Tube Buffers

Discussion in 'Preamplifiers and integrated amplifiers' started by Lewis Smith, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. Lewis Smith

    Lewis Smith Well-Known Member

    Who uses a Tube Buffer with a CD player and what is your thoughts? I have thought about buying one and need your help with this!
  2. Lewis Smith

    Lewis Smith Well-Known Member

  3. A. Smith

    A. Smith Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't it be better to get a player with tube outputs, like an Audio Research, etc?
  4. Lewis Smith

    Lewis Smith Well-Known Member

    That's why i started this thread because some of us that already have a CDP want to add a tube buffer and the Question was who has them and what was their thoughts!
  5. Lewis Smith

    Lewis Smith Well-Known Member

    So i take it this is what you have if so give us your thoughts on it!
  6. Ernie Adams

    Ernie Adams Well-Known Member

    Since I got the Emotiva ERC3, I have been very happy. You would have to spend a lot of money to beat it.IMHO.
  7. Lewis Smith

    Lewis Smith Well-Known Member

    I would like to have a small tube buffer to go with my CDP they say it takes the edge off the digital sound of the CD !
  8. Ernie Adams

    Ernie Adams Well-Known Member

    You've got to come to the Atlanta area sometime and hear my CD player. If you're spending more than 350 on a tube buffer, you could get the Emo player and have a 5 years parts and labor warranty. Not trying to sell anything, just pointing out the "safety" of the purchase when bought.
  9. gimeesum

    gimeesum Active Member

    Yes but isn't your pre amp a tube pre amp? maybe you can explain? I'd like to add an ERC3 but with a
    buffer between the cdp and the solid state pre , im looking to add some tube quality on the cheap.
  10. Lewis Smith

    Lewis Smith Well-Known Member

    That is all i'm trying to do is just add a tube buffer on the CDP that i have now and get a little bit of the edge off the CD sound!
  11. Bonz

    Bonz Well-Known Member

    I have been using a Yixin Audio mds 623 preamp/tube buffer for a couple of years in my garage system. It has one set of RCA inputs and one set of outputs and a volume control. It can be used as a single input preamp or in line as a tube buffer. It works great for my application. I have a Sony 222es sacd/cd player feeding the Yixin and that is feeding may twenty something year old Acurus a150 amp. I have heard this amp sound forward and bright with different front ends and speakers. With the tube buffer it takes the edge off but not to a dull and lifeless extent. It adds just the right amount of warmth and roundness to the sound. I picked mine up on eBay. Shipped from China it took a couple of days to get to me and ran me under $130 shipped. For me it fits the bill to a tee.
    Lewis Smith likes this.
  12. Ernie Adams

    Ernie Adams Well-Known Member

    Yes, preamp is tube. I understand what you're trying to do. I will say this, the ERC3 has bettered any player I have ever had by quite a bit. Emo does have a 30 trial, but you have to pay the shipping for returns. The player is discounted right now, so it's a very good deal.
  13. A. Smith

    A. Smith Well-Known Member

    I don't have a player with tube outs now, though I flirted with the idea at one time when I had an already great CD front end - Pass Labs D1 DAC + C.E.C. TL-1X transport, connected via AT&T fiber optic. That combo worked very well and only because I had other tube gear then did I think I might want tubes somewhere in the CD chain, but it really wasn't needed. Amp was a Mesa Baron with Mesa's WIMA caps upgrade; pre-amps were an Audible Illusions Modulus 3A and later an ARC LS-25. The Mod 3A was a great pre-amp in its own right, especially with the optional John Curl phono stage - for its price range it was hard to beat if you liked tubes IMHO.

    But once I heard the 6H30's in the LS-25, I was hooked. The openness, dynamics, ease and lack of strain/glare/mechanical sound, and clarity and detail were to die for, and with the Mk II update it's still my 'desert island' fave pre-amp for anything near reasonable stacks of lucre, tube or SS; (also at that time tried Counterpoint, Conrad-Johnson, and Levinson pre's in that system which the ARC evicted from the premises!). It didn't sound "tubey" like the Mesa and A.I. so much as it just played music better than any other pre' I'd owned or heard. Musical as hell.

    So for me, I'm not sure what a buffer stage would do for any given rig. I tend to think that if a CD/digital source has very good resolution, low jitter, isn't glarey, etc. that it may not be needed if the downstream components are up to it. Maybe instead, for $500. ballpark you should try the Marantz CD-6005 like I have, or as Ernie has said, the Emotiva? Either of those and I think you can't go wrong, but not a fair comparison really since they cost more than the buffer.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014

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