Over the last few decades, the gap between tube and solid-state sound has been closing, with both design camps trying to maintain their best attributes while incorporating some of the finest qualities of the other. Solid-state designers try to achieve the organic midrange quality and dynamic life of tube gear. In contrast, tube designers aim for the bass extension/definition, lower noise, and high-frequency extension of solid-state designs.There are varying opinions... Read More
August 27th, 2023T+A - P 3100 HV Preamplifier Can Dave McNair find love with a high-end, solid-state preamp?
By: Dave McNair
After chatting with the most affable Dave Nauber, CEO of T+A North America, I agreed to review the company’s flagship preamp, the P 3100 HV - fitted with an optional MC phono card. I told him I’m a tube guy and that listening to and writing about a modern, solid-state, German-made preamp from a company I knew almost nothing about was not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking fun review.Mr. Nauber remained calmly undaunted and said, "I’ll be shocked if... Read More
February 10th, 2023Backert Labs - Rhythm 1.3 line stage Adventures with a vacuum tube preamp
By: Dave McNair
I have yet to give up on solid-state components for HiFi systems entirely; however, my love affair with vacuum tube circuitry is stronger than ever. While auditioning the latest iteration to the top-line Rhythm 1.3 linestage from Delaware-based Backert Labs, I got a sense of the same unmistakable mojo I feel when listening to recordings played on other well-designed and constructed tube gear.In my years as a professional listener in music production and as an... Read More