PRELUDE Hybrid Tube Preamplifier
with the Western Electric 396a Tube
Base on just one 396a tube (also takes 5670 and 2C51 ...etc)
4X of Gain (We prefer to have fewer gain than higher distortion), 2V Output at Nominal, 0.1% THD-X
Perfect for low-powered and triode tube amplifiers and high-efficiency speaker system that does not need a lot of gain and drive, In return of the most organic/analog/quality music play back - less gain/less parts/less tubes; LESS phase shift and signal changes too!
Tube regulated, by the powerful 12BH7, or the 12Au7 * the more powerful 12BH7 will last longer in the pose*
Tube rectified, by a small peanut type 6Z4 rectifier tube, which is a 7 pin miniature tube that is affordable and reliable
The power supply uses AC coupling (and is quiet enough to score a better than 90 db S/N Ratio, which was tested with an older Western Electric 396a), which, to us, is more superior in musicality than the absolute quieter DC coupling. Other than a good power supply design, our quality Canadian-made power transformer that is made and tested to the highest electrical safety standards. An input filtering choke is in place, this is why even when we heat it with AC, it is still quiet enough.
This is a true high end pre-amplifier regardless of price, sound, performance and functions. A pair of high-quality transistors (thus called a hybrid preamplifier) are used for impedance conversion for driving all kinds of power amplifiers (including high power tube amps, solid state amps, or even sub-woofer amps! It’ll turn a flat and boring solid state amp sound totally alive and involving, and this is why all our dealers love the PRELUDE, as it has the ability to turn an average quality system , to a true high end sounding one), which we combined together along with the goodness of tubes at the voltage amplifying stage. We are able to get the advantage of each technology - both Sound and Performance, here, both the performance/specifications/measurements of solid state, and the charm/sound/bliss of the tubes.
Looks too simple? Perhaps the hardest to perfect. We like clean desk policy, while some others might make it look busy to impressive..
High-quality parts throughout, including CMC USA Gold Plate RCAs (3 Pairs of Input), and one pair of output , Mundorf coupling caps, Alps Japan Blue Volt Pot, Premium Selector, high grade 1% Japanese resistors and E-caps and solid signal path wires...etc.
Pricing : Regardless of price, the quality and sound reproduction satisfactions will be something in its own league! This design will be a success for decades ; like the Lp12!
Tubes being supplied are NOS USA 5670, NOS Sino 6Z4, and USA/Russian 12BH7
NEW Starting 2018 +
Since its debut, we spent thousands of hours on listening and comparing.
Mundorf EVO SILVER GOLD OIL Coupling Caps will be used on every new PRELUDE built. We heard it, and tested it. It sounded very good.
PHONO STAGE will be standard on every new 2017+ built PRELUDE. Using our high-end solid state phono stage used on the Triode Lab Au Pre/up coming Au Pre Mini, you are about to experience some best and quiet vinyls playtime, be it MM or high output MC cartridge. With the phono stage on board, it will also require more critical power supply and grounding network designs, as the phono stage requires a higher level of quality power supplies and regulations for the most quietest possible operations. The power transformer is also upgraded to the higher grade Hammond 300 series with covers, and universal voltages is available. Phono Gain : 35.6 db / 60x, conservatively rated.
MSRP $3,500 USD, well equipped.
Finish : Finale's Tuxedo Black (Black Chassis's and Acrylic Face-plate)
Accessory : The "Gold Podium", a plinth/platform made with a thick 3/8" solid aluminum plate, which adds weight and stability, as well better resonance/damping control characteristic thru using HiFi quality footers, and high quality rubber isolations between the plinth and the chassis. $1000.00 CAD
Options : Dual Outputs $150/Power Transformer Shield $100/Free acrylic face-plate delete (For those who wants a non glossy finish to show), Free pilot light delete, Free phono stage delete.
Standard parts and bits : CMC Gold RCAs, 1877 Phono Gold Ground Post, Alps Blue Vol Pot, Lorlin UK Selector Switch, Furutech Gold IEC, Canadian made power transformer with world voltage, and Canadian made choke transformer ... etc. 2017+ NEW : Triode Lab Stainless Steel Knobs (Hand made / polished in Canada - MSRP $80 CAD each)
The PRELUDE is still our biggest seller for pre-amplifiers. With its very good phono foundation one could have (if you don’t have a good phono-stage, you are not getting the best sound even having the best MC Carts, SUTs and Turntables!), design sourced from Triode Lab. The PRELUDE also has the ability to drive triode amps to big power solid state amps. And the sweetness of the WE396a tube is simply addictive and euphonic. Its hard not to be everyone’s favourite. And here is the top tier spec PRELUDE FFX, with the additional upgrades :
Mundorf Germany EVO Silver Gold, to now, SUPREME EVO SILVER GOLD
Lorlin UK Selector Switch, to now, DACT of Denmark
Hammonds Power Transformer, to now, HASHIMOTO (Sansui) - it measure even more quiet and better S/N ratio
6Z4 Rectifier Tube, to now, 5AR4 (Substitutes / Sound Tuning : NOS 5W4 , 5Z4 , 5T4 , 5V4 , 5Y3)
FFX Treatments (From beefier power supply and further advanced grounding approach, to better channeling and shortest signal path for fewest loss and sound change). Thanks to the FFX Treatments and Hashimoto Transformer. The phono stage on the PRELUDE FFX is one of the quietest we come across. FFX Treatments also mean highest grade resistors and caps.
Alps Blue volume control or optional TKD audiophile volume (as shown)