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Need Help - Suggestions for Preamp under 1K

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by F1fletch, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. F1fletch

    F1fletch Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacifica, CA
    Hey guys

    I am looking at an upgrade to my Preamp situation …a modest budget under 1k.

    I am reasonable open, I would prefer tone controls and Bluetooth but I would be willing to sacrifice in the case of the Freya plus because of the switchable stage signatures and tube variations that can be changed to alter coloration. So my question is; Other than the Schiit Freya + (and a separate Bluetooth dac) which would be slightly over budget….are their any other options you have experience with in the sub 1k range?

    I appreciate any ideas or suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021
  2. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    F1fletch and tIANcI like this.
  3. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    The Parasound NewClassic 200 integrated sounds very nice. I’m sure the pre will be as good in terms of sound quality.
     
    F1fletch likes this.
  4. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Under a K is tough for a really good sounding linestage. I'd likely go passive at that point. You can sometimes find decent stuff used, but even then, as high end active stages run at least double that, you may still hit that $1k mark and have wear from use, plus lack warranty. I've had decent luck with newish used preamps not having issues, but older stuff can be problematic.
    -Bill
     
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  5. F1fletch

    F1fletch Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacifica, CA
    This was actually on my very short list….it lacks Bluetooth but otherwise has everything I need. The amplified version got a very nice review from the silver haired Canadian (back when his hair was black).

    I wonder how it compares to the Freya +
     
  6. Luxmancl38

    Luxmancl38 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manchester NH
    You have a choice of two preamps at 1K from Audio By Van Alstine. One is SS and the other is all tube. Both at the same price.
     
    davidb1 likes this.
  7. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    I can only speak comparing the NewClassic integrated with the Freya+ … both are good but different. Freya+ in tube mode has that sweet tube sound. I like it with Sylvania 6SN7GTA tubes.

    In the other 2 modes the Freya+ does not sound as good as the Parasound. The Parasound does not have a sterile presentation. The tone controls are nicely done, used moderately it’s just right.
     
    bever70 and F1fletch like this.
  8. F1fletch

    F1fletch Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacifica, CA
    This is exactly what I was wondering, thank you!!

    The Parasound sounds like the best pick for me. Now I just have to decide how much of an upgrade it will be over the IOTAVX SA3 which I am currently using as just a pre-amp.
     
  9. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    You only know when you get to AB it. No other way. Also, the Parasound’s DAC is pretty decent. No sibilant. Mids not too far forward.
     
  10. F1fletch

    F1fletch Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacifica, CA
    I agree. I might be willing to go higher if it was going to bring more value and quality. Would a $1500 pre-amp bring that much more….just thinking out loud.
     
  11. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    If it’s the right one, for sure. If. Why not take a look at the Benchmark LA4 preamp? It’s pushing it but maybe worth a shot. I’m thinking of either the Freya+ or the LA4 to pair up with my Benchmark AHB2.

    Still, the Freya+ is superb value for money.
     
  12. F1fletch

    F1fletch Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacifica, CA
    That Benchmark is beautiful but more than a little out of my budget range lol.
     
  13. tIANcI

    tIANcI Wondering when the hifi madness will end

    Location:
    Malaysia
    Consider saving up a little more for longer term of use? :D
     
  14. F1fletch

    F1fletch Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pacifica, CA
    That’s true ;)

    I once heard you have to spend three times the amount to hear a noticeable improvement in cables when upgrading. Is it two or three times for hardware as well? I am not trying to open a can of worms topically just seems logical that there would be a metric that applies to sources and components as well. It gets more complex when you compare components that do not sell from a dealer network but sold direct from the mfg, these items would realistically sell for 30% less than a dealer distributed business model (perhaps).
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021 at 4:41 PM
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