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Quad 606 preamp recommendations?

Discussion in 'classic' started by VanDerGraaf, May 30, 2021.

  1. VanDerGraaf

    VanDerGraaf pfm Member

    Asking for a friend

    Can anyone recommend a decent pre well-suited to a 606? Friend has just bought one but neither of us has no idea of what mates well with it.

    Looking to come in at the lower end of budget, so no solutions at more than a few hundred absolute max please.

    Phono stage not necessary. Remote would be nice, but again not a necessity.
    Period or modern.

    What say ye?
  2. miktec

    miktec retired

    ... given the high sensitivity of the 606, a half decent passive pre should do the trick, 10k 'pot-in-a-box' - or something more exotic.

    Tisbury at the cheaper end - Khozmo or Goldpoint further up the ladder ....

    Or you could look for the original match in a Quad 66 (although personally I quite like the RCA equipped 34)
    VanDerGraaf likes this.
  3. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    Quad 34 for me.
    On a budget and want something very good for the price : NAD 1300, freshly recapped
    A tad better : Parasound 2100 (if it’s available in your area)
    Passive pre might also be very good but I don’t know much about these.
    VanDerGraaf likes this.
  4. VanDerGraaf

    VanDerGraaf pfm Member

    Thanks for those suggestions.

    Interesting thought about the Tisbury- always liked their "Citroen 2CV" approach to the job.
  5. MEMF1980

    MEMF1980 pfm Member

    Another vote for the tisbury. I’ve used one with a 306 and now a 606 and think they are a bargain for the price. Really transparent - only issue you may have is the volume steps are a little far apart, although never bothered me.
    Tim Jones and VanDerGraaf like this.
  6. serendipitydawg

    serendipitydawg Dag nabbit!

  7. VanDerGraaf

    VanDerGraaf pfm Member

    Hi all,
    I let my friend use my Sondex integrated as a stopgap. I myself scored a used Tisbury passive recently so will let him try this out too.

    @serendipitydawg thanks for the tip!
  8. chris shorter

    chris shorter pfm Member

    A bit late with this reply but I’m using a Naim 32.5 with RSL boards in to my Quad. Much more reliable option than using vintage Quad pre’s and any non-technical person can do the RSL transformation. You can even have remote volume.
  9. John_73

    John_73 pfm Member

    A well sorted grey Quad 34 (with the phono sockets) is far better than internet ‘audiophile wisdom’ would otherwise suggest. Can pick them up pretty cheap to. A few cheap mods and they’re better still. Ignore anyone who calls them veiled, woolly etc.
    Zombie, HeinzR and TonyScarlett like this.
  10. fraserking

    fraserking pfm Member

    I’m using a Naim 72/hi cap with Avondale boards into a 520f( pretty much 606) and really enjoying it. Tried it direct once ( has variable input sensitivity ) and although it sounded great I felt the Naim made it sound more in control . Interesting that Chris uses a Naim - I searched the web looking for others doing that and found nothing!
  11. rhgbristol

    rhgbristol pfm Member

    Another vote for the Quad 34 or if more inputs and flexibility with input cards are needed, then the Quad 44.

    In both cases the later grey cased versions with phono connectors would be the most desirable.

    The Quad 66 pre-amp would have been the original partnering, but many including me, went for the 34 / 44.

    The Quad 66 is comparatively rare on the second hand scene - and beware the unreliable remote controller!
  12. VanDerGraaf

    VanDerGraaf pfm Member

    I had completely forgotten about this whole thing.

    In the end a 99 pre came up at a very good price (I think it was somwthing ridiculous like £225) and he has been happy ever since pairing this with the 606.
    John_73, calorgas and chartz like this.
  13. chartz

    chartz If it’s broke fix it!

    Excellent! Quad with Quad, perhaps not the last word in definition but it always work :)
    VanDerGraaf and calorgas like this.
  14. chris shorter

    chris shorter pfm Member

    I’m not sure that a 72 or 32.5 stuffed with Avondale or RSL boards really can be called Naim anymore! Do you have the Avondale regulators in the hi cap? I hope to do this over Christmas, if Santa Klaus manages to get it out of customs clearance in time.
  15. calorgas

    calorgas Generic middle-aged man

    The more modern Quads definitely don't look so interesting so may not get discussed as much as the older stuff, but they're really good. If I can just stop looking at other toys to buy, I could be happy with my Quad Elite & QSP (pretty much a 99 & 909) for the rest of my days - it just sounds so 'right'.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2022
  16. Zombie

    Zombie pfm Member

    A 99/Elite is definitely a step up from 34/44, even hard modded ones. I have an Artera pre now, but it's more "hifi"...not sure if I keep it. But no problems together with a 909.
  17. eddie pugh

    eddie pugh pfm Member

    I've been using a vintage UK original Audiolab 8000Q with my 909 and been more than happy with the sounds

    Even better would be the Tag MacLaren version of the Q I forget the designation which is virtually identical circuit wise just slightly better components

  18. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Me too, I ate one sour too.

    Pot in a box and a SP-19 source selector works great with my 606.....

  19. PigletsDad

    PigletsDad My intelligence test came back negative.

    If you happened on one, an older Plinius pre would be a good thing to try. Nice phono stage too, although you said that wasn't needed. Probably very rare on this side of the planet! Newer stuff is expensive.
    VanDerGraaf likes this.
  20. HeinzR

    HeinzR pfm Member

    Here comes another vote for the Quad 34. I had one back in the 80s and after many moons and 30 years of tubes only I restarted with a vintage Quad 34/306 system this spring. I had forgotten how musical and fatique free this Quad system is…or I am more experienced as a listener now. The hunting for more „resolution“ more this or that is often only a marketing trap. I recently compared the 34 output with its tape recording output using a Bluesound Node to control the volume. The tape recording out is low enough in impedance to feed the 306. It goes out before the sound filters, volume and balance pots. So one could probably think it must be less filtered and „purer“. I can only say that the magic of the Quad sound was gone. The pre out after all circuits and with tone controls etc sounds much more layered, musical and fluid. That is a statement against all „purists“ where less is more is often the rule that counts.

    And I compare my beloved Quad 34 late model PCB No. 7 here with my two other long time favorites, my Mcintosh C22CE and EAR 864. So not in bad society where the 34 can assert itself equally with its own serene but lively fatigue-free character. Just find a nice late copy with the orange logo would be best and forget what the people say about the Quad sound as pipe and slippers.

    I forgot to say that I habe no experience with the 606 but I very often have heard that its sound even if more powerful is similar to the 306 which I know so very well because it is the very same circuit but the 606 has more „sand“ and bigger power supply.
    chartz and Zombie like this.

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