Author Topic: Valvesound Preamps  (Read 16938 times)

Offline Francois

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Valvesound Preamps
« on: January 08, 2016, 10:12:59 AM »
I had the pleasure to have Willem (valvesound) demo his latest creation at my place. man I love his designs...simple as possible.

I first heard the "version 1" about 18 months ago and was already impressed. At the DIT show it stood out as an already complete and market "ready" product..... and he improved it

Version 2.....and a new design in the wings too.

So how does it sound ? Quite remarkable actually! It was up against the Audio Research LS17SE, very unfair but very enlightening experience.

No it wasnt better, but remember the LS17SE is based on Reference 5...and 40+ years of pre-amp development.  :thinking:
Was it night and day ? NO  :stop:

To me it had a sound firmly between LS5/BAT VK30/CJ PV10 and LS17SE

Open, natural sound, but oh so quiet. It has a beautiful valve character. A sweetness, and good solid bass
I think its strength lies in the midrange.   :clap:

It doesnt have the delicate airiness of the LS17, something I pick up on very revealing speakers. Airiness like in a slight "ether" surrounding you when it plays. Something that fills the air and wraps around you. I dont hear that often. Even my Hovland lacks that.

Does it sound like a Valve audio ? Surprisingly no, different. I will put it towards Conrad Johnson sound. VA tends to sound like the BAT camp. Both amps are not neutral, thank goodness

Neither are ever clinical, harsh or too revealing. NEVER sound like a SS preamp!!  :thumbs:

I REALLY hope we see both versions on DIY show!

Is this a R100k product ? No, not yet. Is it a bargain ? YES, very much so. I think a LOT of systems will benefit from this preamp!

Willem, time to put it out there bud!
I was born analog, not digit by digit....

Offline YT

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Re: Valvesound Preamps
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2016, 08:51:17 PM »
Sounds great
What price tag goes with it ??
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Offline itscraig

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Re: Valvesound Preamps
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2016, 07:29:50 AM »
nice write-up Francois,
nice one Willem another winner.

Offline gavinbirss

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Re: Valvesound Preamps
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2016, 09:19:53 AM »
Would it be possible to post a photo of the unit. Not internal just front and rear.

 :thumbs:

Offline valvesound

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Re: Valvesound Preamps
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2016, 09:24:49 AM »
Thanks Francois for the write-up and your vote of confidence.


Yes I am very happy with the latest design (version 2). The aim was to build a valve pre-amp with the least possible components especially in the signal line as that will always be closer to the 'truth'. Like they say the best pre-amp is a wire that connects the source to the power amp.
Making a minimalist design work well puts a lot more emphases on the power supply and I believe the 'virtual' battery circuit that I implemented did the trick.


The prototype version 2 that Francois listened to has been sold.


Version 3 is in the making with even less components in the signal line with no capacitors at all. It will also have an added balanced output. The power supply will be further improved and if all works out as planned, it should be completed by March.


I cannot give an indicative price for version 2 or 3 at this time as almost all of the components were imported before the Rand fell through the floor. I will have to do a new pricing  on the bill of material for that.


I will post pictures of version 3 soon  :thumbs:

Audio designs creating exceptional character

Offline scrarfussi

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Re: Valvesound Preamps
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2016, 08:27:04 PM »
I am the proud owner  of the prototype ver 2
beautiful  preamp absolutely love it  :clap:

thank you  valvesound  for a brilliant preamp
i will definitely be in line for ver3

 
suum cuique pulchrum est


"Then Said my heart here will i take my rest."

Offline Crashappy

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Re: Valvesound Preamps
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2016, 08:28:24 PM »
Pikchaaasssss   :popcorn:

Offline scrarfussi

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Re: Valvesound Preamps
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2016, 08:35:56 PM »
will take better pictures  later



suum cuique pulchrum est


"Then Said my heart here will i take my rest."

Offline Crashappy

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Re: Valvesound Preamps
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2016, 08:38:38 PM »
Nice. Clean front like it

Offline scrarfussi

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Re: Valvesound Preamps
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2016, 08:39:47 PM »
PS Francois the last time you listened to it was before the virtual  battery mod he did for me in  December
 a nice leap from before
suum cuique pulchrum est


"Then Said my heart here will i take my rest."

Offline valvesound

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Re: Valvesound Preamps
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2016, 04:07:21 PM »
I forgot to mention that version 3 will also have a headphone output  :winkwink:
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Offline gavinbirss

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Re: Valvesound Preamps
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2016, 04:50:22 PM »
I forgot to mention that version 3 will also have a headphone output  :winkwink:

Great addition I reckon and much welcomed.

Offline itscraig

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Re: Valvesound Preamps
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2016, 06:00:51 PM »
I forgot to mention that version 3 will also have a headphone output  :winkwink:
i want to hear it please :Whoohoo:

Offline valvesound

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Re: Valvesound Preamps
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2016, 08:59:05 AM »
i want to hear it please :Whoohoo:


Craig, of coarse, will give you a shout once it's ready to play music  :2thumbs:
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Offline itscraig

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Re: Valvesound Preamps
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2016, 06:05:00 PM »

Craig, of coarse, will give you a shout once it's ready to play music  :2thumbs:
:groovy: :groovy: :groovy: :2thumbs: