Tube Audio Design PreDAC Preamplifiers

5/5 (1 Reviews) MSRP : $1499.00

Product Description

US made, one man operation hand crafted small heavy 4-input remote control tube preamplifier with a killer D/A converter built in. Designed to make PC or iPod audio sound like CDs. The 4-input PreDAC replaces the highly rated 2007-2009 single input TADAC.

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User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: July 28, 2009

Bottom Line:   
The 2009 PreDAC is the latest tube wonder from Tube Audio Design that sonically surpasses his former highly rated 2007-2009 TADAC. This small heavy hand made remote control tube preamp DAC combo has remote control input selection convenience/volume and creates the most amazing user adjustable tube sound you ever heard from digital sources. I've been a fan of Paul's gear for many years, have posted many of the first listings in audioreview to get the ball rolling. Here we go again and I could not be more pleased with this one. I'm leaning towards PC audio more these days. It sounds just amazing using the PreDAC, now I never feel like playing my old CD collection. I also have my Thorens table connected with a cheap solid state phono stage - analog sources played through the PREDAC are very tubey sounding too. If you can live with a small metal spiked footed preamp chassis this is all you really need. Sonically the best DAC I have tried. My Benchmak DAC1 sounds sterile compared to the PreDAC. As I always say about TAD gear, just buy it! It is a good idea to email Paul and ask if there is an unadvertised sale price to be negociated, sometimes money orders get the best price compared to using credit cards. He does not offer a return policy, ask for a better than advertised price (better than $1499) in case you want to sell it yourself later. He usually offers better deals for those who ask, especially if you pay with money orders. Also, it takes a couple weeks to arrive - he builds them after they are ordered, always a small line buying these babies. Hand assembled by Paul himself. The build quality if very good, not your typical metal faceplate China made looking stuff. This has a highly modified factory made silver plastic input selector section on the bottom with a custom hand crafted from scratch black metal tube section mounted on top. Uses easy to find 12AU7 tubes that can be hot swapped to easily experiment with different 12AU7 tubes. I went for the RCA black plate upgrades he now sells, they are Paul matched strong testing 1950's-60's US made military 5814 types, an upgrade tube that many say is the king of 12AU7 types. I won't rattle off every technical detail, visit the TubeAudioDesign web page to see more, it does 24-bit 192k (DVD audio) and has a Burr Brown advanced segment verification jitter free chip inside. 2 RCA coax data and 2 Toslink optical data inputs besides 4 analog L & R input pairs. All RCA inputs are common nickel. 2 pairs of 24k gold RCA outputs and a single mono subwoofer gold RCA output. Out of the box it plays very well. Bass gets stronger after a few days use as it breaks in. Sold my TADAC because the PreDAC offers better more tubey resolution besides more inputs. It doers not have XLR outs or a headphone jack - I'm not using those, my Hibachi amps have RCA inputs that work just fine. Paul says an XLR output add on tube box is coming this fall, RCA out from the PreDAC to make XLR come out of the new add on tube box to drive your balanced input amps. He says a small tube headphone amplifier is in the works too. Likely I will buy both as my thirst for more TAD gear never ceases.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2009

Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

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