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I was planning to buy an integrated Amp like a NAD 316 when a friend gave me an old Kenwood Power amp in good working condition. Since I am not keen on tone controls et al, I thought it was best to get a Schiit Passive Pre (OYO) instead of the NAD. Is that a better idea? Clean sound plus a big difference in price. Please advise.
I'd give the Schiit a whirl, but wouldn't be shocked if it didn't sound quite as good as an active pre-amp. It offends my sensibilities that I have had better luck with active stuff. It could be that passives are just more fussy. Dunno.
My experience is with unbuffered stepped resistor volume controls (a DIY and a demo of another one whose name currently escapes me), and a brief demo of a Music First Baby Reference transformer based passive pre-amp (which sounded pretty good).
"We have met the enemy and he is us" - Pogo
I have a Sys and a Saga and surprisingly, I actually prefer the Sys. In my system, it's just a little more transparent than the Saga. I run it with Quicksilver Horn Monos and Omega single drivers.
I also have a Schiit SYS Passive - and have used it in a number of different configurations- all with excellent results-
Current application: iPad and MR-74 into the Schiit which drives a SS amp w/ crossover (SS drives Subs) and after the crossover output to RM 10 driving Quad '57s
Passives can be wonderful and should be tried -
In my home office system, I use a Schiit SYS as a preamp. It's a volume pot and a two-input push-button selector, nothing else. It uses no power. For $49, it's a very cost-effective solution.
By the way, I run mine backwards: I have one input (Schiit Bifrost) and two outputs (one to the speaker power amp and one to the headphone amp). The SYS doesn't care which way the signal runs.
"The passage of my life is measured out in shirts."
- Brian Eno
Passives are always something you have to try out. The vintage Kenwood power amps were a real under the radar amp and great sounding.
However! most vintage amps don't seem to like running a passive. They do need the buffering of a preamp.
I WOULD TRY it and see how it sounds before investing in a passive. Go to Radioshack, if possible?? and buy a simple 100k volume pot and a few cheap interconnects (cut off the RCA connector and wire it directly to the volume pot) and build a cheap test passive to try it out.
If it works I would buy a Goldpoint attenuator and get a simple black box from Radioshack (or Mouser if no Radioshacks).
If you need a preamp the NAD does have a very nice preamp section. I believe the tone controls can be switched out if needed. I've used my NAD C326BEE preamp for many projects with great success.
PS post a picture of the Kenwood or at least the model. Also the Kenwood may be in need of a recap. But it IS WORTH IT.
Addendum: If the Shiit has a buffer in it then it's good to go.
Thanks for the post.
The Kenwood model is Basic M1.
At less than $50 the passive is worth a try. At present I am using the Pre of NAD integrated 3150, my old workhorse. The Schiit Passive gives an aura of clean sound! Especially the one with the tube buffer. But the price comes close to a NAD 316BEE.
what I would do - and boy do I hate saying that! is try a cheap passive. If it does work out well sound wise then I would invest a few bucks in a Gold Point attenuator. You wanna hear clear - holy cow! Those attenuators are in another league in clarity.
You can buy the attenuator and just put it in a plastic Radioshack box like I have running RIGHT NOW!!! I later added a remote control to it and I'm in audio heaven.
If you want a few pics I'll send them.
Thanks. I will go for the cheap Schiit Passive. I am kinda attached to the picture. I am haunted by the one tube sticking out in the more expensive Passive but that has to wait. At last I will have something made in the USA.
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