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Newbie asking about preamps (Read 947 times)
AMerePerson
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Newbie asking about preamps
11/29/23 at 01:54:55
 
Hi everyone, new here and wanted to ask about the benefits of a preamp when I mostly stream digital music (I'm in my mid 20s, so I'm not super seasoned)


I know preamps are used for Vinyl, where the turntable output is quieter than a digital DAC, so it's useful to add some gain there.

In a digital system though, would a preamp just be for creature comforts like a remote control and input selection? Obviously a tube preamp could add some tube magic as well.

I have a solid state monoblock system, with just my laptop as input so I think it'd be redundant to add more power amps, since switching between them would require a lot of disconnecting and reconnecting. I'm wondering if a preamp would be a good way to play around with tube sound for both my speaker and headphone setups.
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Doug
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Re: Newbie asking about preamps
Reply #1 - 11/29/23 at 13:39:32
 
Yes, a preamp can be beneficial in numerous ways…..sorry, I don’t have time to delineate at this moment.  I, too, have an all digital system, and cannot imagine being without my CSP3!
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Jay’s CD2T-Mk3
Denafrips Pontus II
ZROCK2 25th Mods
CSP3 25th & Custom Mods
PAP Quintets with Voxativ 1.6
First Watt J2 or Cary 300SEI
driving Voxativs—no crossover
LFD NCSE driving 15” Woofers
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JMeader
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Posts: 64
Re: Newbie asking about preamps
Reply #2 - 11/29/23 at 15:40:58
 
A pre-amp is more than just a switch. Generally its increased gain which provides positive impact for sound stage and overall sound depth.

In addition it provides a way to drive s subwoofer in a 2.1 system.
or volume control

For $850 you can experience an entry level pre-amp which is highly rated

https://www.schiit.com/products/freya-n

Enjoy the music
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CD's Digitized via Exact Copy
Music Files read by Audirvana Studio
on Win10 PC
Sent to Pontus 2 12th -1 via USB
out XLR to Schiit Frya S PreAmp
Torii Jr V2
to fully updated 1987 La Scala's
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Yakatak
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Re: Newbie asking about preamps
Reply #3 - 12/15/23 at 02:25:00
 
Or a Zstage.
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1stwattlife
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Posts: 116
Re: Newbie asking about preamps
Reply #4 - 07/10/24 at 20:45:29
 
+1 on the ZStage comment Wink

The short answer is YES.

Although conceptually a phono pre-stage is much like a pre-amp, it is more like a pre-pre-amp. A phono section (phono+phono stage) can be used without a pre-amp, but not with out the phono stage. They are different. While accomplishing the same thing in boosting signal amplitude the phono stage only boosts to line voltage ( about 2V, generally, I think). Any boost in amplitude needed after that would be added by a pre-amp before being sent to an amp.

That being said...

If you can add some "tube magic" to your signal path it should add a touch of the magic to your sound, though obviously the way to get tube sound is from tube amplification. A little is (IMO) better than none. After a full tube listening experience I knew I could not live without it. I added a ZRock to my vintage solid state setup and was immediately glad I did. To be fair, I prefer a Zstage, which doesn't employ the sound shaping the ZRock uses, but the ZRock is excellent for taking away the thinness of digital signals.


Can I ask what your signal chain consists of? Are you using usb-> DAC-> amp?

I love conversations like this... I will be honest and say that I thought I had already applied to this thread... at least I noticed... LOL... I can't take me anywhere.
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