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  »  New  Preamplifiers: keys to mystery. (Lamm L1, L2)..  In analog domain...  Audio Discussions  Forum     2  44203  11-14-2004
  »  New  VTL TL-7.5 Reference: His name was Marc Mickelson he wa..  VTL TL-7.5 Reference: His name was Marc Mickelson he wa...  Audio Discussions  Forum     0  21243  03-16-2005
  »  New  Passive transformer based preamp..  Re: Thorsten's preamp idea...  Audio Discussions  Forum     41  335420  10-22-2005
  »  New  Reviewing preamps by imbeciles...  More toilet reading about preamps......  Audio For Dummies ™  Forum     1  31821  06-25-2006
  »  New  The objectives of Einstein self-entertaining Preamp...  Double Coil Spring...  Audio Discussions  Forum     6  42288  01-26-2007
  »  New  Convergent Legend Preamp and the same Marc Mickelson..  Convergent Legend Preamp and the same Marc Mickelson...  Audio News Forum     0  19047  03-24-2009
  »  New  The ultimate buffer – light in the end of a tunnel..  A few minor corrections...  Audio Discussions  Forum     36  266104  04-28-2005
  »  New  HELP: I’m a line-level looser...  Further sonic humiliation....  Audio Discussions  Forum     22  113394  03-30-2005
05-16-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 10523
Reply to: 10523
A quests for an ultimate preamp.
fiogf49gjkf0d

It is not my quests. I do have my ultimate preamp and I experience absolutely no frustration about it. However, writing today about the new Lamm LL1 I suddenly realized that I never conceptualized for public what in my view the contemporary truly ultimate preamp shall be. I never seen others did but I see many manufactures do produce many versions of something that I would call “stupid preamps”. So, regardless of the price and the implementation topology, what shall be features on ultimate preamp?

This thread is dedicated to look deeper into the subject.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-16-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,145
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 2
Post ID: 10525
Reply to: 10523
OPT-ing Out in Idle Wild
fiogf49gjkf0d
I am also content with my "pre-amp", and I think a lot of my satisfaction comes from the fact that all I ask from the pre is sensible switching (including variable attenuation), and no interference.

But what about the more usual situation, where the user demands "something extra" and then "more" from his pre-amp?

When I think of pre-amps that exist to offer "something" to the situation and/or sound, I wonder if anyone today thinks about the electricity, and how this will inevitably effect the pre-amp as an electrical component.  If anyone is really thinking about this, I have not heard these thoughts yet.

Along with the above, I wonder if anyone has yet designed/perfected the electrical pre-amp that takes good electricity for granted, such as use along with a dialed-in power corrector, for those who own and use such a wonder.

Piling on, I think of many assults on the "ultimate pre-amp" as starting with very large, elaborate power supplies that are mostly included to compensate for bad electricity but that also generally extract their own sonic toll.

Paul S
05-25-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 10585
Reply to: 10523
The 15 Commandments of Ultimate Preamp.
fiogf49gjkf0d

It kind of strange that so many manufactures produce preamps, so many users use preamps but no one talks about them seriously. The dealers sell them, the reviewers write their doodle but the manufactures do each year a new version but what we, the consumers, the preamp users truly need? The inspiration for this article was Lamm release a new LL1 Reference preamp that I mentioned in here:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?postID=10521

The inspiration was not the preamp itself but the $43K price tag. The price is high, in a way ridiculously higher for what is quantivly delivered. The identically double-boxer BAT REX, that has much more functionality, equally offensively targeted and much-much more complex in design is priced twice lower. However, what I very much like in the Lamm new preamp is that it opened for me motivation to think what I actually would like to have in pram if it was made with price and objectives being subject of no limitation. So, I am taking about an hypothetical absolute ultimate preamp and about how far we are from there. 

About my personal evolution with preamplifiers. When I reformated my playback in 1995, in the format that a label-worshiping western audio-person would recognize as high-end, I use a first BAT preamp, it think it was VK3i, then it was VK5i. In 1999 Lamm L1 introduced me a totally another level of what preamps might do. Then in 2000 it was Lamm L2.  I wrote about Lamm’s preamps and I consider them as a very enigmatic figure in audio.

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?postID=257

There were many people out there use Lamm L1/L2 but absolutely dominating majority still clueless what they use and what benefits those preamps do in playback. Lamm preamps had own issues and I was not aggressively in 2000-2002 was bringing many other preamps trying how they would do. Let me see… It was a top of line Audio Research, Mark Levinson, Atmosphere, CAT, Spectral, VAC, VTL, Theta and perhaps something else that I do not already remember. They all come and go and then it was 3 different Placettes that pretty much ended my frustration. That is what I went through and here is what I think. This is my requirement for ultimate preamp and if the manufacturers are willing to do another $30K or $70K preamp then they better to learn what we – the users- would like to have. So, here is my “The 15 Commandments of Ultimate Preamplifier”.

1) A preamp shall have right Sound. I would not even comment on it. A preamp shall sound better then any other source a system has.

2) A preamp shall have a remote control. I have expressed a well found view that a Remote Control is an ultimate enemy… but if you sell a preamp for $50K and with no remote control then you did not try very hard. The Remote Control shell be for volume, lines switching and phase inversion.

3) A preamp shall have multiple configurable Inputs that all sound the same. Come on! A person who runs just a CD player would not buy the “Ultimate Preamplifier” for $30K or $70K. It is obviously that the  Ultimate Preamp will be incorporated into more or less evolved installation that most likely will have multiple objectives. So, I feel 5-6 Inputs is absolutely mandatory for an Ultimate Preamp. I would like to have option to configure how many inputs I would have. My current Preamp has 11, I think it is too much for general use but 5-6 Inputs with extendibility to 7-9 I think does make since. An ability to set a drop for a few DB for a few inputs is also would be useful.

4) A preamp shall not have digital volume control – digital can’t filter or attenuate

5) A preamp shall not have a lot of gain. I presume that a person who would go for $30K or $70K Ultimate Preamplifier would not be a fool and all moments of matching gain with sensitivity of speakers will be resolved on amplifiers level. So, most of the time the Ultimate Preamplifier will be attenuating of working near a unity gain.

6) A preamplifier shall be active. Restive of inactive preamps are fine for $500 preamplifier and for $2000 worth loudspeakers.

7) A preamplifier shall have a headphone output. I do not ask about a great one but it shall be one and it costs nothing to implement.

8) A preamplifier shall have output impedance of sub 100R and shall be able to put out a lot of current.

9) A preamplifier shall have at 2 least RIAA inputs. There is no reason do not integrate a 50-80dB gain phonostage into a preamp as it allow to optimize sages and make the whole phono operation very comfortable

10) A preamplifier shall have 0.1K, 1K and 10K generator aboard.

11) A preamplifier shall have a hard-wired bypass switch.

12) A preamplifier shall have multiple configurable options for grounding layout and shall have a shared across all inputs and outputs, very massive cooper bass terminal.

13) A preamplifier shall have multiple outputs, 2-3 is OK.

14) A preamplifier shall not use vacuum tubes as output devises. Come on, get real! No one yet built an absolutely transparent tubes buffer. The output stages of an Ultimate preamplifier shall be DC-coupled SS devise.

15) A preamplifier shall have an absolute phase inversion option.

That is all for now.
The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
05-26-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Lbjefferies7
Southern California
Posts 49
Joined on 01-11-2008

Post #: 4
Post ID: 10587
Reply to: 10585
Ultimate Pre-Amp for Dummies
fiogf49gjkf0d

Let it be known that I am nearly clueless when it comes to electronics.  Building speakers, racks, pianos, or just about anything mechanical is no problem for me to build myself and, unlike Romy, it is usually pleasant for me for various reasons.  Where my enthusiasm in creation dies is in electronics.  It is a problem that, it appears, will have to be remedied as my system's performance is far behind my own "performance."  The idealist side of me makes be feel that a person should not have to have any more "circuit consciousness" than I, especially when the Ultimate Preamp or any other component will sell for a substantial price.  I write this just so that we are all clear on the context of my comments.

A possible #16 may be an elegant way of current-loading cables.  Perhaps this should include an attenuator to achieve the proper current for a given cable?

Having said that, the 15 Commandments above look like a fine solution-based pre-amp...and the title reminds me of Mel Brooks as Moses. Smile  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YX-gqRdK_8

LBJ (a dummy...but perhaps not a moron)




I'm not interested in having an orchestra sound like itself. I want it to sound like the composer. Leonard Bernstein
05-26-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 10588
Reply to: 10587
...they shall not be limited by preamp’s output impedance.
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Lbjefferies7 wrote:
Having said that, the 15 Commandments above look like a fine solution-based pre-amp...and the title reminds me of Mel Brooks as Moses.
  
Yes, it was exactly my point of reference.  
 Lbjefferies7 wrote:
A possible #16 may be an elegant way of current-loading cables.  Perhaps this should include an attenuator to achieve the proper current for a given cable?
 
The Commandments #8 implies it. The current-loading cables is not the functionality of preamps but the properly of the cable load. So, the preamp shall have very low output impedance and the output stage shall run very deep in class A1 with very hot bias, with a lot of heat sinks. The SS devices, most of them run feedback, allow to have ultra low output impedance – a few Ohms - and if the output stage do not oscillates in this operation ten it is very good. The oscillation would the property of the cable capacitance as well, so the few dozen Ohms output anti- oscillation resistor would not be a bad thing…
 
I am sure the right people who do Ultimate Preamps would do this research in SS devises and I am sure would fund the right solution. I personally would like to see the Ultimate Preamp measurements and to observe of it transparency at 50MHz. Yes you did not misread me – at 50MHz - at videos single. I would like to see a preamp made with all rules of HF transmission like with unlimited bandwidth and unlimited power (unlimited for liner level).
 
BTW, having a system configuration like mine – with multiple line level filters is very educational as the output impedance of preamp is the very essential design factor of my playback. Whatever people do they shall not be limited by preamp’s output impedance.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-20-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Amir
Iran Tehran
Posts 158
Joined on 02-11-2009

Post #: 6
Post ID: 25116
Reply to: 10585
Balance Control
 Romy the Cat wrote:

1) A preamp shall have right Sound. I would not even comment on it. A preamp shall sound better then any other source a system has.

2) A preamp shall have a remote control. I have expressed a well found view that a Remote Control is an ultimate enemy… but if you sell a preamp for $50K and with no remote control then you did not try very hard. The Remote Control shell be for volume, lines switching and phase inversion.

3) A preamp shall have multiple configurable Inputs that all sound the same. Come on! A person who runs just a CD player would not buy the “Ultimate Preamplifier” for $30K or $70K. It is obviously that the  Ultimate Preamp will be incorporated into more or less evolved installation that most likely will have multiple objectives. So, I feel 5-6 Inputs is absolutely mandatory for an Ultimate Preamp. I would like to have option to configure how many inputs I would have. My current Preamp has 11, I think it is too much for general use but 5-6 Inputs with extendibility to 7-9 I think does make since. An ability to set a drop for a few DB for a few inputs is also would be useful.

4) A preamp shall not have digital volume control – digital can’t filter or attenuate

5) A preamp shall not have a lot of gain. I presume that a person who would go for $30K or $70K Ultimate Preamplifier would not be a fool and all moments of matching gain with sensitivity of speakers will be resolved on amplifiers level. So, most of the time the Ultimate Preamplifier will be attenuating of working near a unity gain.

6) A preamplifier shall be active. Restive of inactive preamps are fine for $500 preamplifier and for $2000 worth loudspeakers.

7) A preamplifier shall have a headphone output. I do not ask about a great one but it shall be one and it costs nothing to implement.

8) A preamplifier shall have output impedance of sub 100R and shall be able to put out a lot of current.

9) A preamplifier shall have at 2 least RIAA inputs. There is no reason do not integrate a 50-80dB gain phonostage into a preamp as it allow to optimize sages and make the whole phono operation very comfortable

10) A preamplifier shall have 0.1K, 1K and 10K generator aboard.

11) A preamplifier shall have a hard-wired bypass switch.

12) A preamplifier shall have multiple configurable options for grounding layout and shall have a shared across all inputs and outputs, very massive cooper bass terminal.

13) A preamplifier shall have multiple outputs, 2-3 is OK.

14) A preamplifier shall not use vacuum tubes as output devises. Come on, get real! No one yet built an absolutely transparent tubes buffer. The output stages of an Ultimate preamplifier shall be DC-coupled SS devise.

15) A preamplifier shall have an absolute phase inversion option.

That is all for now.
The Cat

16) A preamplifier shall have balance control for balancing gain of L/R channels (good speaker position change the gain)
Page 1 of 1 (6 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  Preamplifiers: keys to mystery. (Lamm L1, L2)..  In analog domain...  Audio Discussions  Forum     2  44203  11-14-2004
  »  New  VTL TL-7.5 Reference: His name was Marc Mickelson he wa..  VTL TL-7.5 Reference: His name was Marc Mickelson he wa...  Audio Discussions  Forum     0  21243  03-16-2005
  »  New  Passive transformer based preamp..  Re: Thorsten's preamp idea...  Audio Discussions  Forum     41  335420  10-22-2005
  »  New  Reviewing preamps by imbeciles...  More toilet reading about preamps......  Audio For Dummies ™  Forum     1  31821  06-25-2006
  »  New  The objectives of Einstein self-entertaining Preamp...  Double Coil Spring...  Audio Discussions  Forum     6  42288  01-26-2007
  »  New  Convergent Legend Preamp and the same Marc Mickelson..  Convergent Legend Preamp and the same Marc Mickelson...  Audio News Forum     0  19047  03-24-2009
  »  New  The ultimate buffer – light in the end of a tunnel..  A few minor corrections...  Audio Discussions  Forum     36  266104  04-28-2005
  »  New  HELP: I’m a line-level looser...  Further sonic humiliation....  Audio Discussions  Forum     22  113394  03-30-2005
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