Built my Foreplay tube preamp

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Saurav, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    This is probably not of interest to everyone, but some people had asked me to report my results. Well, I got it done a few days ago, and am now starting to mod it, so I figured this would be as good a time as any to report on my results.
    Product information:
    It's a tube linestage/preamp. Go to www.bottlehead.com for more information. www.audioasylum.com has a forum dedicated to Bottlehead products, and there are tons of threads on all aspects of building, troubleshooting and upgrading the Foreplay preamp. Cost: $150 for the full basic kit, more if you want upgraded parts, obviously.
    Other equipment:
    Rega P3/RB300 turntable with Dynavector 10x4 cartridge
    Radio Shack "Little Rat" battery powered phono stage
    Denon DCM-270 CD changer
    NAD C-340 integrated amp (now used as a power amp)
    Paradigm Mini Monitors
    Sony SA-WM40
    Radio Shack Gold Series interconnects all around
    Generic 12AWG speaker cable
    Construction:
    Fairly simple and straightforward. Some of the mods are going to get a little tricky, but the basic preamp is really easy. It would have helped if I'd been a little more patient, because I goofed things up a few times. I'm really grateful my NAD amp has some kind of protection built in - I sent that into shutdown a few times before I got all my grounding done correctly.
    Cons:
    I still have a little bit of hum/buzz from my speakers. It's audible from my listening position only late at night, but can be heard about a foot from my speakers. Since grounding/shielding are a bit of an art and no two situations are the same, this will take some chasing down, and that's the next step for me.
    Pros:
    The sound, obviously. This kicks the NAD's preamp section completely out of the room. The biggest difference is in the bass - there's much more texture to it, if I can call it that - bass guitars don't just sound like bass notes any more, I can hear much more of the tone of the guitar. Treble and midrange are smoother, voices are more realistic. Soundstage/imaging seem about the same, but that's not something I pay much attention to anyway. I played a movie through it last night (analog outputs from my DVD player) and that sounded much clearer, in fact, the improvement seems to be more for the DVD player than for any of my other sources.
    It also plays with a greater sense of control, that's the only way I can describe the effect. My wife noticed it too - she said it sounded more powerful even at the same volume. No, I didn't check with an SPL meter so maybe I'm just playing it louder, but now I've been listening to this preamp across its volume range, and the effect is consistent - it just sounds more authoritative than the NAD. I'm not sure what exactly is causing this effect, but it's there.
    And that's about it. Feel free to email me with questions, or post them here.
     
  2. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Saurav,

    Your NAD is SS right?

    Thanks,

    Russ
     
  3. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Saurav,
    Just what I wanted to hear...
    I think I have my mind made up that I will be coupling a
    Forplay with 4 AudioSource AMP5.3's or 4 nOrh LeAmps for
    my "Music only" system.
    So you say construction wasn't too bad? I guess you are
    adding the S.E.X upgrades? Why don't you just sell me your
    completed and modded Forplay [​IMG] LOL
    So ya think I will be astounded? I am guessing I will be..
     
  4. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Russell,
    Yes, the NAD is most certainly solid state.
    Brett,
     
  5. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Ooooey Ve...

    Okay ya lost me Saurav...

    I thought this was going to be "Build it and then plug it

    in"

    I didn't know I was going to have to do more research into

    the amps I choose.. Hurmph..

    Can I run 4 SS Amps off this thing? They will be combined

    into 2 channels of Stereo Amplification in a Bi Amp Config.

    I have not even researched the impedance.
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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  7. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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