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Pre amplifier ~ Active or Passive with Sugden Class A power?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Mr Magoo, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo I prefer spots.

    I’ve recently taken a new direction with my amplification with the purchase of a Sugden A21aP which was purchased from Nagraboy of this parish. My amplfoer of choice was simply out of my reach financially at this time (Leben CS300), so Class A came on to my radar and the amp is now awaiting a pre.

    Greg recommended Croft Acoustics...and then there’s the Sugden Headmaster which came to my attention. A Class A headphone amp and a 3 line level inputs pre option. Then there’s the passive pre from Icon Audio. All are within reach now, I just need some pointers/thoughts of the forum. My system is vinyl only with a WTA Versalex/17D3, Revel F206 floorstanders (may change these, but at 88db sensitivity, they should be fine for now). My phono stage is a battery powered Nighthawk.

    All cabling is Chord Shawline. Dedicated listening room is 3m x 3.5m. The passive pre ticks many boxes for me. Are there alternatives worthy of sitting alongside the Sugden power amp?

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
  2. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

    I always prefer active preamps with SS power. Croft will work quite well if you can get the gain to match, but tbh I think there are better valve preamps out there (for my ears at least) if you’re buying second hand. (That said, there’s a single box Croft RS for sale on AOS that is keenly priced).

    However, as the amp is new to you I’d say try out an inexpensive passive first and see how you like it for a wee while, before getting into a Merry-go-round of active preamps. It might be all you need sonically and in terms of gain.

    I recently knocked up a pot-in-a-box to try with my First Watt amp and it was lovely. A sound I could surely live with. I considered whether to go this way permanently but after a week I was missing the spaciousness and drive my active pre brings.
    Mr Magoo likes this.
  3. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo I prefer spots.

    Thanks for the pointers. I’m tempted by the Sugden Headmaster for now. This will enable me to sell my headphone amp (assuming it’s better). Will check out the Croft though.

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