What Preamp Should I Buy !!INSTALL!!
A preamp pedal squeezes the preamp into a stomp box or other pedal format, but in essence is the exact same thing as the preamp on your amplifier. With a preamp pedal, you avoid the need to use bulky combo amps or heads, and you can, instead plug directly into a powered PA.
what preamp should i buy
The beauty of the preamp pedal, much like the preamp in your combo or amp head, is that the signal that comes out stays clean. This lets you crank the volume and shape the EQ, but still send out a clean tone to the rest of the signal chain. This is especially effective when using just a preamp direct into a combo amp, or head and cab. Some players do this to get a more British tone from their ultra clean American style amps without the need for digital intervention.
There are tons of different ways to incorporate a preamp pedal into your signal chain. The best thing to do is to experiment using it before and after certain FX to see if the resulting tone is one you like.
Preamp pedals, much like any amps, vary wildly when it comes to price and quality. At the low end, you can find preamp pedals for as little as $35. If the sky is the limit, preamp pedals can sell for as much as $2000.
In the sense that a distortion pedal goes before the amp in a signal chain, yes, but this is where much of the confusion lies. It is not a preamp in the sense that it features preamp circuitry. This does mean, however, that you can pair a preamp pedal together with something like a Boss OD-1 or an Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer, and the results will be fantastic.
For those joining late, we twice asked the question "Should You Buy a MM-Only Phono Preamp If You Own a MM Cartridge"?, each time offering "blind listening" and voting. The first time was way back in May of 2017 where you could listen and vote for one of eight phono preamps, some MM-only and some MM/MC running in MM.The results indicated a strong preference for the most expensive in the test, the Lehmann Silver Cube ($4500) running in MM mode and the MM-only Graham Slee Era Gold V ($999). But to complete the experiment we needed to run more tests using a combination of the same MM/MC phono preamps in MC mode and the MM-only devices with a voltage boost provided by either a "head amp" or a "step-up transformer" (SUT) to find out if buying a MM-only phono preamp made sense for someone eventually planning on using an MC cartridge. Thus we had a second vote using different music and one new phono preamp that will get a full review shortly (the CIAudio PEQ-1) and minus the Jasmine Audio LP 2.5DU. There were a total of 9 files because we ran one MM-only phono preamp twice, once with the "head amp" and once with the SUT.The results shown at the top indicate a strong preference for File #7, which just about doubled the votes of the next most popular, which was File #3, which received 18%. Here are the identities of the files:File 1 is the "Swiss Army Knife" Music Hall PA 2.2File 2 is the Ciaudio PEQ-1 File 3 is the AVM P 1.2File 4 is the Lejonklou Giao+ Bob's Devices Cinemag 1131File 5 is the Musical Fidelity MX-VYNLFile 6 is the iPhono2File 7 is the Lejonklou Giao+ Hagerman Piccolo "head amp"File 8 is the Lehmann Silver CubeFile 9 is the Graham Slee + Bob's Devices 1131So the winner by far here is the Lejonklou Gaio, Hagerman Piccolo combination, which comes in at around $1000 for the two pieces. Incidentally the cable used to connect the two was a Hosa Technology RCA to RCA cable that cost around $12.00.Coming in 2nd was the AVM P1.2 ($999), which didn't do as well in the first round. 3rd was the least expensive, most versatile Music Hall PA 2.2. 4th was the Lejenklou+Bob's combo with the Ciaudio and iPhono2 getting 6 votes each and the rest getting just a few votes each.This is hardly a scientific exercise. So yes, the Graham Slee should have been used twice, once with each step up device and some of the preferences do mystify me but there you have it! However, I believe these two sets of files does answer the question "Should you buy a MM-only phono preamp if you're using a MM cartridge?" And the answer is "yes". I didn't know that going in, but I had a pretty strong idea the answer was yes because I think both the Graham Slee Era Gold V and the Lejonklou Giao are two of the best sounding MM phono preamps I've yet heard. So you could buy either one optimized for your MM cartridge and then instead of trading it in when you go MC, just add either a transformer or a head amp. While the original Piccolo is no longer available the replacement Piccolo 2 ($279) appears to be the same basic circuit with a few improvements though it doesn't offer battery power as an option, which the original did. Incidentally the Piccolo has both gain and loading options and it was run with 26dB of gain and at 100 ohms. I think the Bob's Devices SUT is best suited to a super low output, low internal impedance cartridge and it was probably at a sonic disadvantage here.However, ultimately the winning combo makes a strong case for buying the best MM phono preamplifier you can afford and not worrying about "down the road" because you can always add either a step up transformer or a "head amp" and come out "on top" as did the Lejonklou Gaio + Hagerman PIccolo2 combo here. Log in or register to post comments COMMENTS comparison Submitted by sunderwood on Tue, 2017-10-17 17:29 It wasn't part of the test, but was wondering if you paired the graham slee with the piccolo just to see how well they worked together. I have a reflex m and I assume both it and the era gold would have similar sonic character.
I run MM carts due to efficiency, cost and flexibility. However, I have one MC cart that I might use someday and was thinking, "gee if someone has even one MC cart along with MM carts, should they not get a MM/MC phono pre"? Now Mikey shows us that is not always the case and is actually a more expensive way to go. All one has to do is add a SUT or Headamp and all is right with the world again. Compare a decent to good MM preamp likely around $400 to $600, maybe less vs a MM/MC preamp of same quality likely at least $700 and for MC cart all one has to do is pick up a $200 SUT or Headamp and way you go. Michael Fremer = pretty much the only egalitarian reviewer around. Not forcing things people can't afford down their throats, just offering everything on the table for one's choosing be it uber-expensive or inexpensive.
Since I already have a MM phono stage in my CJ preamp, I've been considering buying a Hana SH. However, from reviews I have read, the low output SL is the gem of the series. Wondering if the better move is to buy the SL, along with a step-up like the Piccolo. Or spend just a bit more on a top quality MM like the Clearaudio Maestro.
Sorry man, the files are differently loud. The winner is 2,26dB louder than as examble Nr. 6. The tambourine, or whatever it is, sounds very distorted. I am very surprised how someone can evaluate the phono preamps based on these recordings.
Or does it make more sense to buy a dedicated MM phono preamplifier now and maximize performance for the dollars spent and later add a "head amp" or a step-up transformer to use with a moving coil cartridge?So here is the same excerpt of "Cool Struttin'" from the great 1986 Black Saint album Voodoo (120 109 1) performed by The Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet, which was Wayne Horvitz, John Zorn, Ray Drummond and Bobby Previte. I chose this because A) it sounds awesome, B) it has excellent dynamics C) it is a good test of "rhythm'n'pacing", D) it has really taut bass, and E) the music is outstanding (someone should reissue this AAA recording along with many other Black Saint/Soul Note records).The same excerpt has been recorded through eight different phono preamplifiers, a few MM-only and the rest MM/MC using the superb sounding Audio-Technica AT150ANV MM cartridge mounted on a Rega Planar 3.The phono preamplifiers (in no particular order) are the:Music Hall pa 2.2AVM P 1.2Lejonklou GaioLehmann Silver CubeGraham Slee Era Gold Vifi phono2Musical Fidelity MX-VYNLJasmine 2.5DUPlease download the 96/24 files and listen. Then vote in the order in which you like the sound. Also please post comments about which you preferred and why. The prices range from $399 to $4500. The files are not listed to match the above order! In another story to be posted shortly, you'll find a description of each unit's features but not the editor's sonic assessment, which will only be posted after the close of voting in a few weeks (giving you plenty of time). At a later date, we will repeat the vote with the MC inputs of the units that are MM/MC and with both a Bob's Devices step-up transformer and a Hagerman Audio battery powered "head amp".Here are the files:File "1"File "2"File "3"File "4"File "5"File "6"File "7"File "8" Log in or register to post comments COMMENTS The value/cost question depends upon ... Submitted by Ortofan on Thu, 2017-05-04 15:16 ... how the extra gain needed for a (low-output) MC cartridge is realized.
On a pure financial basis, it makes no sense to pay for the capability to handlea (low-output) MC cartridge if you never expect to use one. OTOH, if you prefer the sound quality of a preamp that can be used with both high and low-output cartridges, you need to decide if the added cost is worth it to you.
But, it seems that the left channel is brighter, consistent from one preamp to another.Not trying to be rude, the LP is noisy, and the recording is "hard" and "harsh" (feeling of holding something made of hard material).
From my favorite to least = 3, 7, 8, 4, 6, 5, 2, 1. I would be happy with any of the top four. 1, 2, 5 and 6 have too much bass for my tastes. 3 sounds even, with some top end air. 7 jumps. 3 and 4 sound similar, as do 7 and 8. My system is imac through Audio Engine D2 into a NAD C 320BEE and Vandersteen 2c speakers. Thanks for this Mike, I've been considering trying a different phono preamp. I enjoyed meeting you in Seattle a couple of months back. 041b061a72