Electronic Tonalities Foreplay Preamplifiers

4.86/5 (22 Reviews) MSRP : $149.00


Product Description

Foreplay is a build it yourself kit. It's a line stage with dual mono volume controls, three pairs of inputs and a single pair of outputs.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nathan a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 20, 2003

Bottom Line:   
If you can read and follow directions, you can build this preamp. For the price, you get great support and a nice sounding little preamp. I bought mine used, added the snubbers mod, changed the pots to shunt mode, and upgraded to audiocaps. If I were to build it from the ground up I would use better parts (connectors, wire, tube sockets, etc...). There is an audible hum that I could not get rid of, and overall the thing looks terribly ugly. But it sounds incredibly good. The sound is front and center, fast, sharp and detailed. It dose shrink the soundstage between the speakers, and the bass is totally enemic. I also noticed a slightly forward upper mid-range. This made the music tilted a bit forward and upward in the freq. range. Dose the foreplay compare to costly 'audiophile' preamps costing lots more...NO. The CJ and ARC preamps I have are certainly more refined, there is really no comparison. But for 150 bucks for the kit, you get an incredible sounding preamp. I have not done all the mods, but I don't doubt they increase its performance. In the right system, this thing will sound way better than a 150 preamp should. You can tweak it to best fit your system too. I think you can do better on the used market for around $500, but there are a lot of preamps in this price range that will stuggle to keep up with the foreplay. I am guessing it will work best for a low powered set amp in stock form as I needed to pad down the output too much for my ss amp. In the right system I think this thing could be incredibly good. A good set amp, some high efficient speakers, descent cd player, and the foreplay should make for a nice little system. For the price you can't afford not to build one!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   used



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

Date Reviewed: June 3, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Fancying a new challenge in life and recently experiencing first hand 'tube audio' i stumbled across this pre amp by accident one day surfing the web.

ordered - 6 weeks later delivered - 1 week later (or 4 hours of work) its working....

....3 words...simple, startling, special.

this spanks the monkeys out of the NAD pre amp on my 370. Sure the bass is not as 'sudden' but detail, clarity, warmth and vocals.....and guitars, drums....everything...stunning. The bass can be improved with one simple retro fit kit for 75$ called the anticipation....im yet to do this as im currently very happy with this kit...as one reviewer stated..."if this was the only pre amp i could have...i would be a happy man"...i concur. if i had to pay 3/4 times this i would not be upset.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   bottlehead.com



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

Date Reviewed: May 25, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Hmm. The Foreplay is cheap, yes, but not so cheap after you've bought the various gear and supplies needed to make it. If you're unlikely to use them again, this adds up. Yes, the design is simple but mistakes are still easy to make. Such as a short amid the many crowded wires and poof. Mine has hum which I cannot locate. In any case, I bought another pre (Audio Note) which to my ears sounds better (but costs plenty more). There are a growing number of budget tube preamps and amps out there. I won't name any because you'll think I'm shilling for another manufacturer. My basic point is that if you are trying to save money and really have no taste or experience with DIY, I'd consider shopping elsewhere. That said, Bottlehead's service is superb, the price is cheap and the sound is good. I'm not complaining, just cautioning.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002



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

Date Reviewed: March 29, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Superb product. If you have the patience to take a soldering iron, etc. in hand for a few satisfying hours, awesome sound awaits you. But, there is a period of 'shake out' due to cold soldered joints? or just missing a direction in the great instructions (you have to be near-blind). I have had numerous receivers, integrated amps, and preamps over the years, and none compare: nearest is a pristine Dyna PAS2 I have, but still the Foreplay excels at: razor sharp imaging, vocals (oh that's what that lyric is!), bass (clear and sharp), and silky highs. Be aware that the output is standard to other tube amps, and may need tweaking to mate to a solid state amp, but by the time you finish building, and go to the numerous websites that support this gift to audiophiles everywhere, YOU can do it. Smile! Great intro to tube sound, building it yourself brings satisfaction and bragging rights. Highly recommended.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   by phone to bottlehe



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by TC Koh a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 11, 2002

Bottom Line:   
First time thinkering with DIY kits, the instruction was extremely user friendly, it took me three evening approximately twelve hours to complete the assembly. However, due to the unsatisfactory soldering works (my first experience), it did not pass the first test. I have Managed to get help from friends for some monior re-soldering and finally got everything fixed up. Fired up the Foreplay with Musical Fidelity Typhoons (one to each channel), and I was impressed with the sound. It sounds very open and the bass is tighter than my MF Preamp. The only thing that could be improved is the refinement, as compared with my MF Preamp which is more musical, which I hope it could be achieve through the upgrade kits. In any case, I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone who is looking for the first DIY kit, it is simple and easy to put together, at the price which I think is extremely good value for money and sound in way above it worth. I will keep it as my reserve unit.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $149.00

Purchased At:   Official web-site




Reviews 1 - 5 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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Bottlehead Paramours and Foreplay III

Someone here accused me of having Chinese dime store gear which is probably true as price wise they don't meet snobbery price points. If my Dared 2a3c SET is Chinese dime store gear then perhaps my Paramours and Forplay III might qualify as American dime store gear? The 2a3 Paramours use simple ... Read More »

Bottlehead foreplay

I have ordered the full works bottlehead foreplay preamp kit. I will apply sheilding mods, better caps with bypasses, and so on. I was wondering what the normal character of this preamp is: does it try to be Conrad-Johnson or EAR romantic, or Atma-Sphere fast...etc? My final product will ... Read More »

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