Are active preamps necessary?

March 23, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

14 comments on “Are active preamps necessary?”

  1. Mark, if you’re reading this, you’re correct!
    A passive preamp does not have an amplifier of any kind in the cerket.
    Paul was talking about the buffer stage, that within itself, is in deed a voltage amplifier.
    But if you ask me, the best ones, are the ones that uses a few tubes.

  2. If it is true that there is no perfect component in a stereo chain (except a short piece of wire) it is all about synergy or distortion and management of these inherent distortions by masking malign distortions by benign distortions. Stereophile magazine’s list of recommended components shows in category “A+” preamps ranking from 3 k$ to some 30 k$ and one reviewer compares the sound quality of a preamp with a piece of wire both offering the same sound quality. Thus a DS DAC with digital volume control using 64 bit resolution or a GCPH phono preamp with gain cell volume control obviously aren’t voiced in the same way as the new Stellar preamp or have a poor output stage whose distortions have to be masked by the distortions of the Stellar preamp. Or is there another logic?

  3. The last few days I have been unable to watch any of these videos. If I try selecting one at the bottom of the screen it just brings me back to the top of the screen.

      1. Paul the same thing happens to me when I use my phone browser. I scroll to the bottom where it says watch video click on it and it takes me back to the top of the page but it does not play the video.

  4. Hi Paul,
    I’m with bassdan. But it’s on my mobile I can’t see the videos. If I log into utube on my desktop it’s fine. Maybe it’s a mobile thing?

  5. I can’t see them on my android phone, when I press “Ask Paul”
    It moves to a screen that says read more, not play video. I can read the comments, but no videos play, if that helps.

    1. Interesting. When I view the mobile version I first go to the upper “hamburger” menu, choose HiFi Family, then Ask Paul, then I see my ugly mug. Scrolling down the page the videos begin to appear. As you scroll down you see nothing but blank page?

    1. Yes, sorry asbout that. Seems when you try on a mobile phone it’s broken. The programmers are working on fixing that. In the meantime the videos are always available using a desktop computer if you have access to one.

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