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Topping Pre90 Review (preamplifier)

Kal Rubinson

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thanks; thought i made something wrong …
There is no wrong since the setting is dependent on external factors. The only concern is if you run out of gain or if you are forced to use dozens of dBs of attenuation.
 

Rottmannash

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That may be why your perceived volume levels are lower than expected.
 

Rottmannash

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so you say i can/should choose 5V? ... i really didn´t know what to select when i initially set this unit up ...
IINM your initial issue was the lack of volume compared to other sources? Using the 5V setting will obviously output more voltage, hence more power available to your amp/speakers. Of course one has to be sure it will not clip the input of the pre.
 

fuzzychaos

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Hi all. Would the pre90 make a good preamp for the Buchardt A500’s? Other options I am looking at is the Schiit Freya S. Thanks!
 

Slayer

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Hi all. Would the pre90 make a good preamp for the Buchardt A500’s? Other options I am looking at is the Schiit Freya S. Thanks!
Either one should be fine. Quote direct from Buchardt A500's product web page.
" They can be used wired with any preamp or streamer of your choice"
If by the off chance you experience some difficulties (which I doubt) contact them directly.
 

JensenW

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Hi all. Would the pre90 make a good preamp for the Buchardt A500’s? Other options I am looking at is the Schiit Freya S. Thanks!
The more important thing to consider is perhaps the matching of the Pre90 with your source due to the low input impedance of the Pre90.
 

fuzzychaos

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Thanks for the input. I need to look into the subject of impedance matching. Any good resources that you recommend?
 

ameerm

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I want to use this preamp as an rca to xlr converter. To achieve unity gain in my use case should the gain setting be at 0db or -6db?
 

Kal Rubinson

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I want to use this preamp as an rca to xlr converter. To achieve unity gain in my use case should the gain setting be at 0db or -6db?
If you set it up as XLR-Out only, set it at 0dB. If you set it for RCA+XLR-Out, set it at -6dB.
 

jazzvinyl2020

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I’m about to pull the trigger on a Pre90. My setup is as follows: Macbook (Audirvana) > RME ADI 2FS Pro - 2x Ncore400 mono blocks.

Currently I use ADC for my vinyl source. Would the Pre90 improve anything in this setup?
 

amper42

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I’m about to pull the trigger on a Pre90. My setup is as follows: Macbook (Audirvana) > RME ADI 2FS Pro - 2x Ncore400 mono blocks.

Currently I use ADC for my vinyl source. Would the Pre90 improve anything in this setup?

I have almost the same setup as you outline and found adding the Pre90 in the chain actually sounded worse to my ears. I use MacBook Pro->Audirvana-> RME ADI-2 -> NC500MP -> BMR Monitors. Adding the Pre90 did not offer any benefit. I ended up not using the Pre90.
 

Phorize

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I’m about to pull the trigger on a Pre90. My setup is as follows: Macbook (Audirvana) > RME ADI 2FS Pro - 2x Ncore400 mono blocks.

Currently I use ADC for my vinyl source. Would the Pre90 improve anything in this setup?
You'd lose EQ on your turntable output, which would be a shame. I have an adi black edition in a similar set up to you and wouldn't go back to a more traditional preamp set up unless I had 2 analogue sources.
 

mdsimon2

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Is there a problem with denafrips ares ii? Would like to test it.

Yes, Denafrips Ares II has rather high output impedance for a DAC and Pre90 has rather low input impedance for a preamp. End result will be higher distortion from the Denafrips and level attenuation. To me a preamp should allow you drive more difficult loads (like say a Purifi amp with no input buffer) but the Pre90 doesn't really do that because it is a somewhat difficult load itself.

Michael
 
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