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Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Ultimate Line Preamplifier, Part 3


In part 2 about my ultimate statement in terms of line preamplification I already gave an extensive sound description. I usually do not write much about the sound of my amps and preamps since such impressions are rather subjective. Such rants as in the last post are quite unusual for me so I thought another post is due with some follow up.

When listening to a newly developed amp or preamp it is easy to get carried away, especially when the expectations are high as with such a silver laden component. Often the initial enthusiasm wears off after some time. But often also the opposite can be true and only after living with a component for some time it's true strength reveals itself.

So what do I think about the sound of this preamp after some time? In fact I found it even better than when I wrote the last post. The most notable strength is the extremely refined texture of sounds and the way it sculptures even the tiniest detail with ease.

Especially since I had the chance to listen to this preamp in the system of it's owner last week, I can confirm all the statements I made about it. Even though I listend to it in a system with very different speakers and sources, I could hear all the positive aspects of the line stage as I heard them in my own system.

Voices are unbelievably warm an natural. Very pleasing to listen to with excellent articulation.

I am very happy with the sound which I could achieve with this and another one is planned for my own system.

Once exposed to this kind of sound it is difficult to live without.

And of course the matching phono stage is in the planning as well.

And maybe towards the end of the year I will apply the same differential concept to a power amp. Stay tuned for reports about the progress on this.

Best regards



  1. i wonder which affordable dhts are worth look at

  2. This differential topology is rather exciting; congratulations on such a fine achievement.

    I do wonder about active line stages in general, though. If there is sufficient gain in the source-to-speaker chain to do without extra gain in the line stage, would even as magnificent a preamp as this surpass a purely passive silver TVC or AVC?

    Or would the doctrine of minimalism triumph in such a situation, favouring the silver TVC or AVC?

    1. Hi!
      IME a AVC sounds best when driven from low impedance. So the active line stage also decouples the inductive load of the abc from the sources. In most cases this is beneficial. I actually had the chance to compare this preamp against a passive silver AVC and it was better.

  3. Time for me to comment, as I'm the lucky owner!!
    I had Thomas's single ended silver 10Y before this and it was a wonderful linestage...but this one is just so much more...it's so clean and crisp but richly textured. It unearths previously unheard detail, but it's not analytical, it's just beautiful, and Thomas is as rightly proud of it as I am happy!

    Thanks Thomas!

    1. Hi David,
      thanks for the comment. And especially thanks for pushing me to go beyond the single ended line stage.