Marchand Electronics PR41 Preamplifiers

Marchand Electronics PR41 Preamplifiers 


Passive Preamp


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[Aug 25, 1999]
an Audiophile

The Marchand PR41 is a totally passive preamp (not even a power cord). The preamp is a well-made product using high quality parts. The unit uses attenuators instead of pots. It has 6 inputs and 3 dials (select; balance; and volume). The outside of the unit is plain: black chassis with white lettering. The select dial is numbered 1-6 instead of CD, Tuner, etc.
The cost of the unit varies. As a fully assembled unit the price is $895; in EZ kit form the price is $695; and in full kit form it's $495. There is only one upgrade available and it's expensive - $600 for a balanced unit. However, understand that Marchand does balancing the right way, which means that all swtiches are doubled (i.e., the 46 step main volume control becomes a 92 step volume control, and the 23 step balance control becomes a 46 step balance control). My unit is balanced.

This unit works flawlessly. The attenuators provide precise control. My only quibble is with the plain appearance of the unit. However, I doubt that I would be willing to pay for a more flashy design.

As with all passive preamps, the preamp and the amp have to be carefully matched. My suggestion is that this unit be used with one of Marchand's excellent active crossovers. Marchand can provide an active crossover which provides gain (merely a change in resistor values). This way you get the best of both worlds, no change to the signal in the preamp while still enjoying the gain of an active preamp. For those who want to minimize coloration by electronics, this is a great solution. Used in this manner, the PR41 will match anything out there.

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