Looking for a ~$2k tube preamp

Having gotten just a taste of tube life with my recently expired Belles 21a (my local tech didn't want any part of repairing it. he said the vast majority of it would have to be replaced) I am now on the lookout for a tube preamp to purchase. I wouldn't be opposed to buying used, but I am a little gun shy after the last one.

I have started to narrow in on the following two pieces. Unfortunately the search function isn't working so I can't do any research here, but let me know if any of you have experience with either of these, or have any suggestions based on what's out there right now in my price range. HT Bypass is a must.

PrimaLuna Prologue
Black Ice (formerly Jolida) F360

Thanks!
Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, McCormack DNA-HT5, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra

Comments

  • guyincognito
    guyincognito Posts: 57
    I too am interested in Primaluna gear but have yet to pull the trigger on a tube pre. Another member here suggested the Cary Audio SLP-98 and upon digging into it you may want to add it to your short list. Used you can find them in the low 2k range.
    Rega Planar 8, Apheta 3 MC , Aria mk2 Phono
    Aurender n100h, Benchmark DAC2 HGC
    Arcam SR250, Parasound JC5
    Revel F208, SVS SB-4000
  • dr1978
    dr1978 Posts: 378
    Oh good call. I do remember seeing a couple of them on the various sites in that range not long ago. I know they're well thought of here. I think this might be a case where the age of the amp creeps into my thoughts though. At least I'm assuming that any in the market would be aged quite a bit, but I guess I'm not sure when/if they've stopped production. I might do some digging..
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, McCormack DNA-HT5, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • erniejade
    erniejade Posts: 5,558
    A used dehavilland ultraverve 3 or Audio Research SP16
    Den: Lumin D1,Wireworld Silver Eclipse RCA, KEF LS50 Wireless, Velodyne SPL1200, Technics 1200, Denon DL160, Jolida D9,

    Living Room:,T+A PA 1530R,Wireworld Silver Eclipse SC, Tyler Highland H2, High Fidelity Reveal RCA, Innuos Zen MK3 , W4S recovery, LKS MH-da004,

    Have but haven't used in a while: LH Labs VI Dac, Cayin SCD50T, Grant Fidelity Tube Dac11,Aries Mini
  • dr1978
    dr1978 Posts: 378
    Looks like I was clearly mistaken on the Cary, since they are still producing them. I'd imagine any of them hitting the used market have a bit of age on them though.

    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, McCormack DNA-HT5, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • dr1978
    dr1978 Posts: 378
    erniejade wrote: »
    A used dehavilland ultraverve 3 or Audio Research SP16

    Thanks for the suggestions, I'll take a look.
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, McCormack DNA-HT5, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • invalid
    invalid Posts: 579
    Are you looking for sound quality, reliability, brand recognition or resale value? I have found that small boutique tube gear designers, such as Aric Audio, Don Sachs, or space tech labs make way better sounding reliable tube preamps than brand name tube gear, especially within your budget.
  • dr1978
    dr1978 Posts: 378
    Definitely sound quality and reliability. I don't care about brand recognition whatsoever, and I am hoping this is a once a decade purchase, so I'm not too concerned about resale.

    Too bad I wasn't ready to make this jump last fall when jdjohn had his Don Sachs for sale. Thanks for those suggestions though, adding them to the list.
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, McCormack DNA-HT5, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 1,951
    Well, my Don Sachs didn't have HT by-pass, and Don doesn't offer that as an option anymore on new builds. You *might* find an older, used build that has it.

    You might also check-out Mapletree Audio Design https://www.mapletreeaudio.com/ Their line-level preamp has HT by-pass, and is priced WELL under your budget...like $800 stock.
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • dr1978
    dr1978 Posts: 378
    jdjohn wrote: »
    Well, my Don Sachs didn't have HT by-pass, and Don doesn't offer that as an option anymore on new builds. You *might* find an older, used build that has it.

    You might also check-out Mapletree Audio Design https://www.mapletreeaudio.com/ Their line-level preamp has HT by-pass, and is priced WELL under your budget...like $800 stock.

    Cool, thanks, that looks really interesting!
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, McCormack DNA-HT5, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • ALL212
    ALL212 Posts: 1,276
    Odyssey Audio Candela. A bit hard to find used now as those that have them aren’t letting go.
    Aaron
    Enabler Extraordinaire
  • invalid
    invalid Posts: 579
    https://www.audioasylum.com/reviews/Preamplifier-Tube/Space-Tech-Laboratory/QA-115-REG/tubes/140948.html


    Here is Don Sachs review of space tech labs preamp, he used to own one. You have to scroll down the page to get to the preamp review, because there is a space tech labs amp review along with the preamp. Space tech will build you a preamp with HT bypass.
  • kevhed72
    kevhed72 Posts: 4,361
    There is a BAT vk 3i out there on US Audiomart which may interest you for 1750. I messaged the seller a couple times and he seems very forthcoming with information. Also, FWIW....I would be willing to sell my Cary slp 03 to a Polkie to purchase this...drop me a PM.
  • Gerres26
    Gerres26 Posts: 764
    Check out some of AVA’s(Audio by Van Alstine) offerings. I believe all of his preamps are able to have HT bypass added when ordering new.
    Not super flashy but great hand built quality. They don’t get a ton of press but are pretty much universally known to punch way above their price point.

    I’m running an AVA Transcendence 10SL tube preamp currently. Betters other preamps that I’ve paid twice as much for.
  • Joey_V
    Joey_V Posts: 7,649
    Cary 98
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Primary:
    Digital: Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs TSDx/Bluesound Node 2 -> Emm Labs DAC2x
    Analog: VPI Avenger Reference w/ Rim Drive w/ ADS + 12" Fatboy Dual Pivot + Lyra Etna
    + Audio Research Reference 40th Anniversary -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers + JL Audio F113v2 x2
    Secondary:
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Tertiary:
    Oppo 105D -> Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2


    Main speakers system evolution over the years:
    Klipsch Promedia 4.1 -> Axiom M22ti -> Sonus Faber Concertino -> Sonus Faber Concerto -> Polk LSi7 -> Polk LSi9 -> Martin Logan Mosaic -> AV123 Onix Ref 1 -> Martin Logan Vantage -> AV123 Strata Mini -> Martin Logan Summit -> Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor -> BW 802D2 -> Sonus Faber Stradivari -> Rockport Avior -> BW 802D3 -> BW 800D3 -> ???

    Old Gear:
    Speakers:
    BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source:
    Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification:
    Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased) -> ARC 5se -> ARC Ref 40th Anniversary
    Amplification:
    HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer:
    Infinity Entra2 -> SVS 25-31PCi -> SVS 25-31PC+ -> Dual JL Audio F113v2
  • GlennDog
    GlennDog Posts: 2,381
    Consider my 98. I haven’t bumped her in a while. The thread should still be accessible 😳
    Power Rogue M180 monos & Adcom GFA 5802
    PS Audio PerfectWave Power Plant 10
    Rears Salk SuperCharged Surrounds
    Source PSA PWT into NSD Supremo
    Pre/Pro Integra DHC 40.1
    LCD Samsung LN46B750
    Mains Salk HT2-TL
    Center Salk HT2C
    Pre Cary SLP-05
    Wires WW & MIT
  • dr1978
    dr1978 Posts: 378
    Well it was fun researching all of those smaller manufacturers, but in the end I couldn't pass up the Cary!
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, McCormack DNA-HT5, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • NICE! Did you end up with an SLP-98 or another varient?
    Rega Planar 8, Apheta 3 MC , Aria mk2 Phono
    Aurender n100h, Benchmark DAC2 HGC
    Arcam SR250, Parasound JC5
    Revel F208, SVS SB-4000
  • dr1978
    dr1978 Posts: 378
    @GlennDog's SLP-98
    Pro-ject 2 Experience SB, OPPO BDP-103, Marantz SR5011, Lounge LCR MKIII, McCormack DNA-HT5, Polk LSiM705, Polk LSiM706C, Polk LSiM702, SVS SB16-Ultra
  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 850
    Congrats to both parties. Let us know what you think after you’ve had som time with that beauty.
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