Consumer Electronics Questions and Answers
21 April 2017, 09:36 PM
Question: Solid state preamp Vs Vacuum tube?
I have a Pioneer VSX-1015TX receiver / Polk Audio Monitor 75t speakers / and just ordered a Music Hall 5.3 (blue Ortofon Cartridge) turntable.

I need a phono preamp and was wondering which kind to get?

I was hoping to keep it in the $200 range.

Thank you!
Votes: 203
More to the point is the difference in sound tubes have versus solid state. Also, tubes need replacing from time to time. The equipment is not maintenance free, and produces heat. Like don't touch it heat. If you are not familiar with rolling tubes, you will have a learning curve ahead of you, possibly an expensive one. Tubes innately have high distortions in their output, but of types that engender the soft smoothness often liked by aficionados. At your price level however, solid state would be the more effective solution.
Personal note:
The effects of even as opposed to odd order distortion is often cited as what gives tubes their distinctive sound., with solid state systems providing more odd order than even order distortion. However, a solid state preamp will have on the order of .0002 percent THD, while a tube unit will have a full 1 percent to .8000 percent THD. Several orders more distortion regardless of type. For reproduction (playback), perhaps it is better being able to discern when a musician is using a tube head to create his particular sound, from someone using a solid head amp, than to smear a tube distortion over everything. Up to you.
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