Acoustic Sounds

Features: Preamplifiers

Dave McNair reviews a uniquely enjoyable preamplifier that pushes the envelope on the usage of italized and bold in a HiFi review. 

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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

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

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