I like everything about it except the fact that it has a balance control on the front panel.

    Bc you don’t like balance controls or bc you don’t like the placement? With the tinnitus in my right ear I’m very thankful for the balance control on my Joule.

    Just curious.
    Yup, his position is fair enough.


  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,056
    edited August 10
    FWIW -- and semi-on-topic :p -- I think it's a darned shame that so many components, even pretty chi-chi ones, use resistive attenuators instead of a transformer or autoformer volume control. A normal resistive volume control is not a constant impedance device -- and the effects of that can be audible, even if only as a maximum in hum or noise (however slight!) near mid-level attenuation of the pot(s). :(

    Now, it is possible to make "pad" type resistive volume controls (of course!) and in fairness I do think some components use constant-impedance attenuators... but many don't.

    All this being said, I'd encourage any and all of y'all who may not have heard a TVC or AVC to give one a listen some time (ideally on your own hifi). I'm a big fan.

    http://www.intactaudio.com/
  • marvda1marvda1 Posts: 3,184
    edited August 10
    Before I bought my DeHavilland Ultraverve 3 preamp a local guy had a mint $7k active placette preamp for $1500. he let me bring it home to put into my system and as much as I wanted to fall in love with this super bargain I had a demo DeHavilland in house at the same time and decided to pay double the amount for my new pre.

    for whatever reason it didn't float my boat.
    https://www.stereophile.com/solidpreamps/1107pla/index.html
    Amplifiers: MasterSound Compact 845, Ayre v6xe, Consonance Cyber 800, Usher R1.5
    Preamp: deHavilland Ultraverve 3
    Transport/Dac: Cayin Venus cd-100i, Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkI
    Speakers: Rosso Fiorentino Volterra
    Speaker Cables: Analysis Plus Black Mesh Oval 9, Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Interconnects: Analysis Plus Copper Oval-In Micro, MG Audio Design Planus Cu2,
    Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Power Cables by: Cullen Cables, 6sons Audio, Swiss Cables
  • SCompRacerSCompRacer Posts: 6,914
    stretchl wrote: »
    With the tinnitus in my right ear I’m very thankful for the balance control on my Joule.


    To invoke Chaka Khan, I feel for you... I get it in my left ear before a migraine sets in.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's * Audio Research Reference 3 * Bottlehead Eros Phono * Park's Audio Budgie SUT * Krell KSA-250 * Harmonic Technology Pro 9+ & Pro 11+ * Signature Series Sonore Music Server w/Deux PS* Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC * Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive * AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm * AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R * Richard Gray 600S * NHT B-12d subs * GIK Acoustic Treatments * Sennheiser HD650 *

2»
Sign In or Register to comment.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!