Eastern Electric MiniMax Preamplifier Preamplifiers

5/5 (8 Reviews)


Product Description

Preamplifier


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Reviews 1 - 5 (8 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by hooch500 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 19, 2014

Bottom Line:   
A sure fire future classic, this is an outstandingly good pre amp that preserves the tonal and spacial aspects of recordings. Quiet, well made and easy to accommodate as well as tweak, tremendous value given the sound on offer. A keeper !

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2010



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

Date Reviewed: August 3, 2012

Bottom Line:   
This little preamplifier is a wonderfull piece of equipment, it has a beautifull look, solid construction, mine has four inputs and two outputs that let me connect a subwoofer and my Halcro power amplifier.

First impresions with NOS valves were good but not exceptional until y re-read the TNT review and changed the 12au7 over the selector for a Siemens E80CC and the other two valves ( 12AU7 and 6X4) for Westinhouses. The sound turned incredible. Wide, holographic, detailed, warm, with very good and detailed bass.

I had read 6moons reviews where they changed the central valve for a E80CC and tried that but the sound was similar than with 12AU7s. If you have one YOU HAVE TO READ AND TRY what the people of TNT wrote on their review.

I have used Valvo, Tungsol, Siemens and Wesinghouse ll NOS valves and as I said before my prefered ones are Siemens and Westinghouse.
It is connected to good quality Siltech and Silent Wire cables but the power cord is a cheap Supra and sounds unbeliale.

If you´re looking for a preamplifier try it, you won´t be disapointed

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2007



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nils-Jorgen Kjaernet a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 5, 2010

Bottom Line:   
This small and cheap preamplifier sound nearly as good as the best preamplifier you can get in market such as Hovland HP-100 and HP-200. The build quality is so good so you will guess the product should cost more than it does. Some sound improvements can bee done with change to NOS tubes, but the originally tubes from Eastern Electric sound pretty good too. The gain control could in some cases bee too sensitive in combination with power-amp's less than 1V input sensitive. I have big gain at 8 o'clock, the only weak point?? This preamp is hardwired inside like old preamplifiers such as Marantz 7C and other high end from the 60'ties. No printed circuit means shorter wiring inside and better wire and shielding quality. This preamp is hand built. The paint quality is also of high order and the front panel is anodized in a nice silver finish. For this value approx. $1200 it's worth every cent !

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006



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

Date Reviewed: January 5, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Wow, the Minimax preamp without reservations is a giant killer! It has all the sonic attributes you would expect from a high quality tube preamp but without the high price tag. It truly transformed my system from enjoyable to fantastic! The Minimax preamp has the uncanny ability to allow all types of music to sound equally great, no doubt this is contributed by its excellent dynamics & harmonic correctness, now I enjoy all types of music. If I could give this preamp 6 stars, I would. The Minimax preamp carries my strongest recommendation.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by IzzyZee a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 27, 2005

Bottom Line:   
‘Where can I get a new pre-amp that sounds like a million for under a grand?’ Like to know? From Morningstaraudio.com who went direct last year due to a gun-shy retail sector. I wish them much success. Their decision has resulted in huge savings on their amazing products. I refer here to the Eastern Electric MiniMax vacuum tube stereo pre-amp, designed and built by Alex Yeung of Eastern Electric and distributed stateside by his partner Bill O’Connell of Morningstar Audio Imports. Mr. O’Connell’s enthusiasm for his prototype made him want to make it available here for music lovers in a tweaked and improved production model. Cosmetically it is no-frills-elegant, nicely finished and apparently well built. Sonically it is probably one of the best designs ever, capable of bringing any system to a higher level of musicality and opening up untapped potential within your other components.
I have been fortunate in providentially stumbling upon some pieces that are the stuff of legend while never having to pay more than $800.00 per unit.
Case in point: The MiniMax pre-amp that might well be the best of the lot.
Others included: AR3a speakers, Rotel RCD 991AE dac/drive (see my review on this site), and APT 1 amp with Holman pre-amp. Tom Holman’s APT 1 amp is still going strong after 25 years of service). The Holman pre-amp had lost some of its sonic luster, so …
Enter the MiniMax.
Since migrating to digital, when it had finally come of age, I’d been mostly using only the volume and input controls on the Holman. That’s it!
And that’s what you get up front on the Minimax, those and a power switch of course, all very silky and positive feeling with a blue LED indicator.
The back has two GP outputs, a fuse holder, AC receptacle (cord included) and three GP inputs which can be stretched with a little inventiveness (In this case the Holman phono preamp feeds into my legacy cassette deck which is patched into AUX on the MiniMax. Toggling between phono / tape is accomplished through the tape decks’ selector button. Any rise in the noise floor in this chain is unnoticeable - That’s an extra input - plus the Holman still powers on/off the amp… “Yesterday’s pre-amp refuses to die”).
The minimalist MiniMax has no trigger, however it does have a 30-second safety delay.
Bill recommends about two minutes of warm-up before turning on your power amp.
Driven by a 6X4 rectifier and (2) 12au7’s that protrude from the top beside the transformer, Minimax is the image of simple and functional beauty. Tubes are easy to swap.
Inside is a choke filtered power supply, point to point wiring and direct coupling.
FIRST LISTENING IMPRESSIONS AFTER 20 HOURS OF BURN-IN:
The designer of this musical instrument seems to have endowed it with the uncanny ability to find the musical center of any program and hit the bullseye each and every time regardless of media or production variances.
In this it is truly neutral, not in presenting all that is there, but rather all that is necessary, and offering a sound picture that is engrossing, deeply layered and life-like. Translate that as more detail with fewer artifacts. CD’s enjoy great bass extension, forward 3D mids, and sweet, softly clipped extended highs. Vinyl benefits as well with its punchy palpability.
Its presentation is open, balanced, richly textured, with highly resolved transients, smooth dynamics and accurately defined imaging. Someone said “holographic”. That says it all!
If you are ready for a new pre-amp, do yourself a big favor and before deciding on any unit, contact Mr. O’Connell, he is truly a gentleman with a nowadays rare business ethic:
He wants his customers to get incredible value per dollar in his products.
By adding this one component into the signal path you will doubtless notch up your entire system quite a few steps into the rarefied realm of higher end. And if you have a number of decent quality pieces in place, the MiniMax pre-amp will make listening so enjoyable that your componentry will vanish in the beautifully warm and voluminous soundstage, leaving you with nothing but the music.
And that’s why we buy this stuff, isn’t it?

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $799.00

Purchased At:   morningstar audio




Reviews 1 - 5 (8 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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Eastern Electric MiniMax Tube Preamplifier

This $1195 Giant Killer deserves every bit as much attention as the less expensive solid-state Morrison ELAD has received in recent years. I'd be willing to send your editors my own own MiniMax, for you to personally evaluate its performance. In Higher-End Review Magazines such as 'Soundstage' it ... Read More »

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