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Amp/Preamp Asylum: REVIEW: Primare Pre 30 Preamplifier (SS) by rkeman

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REVIEW: Primare Pre 30 Preamplifier (SS)

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Model: Pre 30
Category: Preamplifier (SS)
Suggested Retail Price: $1995
Description: Stereo Preamplifier
Manufacturer URL: Primare
Manufacturer URL: Primare

Review by rkeman ( A ) on March 13, 2007 at 13:46:55
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for the Pre 30

The Primare Pre 30 is a line level solid state stereo preamplifier featuring fully balanced circuitry. Inputs for two balanced and five unbalanced sources, one tape loop, and a set of balanced and unbalanced outputs are provided. The preamplifier has an electronic volume control with a shunt to ground design, adjustable input gain, a full-function infrared remote control and a home theater bypass for added versatility.

Build quality is excellent, particularly for the list price of $1995. It offers a thick aluminum front panel, sturdy steel chassis, and high quality electronic components with a custom toroidal transformer. Circuit board layout is neat and the unit weighs in at an impressive 21 lbs. Meauring 17" wide by 16.5" deep and just under 5" tall, the Pre 30 requires a substantial shelf. Both titanium (silver) and black finishes are available.

The Pre 30 is a fine preamplifier offering a vanishingly low noise floor and clean detailed sound. Switching sources and adjusting volume is noiseless and smooth. The volume contole provide 0.5 dB steps, allowing for sufficient fine adjustment in any circumstance and the overall 16 dB gain seems suitable for most applications. The display is large enough to be read from across a room and the controls are logically arranged on both the front panel and remote control.

Overall, the Primare is a superb performer at an attractive price. It compares very well with other high quality line stages that I have used including the Audio Research LS-9 and Coda 04r, both very good preamplifiers. If you need flexibility and thoughful design, look no further.

Product Weakness: Deep chassis for some installations.
Product Strengths: Very clean and quiet. Great features at an affordable price.

Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: Theta Intrepid
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Primare Pre 30
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Cambridge Audio 840C, Motorola HB Cable Box, Cambridge Audio DVD-89
Speakers: Vandersteen 3A Signatures
Cables/Interconnects: DIY Belden and Canare, Cobalt Cable
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Pop, rock and classical
Room Size (LxWxH): 21 x 14 x 8
Room Comments/Treatments: Normal furnishings and carpet
Time Period/Length of Audition: 2 months
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): Brick Wall Surge Protector
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner

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Topic - REVIEW: Primare Pre 30 Preamplifier (SS) - rkeman 13:46:55 03/13/07 ( 0)