AMC CVT 1030a Preamplifiers

4.61/5 (18 Reviews) MSRP : $700.00


Product Description

Class A tube preamplifier


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Reviews 1 - 5 (18 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Byron4 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 4, 2012

Bottom Line:   
When I bought my Alon speakers I felt it was a bright and forward pair of speakers. When I brought this to the attention of Carl the designer of Alon speakers at one of the Stereophile shows he said that these speakers were designed to be used with tube electronics. I felt the AMC CVT-1030 preamp would be just the ticket. I enjoyed this combination for over 10 years until my Antique Sound Lab (ASL) preamp replaced it four years ago. There are number of things about this preamp that requires special attention. 1) When this unit is turned on it gives out DC which could destroy your speakers. Fortunately my Parasound amplifier had protection relays that prevented this from happening the times I made the mistake of having the power amp on when I turned on the preamp. This flaw meant I could not use this on a long term basis with my Quicksilver power amps because one mistake and I would need a new pair of speakers. 2) Noise would come through my speakers when we used our stove or the refrigerator door was opened. As the unit got older certain light switches would make noise. I tried the Audioprism Quietlines and they did nothing to reduce the noise so that was a waste money. 3) My model had the the tubes soldered so it takes a new tube board just to replace the tubes. 4) AMC is not to far from me so I thought when the tubes needed to be replaced or the unit needed to be serviced I could just take it to them. I found out they no longer service this preamp at all. Fortunately there is a company called Retrodaze that could service the unit. Brent over there is a good guy and knows these preamps well.
Sound wise this preamp is great. It has a natural mellow sound that really made my Alon's sing and made me enjoy my first tube experience. In addition, the AMC has a really nice sounding phono stage. At one time, I had decided to replace this unit with an Audio Innovation preamp. I used the Audio Innovation preamp for about a week and decided to stick with the AMC. The AMC was just a more neutral sounding preamp that I could listen to for hours, whereas the Audio Innovation had no bass and rolled off the treble. The Audio Innovation may have been the worst piece of electronics I have ever owned. When the noise from my AMC started getting really bad I replaced it with the ASL preamp. Both units are wonderful sounding units. My AMC seemed more compatible with the Parasound power amps and the ASL was more compatible with the Quicksilver power amps. I could listen to both indefinitely, although the AMC had a lot of features to enhance your listening experience including a nice phono stage and a tape loop. I almost gave this preamp 3 stars because of the above however, I did enjoy listening to it for over 10 years. If you buy one used just be careful when you turn it on because of the DC and get the model with the tube sockets so you don't get stuck like I did. Brent can put the tube sockets in for you, however it's cheaper just to buy it with the sockets.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1997



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by steven tom a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 16, 2006

Bottom Line:   
This AMC has user replacable (2) 12AU7 and (2) 12AX7 input tubes. Toss those tubes and replace with Mullard ECC82, RCA clear 12AU7, Amperex 12AU7 or Siemens 12AU7. For 12AX7, I've had good luck with Sovtek LPS version, Amperex. The Ei silver plates sounded good but became microphonic.

The front end is completely tubed, except the phono stage. User features that I've enjoyed are two sets of outputs for amps, when needed - balance and tone control, easily replacable tubes, good number of inputs and ultimately, and tunable sound with tubes. Overall and value rating, I give it a 5/5 since those super-exotic tube-o-philes won't be considering this preamp in this price range. Excellent.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   EBAY



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael Hawthorne a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 26, 2002

Bottom Line:   
After hearing the improved sound of my cd player through a 12watt/
channel tube integrated amp, I knew I wanted tube electronics some-
where along the audio chain. Checking the Retrodaze web site, I
decided on the AMC 1030a preamp w/tube sockets. This is a one of
the best buys in audio today; there are inputs for phono, cd, dat,
balanced cd inputs, tape decks, and bi-amp capablities. Tube sub-
stitution allows you to tune your system to your tastes.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $490.00

Purchased At:   Retrodaze Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jimmy Tidwell a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 24, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Because of the exceptional customer service that both Brent and Jim provide, I will be doing future business with the two of them. And because of their effortless help they provided me, I now have a bargain vacuum tube preamp that I think blows away most solid-state preamps in the $800 to under $2000 price range. Best of all, I know that I can bring the AMC CVT1030 tube preamp a bit closer sonically to McIntosh, Cary Audio, Manley Labs, or Hovland tube preamps costing three times as much, simply by upgrading the vacuum tubes to Ei, Mullard, or even Telefunken! I wholeheartedly recommend the AMC CVT1030 (including the "a", "s", or "as") for those audiophiles on a strict budget...this is a great preamp for those individuals breaking new ground into the world of vacuum tubes. With the option to experiment by upgrading tubes to acheive musical nirvana, and at such a small cost, I don't know why I didn't do this much sooner!

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $365.00

Purchased At:   retrodazeaudio.com



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 24, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Without hesitation, Brent went ahead and sent me a brand new CVT1030 (normally a non-socketed version), but with tube sockets installed, and the very same JAN Philips/Sovtek combo in place...all this even before I could ship my "defective" unit back to him! It has to be said that Brent provides excellent service! When I received the new replacement CVT1030 a couple of days later, I immediately opened the unit to find the JAN Philips/Sovtek vacuum tubes all snug in their newly installed tube sockets. I then installed the new preamp in my system, and carefully turned it on...so far, so good! After letting it warm up for a few minutes, I began to realize what all the fuss was about when listening to my audiophile-quality reference CD's and Direct-to-Disc LP's. Almost instantly, I noticed the midrange harshness usually associated with solid-state equipment, virtually elliminated from my recordings! The grain was gone; in its place was a much warmer, open, airy quality that I've never experienced before. And as the preamp's tubes were broken in for over 48 hours, the sweeter the soundstage became. Unfortunantly, I began to experience another problem; from time to time, there would be a faint popping sound coming from my Klipsch Cornwall loudspeakers, similar to an LP "pop". I knew it wasn't my music, and after searching through various vacuum tube websites, several sites all mentioned the very same noise problem associated with the inexpensive Russian made Sovtek 12AX7WA tubes. As with Brent Hite, major props also have to go to Jim McShane of "Jim's Citation Amp and Vacuum Tube Pages" (http://pages.prodigy.net/jimmcshane/), a proud individual sponsor to www.audioasylum.com. Jim also went way beyond the call to duty by answering each and every question I had concerning the noisy tube, tube matching, mixing and matching by manufacturer, tube functions, etc. By his recommendations, I was able to isolate the popping Sovtek, choose another inexpensive pair of 12AX7WA's (JAN Philips) to replace the Sovteks, purchase them at a discount, and recommend future (more expensive) upgrades later on. I quickly received the expertly packaged JAN Philips NOS tubes in the mail, popped them in, and not only did the noise disappear, but the tube swap smoothed out my mids and highs even further, without sacrifising the bass. Because of the exceptional customer service that both Brent

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $365.00

Purchased At:   retrodazeaudio.com




Reviews 1 - 5 (18 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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