Preamp effectiveness

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Anthony A.

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2005
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i have a tube cd player that i run analogue to my prepro. i am beginning my quest to tube rolling but since i will be upgrading my prepro by the end of next year, i want to know how much influence the ss prepro has on my cd player's sound. for example, is it safe to say that it accounts for 15% in its own sound signature? it is used solely as a volume control so how much effect does it have on my sound? thanks for the help.
You might want to be very specific on your setup, equipment and tubes being used or considered.

Try the General Asylum, Amp/Pre or Tubes catagories of the following website:

As I understand it, people swap tubes in power amps all the time, preamps is another story. I'd look into it very carefully before doing anything.

I'd say in my set up, there was a "character change" or "personality change" that went along with better sound when going to tubes. Let's say I went from a 7.8 to a 9.2 on a 10 point scale. What is that in percent, 84% or 118%? Been a long day already - sorry.
I'd guess the prepro does not digitally process the analogue signal. That being said, the sound you get out of the speakers is, to a large extent, the result of the tubed cd player. IMHO, people do roll tubes in preamps. The old Telefunken 12ax7 was supposed to be a very smooth sounding, typically tubey tube. Sovtek and Svetlana preamp tubes do not sound the same as Telefunkens. The best way to tell the difference is to compare and contrast!
See which ones best match your taste and your equipment.

Warning: NOS (new old stock) tubes tend to be very expensive. I've seen preamp tubes listed for as much as a couple hundred bucks apiece.