A great tube preamp will produce enough of a gain at the front of a circuit. It can clean and improve signals from microphones or other items plugged into it. It won’t be too hard to get a tube preamp to work for your needs but you will have to shop around to see what choices are available.
The good news is that you won’t have to look too far to find the best tube preamp for your needs. I have gathered three of the best options for you to have when it comes to finding one. Here’s a look at how these three attractive models work for your demands.
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Best Tube Preamp 2017
Little Dot MK2 6J1
- The left and right input and output ports on the back part are clearly labeled. These are gold-plated and balanced to work with RCA connections.
- The frequency response runs from 20 Hz to 50 kHz. It works with very little distortion.
- The gain feature is versatile. It offers a 3 to 10x gain although separate switches may be applied if needed.
- A gold-plated stereo headphone out is used at the front of the preamp. It creates a secure connection that conducts energy well. The volume knob next to it is also easy to adjust and use.
- It works with a vast variety of connections including the 6J1, M8100 and EF95 links. When the jumper pins are shorted, the EF92 and CV131 connections can be added. Other drop-in replacements can also be supported on this unit to establish a carefully organized and secured link for all items on it.
This is one of the best tube preamp choices for how it offers enough power to handle a variety of devices without any distortion. My favorite part of this came from how it uses a strong control scheme for most headphones and microphones. The bass sounds are clean and entail no added noise issues. The balance is even with smooth sounds all the way. I don’t even have to replace the tubes to make it work. The versatility of this model is a real plus as it gives me added support for linking more items onto the preamp.
This takes a bit of time to warm up. I have to let it run for a few minutes before it really starts to pick up signals. Also, I have to shut it off every four to six hours to let it cool off. I have to wait for nearly an hour before I can turn it back on in most cases.
Nobsound NS-01P Tube Pre-Amp
- This Nobsound model uses a 12AX7 amplifier to enhance how the sound is generated. It offers a low output resistance to create a stronger total sound.
- The WIMA high voltage capacitor is designed with a strong body that manages how signals run. This keeps the signal from a connection consistent without the risk of anything being lost.
- The 6Z4 tube rectifier is applied here to manage higher levels of pressure. This prevents distortion from developing and is simple enough for most uses.
My favorite part of this is that the sounds coming out of the pre-amp are not too intense or muted. They are carefully projected to work well and clean. The preamp is smooth enough to generate cleaner backgrounds to create a more immersive sound experience. The unit does not vibrate much and generates clear signals consistently. It does not take much for me to get this to start up either.
I found the AX7 tubes to be a little too sensitive for their own good. I had to replace them with 12AU7 tubes to make it easier to control the volume. Fortunately, it only took a brief moment for me to actually replace them. Also, this can create some intense humming effects depending on how high up the volume knob is turned.
Pro-Ject Audio Tube Box S
- Two ECC83 vacuum tubes are all this needs to start working. It controls a dual mono setup for a simple connection system.
- There are three gain levels used on this. They can be adjusted through the simple control buttons on the preamp body.
- The input impedance and capacitance can be switched in real time. This is another feature found on the box.
- RIAA equalization is used to manage how sounds are processed. It analyzes the bass, treble and other qualities and prepares appropriate settings for each. This is to create a stronger total setup on the preamp so it’s not hard to produce clearer sounds.
I think this is one of the best tube preamp choices for how it uses a simple user interface that isn’t complex and harsh. The unit responds quickly to change in the controls as well. It is a little less than two pounds so it’s not hard for me to place on any spot where it is needed. The sound projected by this is especially warm but it doesn’t generate more static or distortion than what I can afford to have.
Whether or not this will work depends heavily on how wires are organized around it. It is very easy for a hum to develop when the wiring connected to it is not grounded. The unit is extremely sensitive to this. It is also tough to maintain the tubes on this due to the shielding over them being rather tough to handle.
My favorite of the three tube preamps listed here is the Little Dot MK2. This choice is a better option for how it offers a more control setup that carefully handles how well sounds are produced. It can support a better variety of connections and produce clearer sounds. The control setup is simple and easy to follow. The gold-plated connections also ensure that I will have a consistent connection on anything I am using. This is an ideal choice that simplifies how well I can get more sounds produced on it with ease.