Passive preamps, the downside.

Colin Wonfor

Hello Colin. I'm sure you’re aware of passive preamps such as Music First. I don’t think you’ll sort person to comment negatively on a particular brand but I do wonder what your views are on such devices? Not wishing to anticipate your answer, I’ve listened to the MF device and been very impressed by the complete absence of background noise. However-it seemed to me, that the bass although tightly clean was not particularly heavy, lacking weight and heft. Have you any thoughts you like to share on this? Thanks

A common problem .The impedance of passive pre-amps are not normally designed to drive awkward loads so you often get poor low frequency response. But to be honest, if the pre-amp active type is designed with low noise PSU and good low noise bits it should be silent or bloody close to. In which case, low impedance loads should not be a problem. Some of my SECA pre-amps will not drive less than 1K but only few amps are that low whereas the amps I did are all 10K. This helps when the leads are pulled out by the babe, i.e. no big plop sounds. Above 10K, thermal noise becomes scary due to random atoms doing a dance.

Thank you for the question.

Many preowned classic examples for sale HERE

EDITORIAL NOTE: The opinions expressed in the above post do not necessarily reflect those of our editorial team – just in case you wondered. Neil McCauley


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