Integrated amps with a passive pre section ... A question

lordmortlock

Lordmortlock
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I've read a few articles/posts over the years in which users/reviewers add a separate active pre amp to an integrated with a passive pre section. Most have these have related to ART or EAR amps. My Almarro a318b is designed in this way and I'd like to try a valve pre up front for experiments sake.

By fully opening the passive pot are you completely defeating it? I suppose that's probably design dependent. My AN Dac output 2.0v so no issues driving the passive stage, this is more a play about to see what a high quality pre adds. Anyone tried this with the Almarro by chance?

 

anubisgrau

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By fully opening the passive pot are you completely defeating it? I suppose that's probably design dependent?
yes, it's a design dependant but most of the attenuators in zero attenuation position (wide open) are basically a piece of wire. it doesn't necessarily mean it's 100% transparent but at least it shouldn't interfere with the source impedance which is a main mess there.

basically it's a source pass position and the best when attaching an extrenal active preamp (because of its fixed impedance where no level of attenuation would affect it).

 

lordmortlock

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Good, thanks Gordan. I like this set up well enough already but would love to hear what an AN pre or similar might add.

 

meninblack

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Don't be frightened to experiment and see what sounds best. I use my amps with the input attenuators on the Air Tight set at about half way, so the normal listening range on the AN volume controls is around 9 - 12 o'clock.

AN pres have high gain, so having your passive volume control wide open can leave you with very little volume adjustment!

 

Lefty

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Go for it Jake - this is exactly what I am doing with my Puresound A30. (Which has a passive pre section).

I am using a Conrad Johnson PV10al to good effect. (and a pair of Rothwell attenuators to compensate for the high gain of the CJ pre)

Lefty

 

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