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AudioSource Pre One
16 Reviews
rating  3.25 of 5
MSRP  279.00
Description: 6 inputs; 2 main output pairs.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by paleogeek a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: February 4, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I bought this preamp as part of a project to help improve the audio environment at the office, replacing a basic $50 set of Cambridge Soundworks 2.1 speakers with more powerful and higher fidelity separates. I needed the speakers to accommodate co-location with computer monitors, so small size and shielding were a must, somewhat limiting the scope of sonic ambition, therefore, for the preamp, highest quality was not a requirement. This preamp had dual line level outputs, which though they lack an A/B selector (a weakness), they allowed the integration of a 2.1 audio system, the subwoofer hanging off the 2nd out.

The preamp turned out to be pretty transparent overall, and the tone controls work well too, though since a computer sound card is the primary input source, I can use the software digital equalization more effectively. The Pre One/A is not an impressively constructed device, being lightweight and with cheap-feeling buttons, but everything works, all the controls really do not have any functional vices except adjustment position detents, which annoys some people (I didn't mind but would prefer smooth adjustment).

The preamp does have an unaltered solid-state sonic presentation, which is to say somewhat edgy, or bright, but I would not say harsh. I strongly suspect the wrong choice of speakers or amplifier would pronounce this unacceptably, but the RCA Pro-X44AV speakers and Harman Kardon PA-2100 amp are very impressive elements to the system and the sound is actually quite good in combination. (The only mistake I made was to pick a 12" subwoofer that's too big, so I have some trouble balancing the sound properly, these 4" 2-way bookshelf speakers are better off mated with an 8" or at most 10" powered subwoofer of good quality).

The biggest vice I noticed while experimenting with corner conditions was that the preamp would pick up signal from non-selected sources, and if the selected source was quiescent, the inductive input could be made slightly audible at the high volume setting (and yes, I *was* using good cabling). This is easily worked around of course (and doesn't affect my particular application at all).

These preamps are still available new at the time of writing, but I recommend getting a used one from the usual sources, as they can be quite a bargain for projects such as home secondary or workplace-based sound systems that are more reasonable goals within a budget. Within such parameters this is a recommended product.

Footnote: to sate some readers' curiosity, the subwoofer I used is a JBL Northridge E250P (12"). The E150P (10") would have been a better system mate in this case, though if I'd picked 6" 2-way bookshelves the E250P would work well. These are recommended, they have built-in digital amplifiers and reproduce very good tight bass, and don't cost too much.

Postscript: For those reading this because they look to pioneer their audio fidelity experience with cheap separates, I have to recommend instead buying the Panasonic SA-XR50 digital receiver.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $83.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by janekfr a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 26, 2004

Bottom Line:   
In case you're wondering: this is a poor match for Audiosource Amp Two, and for any other decent amplifier. It will destroy the stage and resolution of your system. Especially the highs will become tinny and uncomfortably distorted, while the rest of it will be muddled and vailed. If you spend good money on quality speakers, an amplifier, and a CD player, don't kill the system by plugging this thing in. After giving it a try for a while, I went back and connected my wonderful CD player directly to CD IN on Audiosource Amp Two (which is a decent amp, by the way, and a steal) - but this is only a temporary solution, because both the CD and the preamp cannot be plugged in at the same time. If you play FM, MP3's, TV, etc., this preamp will do just fine (three two four stars in this category), but dare not to put it in line with a high quality audio source (one star in this category). If you do connect this component, you will have to use an equalizer to balance things out to an acceptable level, since this thing acts like a misdjusted equalizer on its own. This is a low quality component, but may function well in a noisy dorm with el cheapo system.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by smglbrth a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 19, 2002

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the Pre One/A.
This product is, for it's price, not too terribly bad. One look inside reveals alot of open space. I haven't owned many preamps but it seems very basic. Power supply is smaller than expected as well.
Sound, in my opinion, is pretty good as long as the tone controls are left at zero, totally flat. I tried messing with the bass some and the midrange went nuts so it tends to play with the midrange, an awful lot.
Controls are average but the "steps" in the volume and tone controls are a pain, especially with the volume when you have alot of power running. It gets loud fast, and I mean "right now", moderate listening takes on a whole new meaning.
I have not had any problems with it as of yet and don't plan to.
If you want silky smooth controls and better sound, spend the money and pay for an Adcom, Rotel, etc... For those of us who still have other responsibilities financially, I can't complain much about this model for the price.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Price Paid:    $110.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ed a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I bought this piece a couple of years ago from the no-box-no-manual take it and go pile at Best Buy for $40. Really...no kidding. They had two. I wish I'd gone back for the other one. I used it in my office for a while. Now it's at home driving my Yamaha power amp and KEF 102/4's. There's a little noise, so turn up the amp and turn down the pre. It does offer a pop when the source is switched from phono. Luckily that's not a problem if you get my drift. As for the remote problem, it doesn't have one. Get up and walk across the room. I've not detected any sonic characteristics that deprive my 50 year old ears of any listening enjoyment. (Wagner and Berlioz to Marcus Miller, ZZ Top, and T.O.P.) If you eat out several times a week at Viragos and Ruth's Chris then buy better gear. If you eat baloney sandwiches once in a while the Pre One is a good choice for you. Be well! Enjoy the Music not the gear.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $40.00

Purchased At:   Best Buy, Mesquite TX

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Stefan a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 7, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I recommended this inexpensive pre-amp tp my dad when I convinced him to go to seperates. the fact is this pre makes a good case for integrated. This is an awful piece of equipment. Dont buy it at any price.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995

Reviews 1 - 5 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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