Thoughts on total number of steps and dB range per step in preamp volume controls.

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
9,062
1,068
113
E. England
#42
Keith, there is ABSOLUTELY no right or wrong in audio.

Martin Colloms loves the Townshend Allegri passive as amongst his favourite preamps. I'd rather give up listening to music than give it permanent house room.

Medium power tubes should not work on Apogees. My favourite Apogees are Duettas on User211s 80W push-pull.
 

KeithR

VIP/Donor
May 7, 2010
3,747
698
113
Marina del Rey, CA
#43
Totally agree, Spirit.

The only preamp I'd go to after the MF is the Ref 10 - which costs $30k. I've considered asking Jonathan to put silver trannies in my MF, but he's pretty against making them that way anymore. Bespoke will do so, but costs $$$$ and I find the rest of package more audio jewelry than sonics.

But hey, drive down to Hastings and check out MF for yourself ;)
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,888
1,584
113
London
#44
With a valve power amp on a non horn, I will go with the Soulution pre. Used price is good. Also, they work well with Nats too Marc, there are guys using it with the magma
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
4,619
414
83
Greater Boston
#45
Also, remember I'm a tube guy. Others might feel different if they are not. This is a case where there is no "right" answer, just preference.
Yeah, I'm a tube guy too, with both tube pre and power. I do enjoy great solid state.
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
3,417
488
83
Switzerland
#46
That's a bit of a loaded statement, Keith. No problem supporting British, my tt, arm, analog psu.s, cables, balanced transformer, spkrs isolation footers, and supertweeters, are all British. And at the rate the £ is veering against the $ and €, soon British is all I'll be able to afford.

I've heard Music First as well as Townshend Allegri passives, and found them wanting dynamically.

And when Emia TOTL is way less expensive than MF TOTL, and Emia comes highly rated, I don't need to justify considering them, esp w my poor MF experience.
What is gain of the NAT Utopia? The gain matters just as much as number of steps in an attenuator. Also how many Volts are required for full output power on the amps. An active with less gain (you might even just go for an active buffer with gain of 1) will lower noise and allow you to use the full range of your volume control.
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
3,417
488
83
Switzerland
#47
The NAT Plasma I had was great sounding but had so much gain that with my 98db Odeons I was always at the bottom of the range and noise was always an issue.

Incito uses relay/resistor VC with 61 steps. However, gain is pretty low so you are using upper part of the range and therefore quite fine control of the volume.

Best is TVC in front of an active stage...but TVC must be very high quality.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
9,062
1,068
113
E. England
#48
Brad, you may have hit the nail on the head. I only use up to a max of 15-18/100 step on my Nat Utopia pre volume for analog, and 12-15/100 for cd.

And I have some tube noise. This suggests to me running a passive w lower gain or mated better to pwr amps will mean running 1.25dB steps over 47 range should mean I use more of that available range.
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio convertors (DACS), turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing