Perreaux SM-6 Preamplifiers

SM-6

High Performance Dual Mono Preamplifier

User Reviews (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6  
pig00_ca   Casual Listener [May 31, 2003]
Strength:

Good pricing, remote control, solid built and very detail sound. Balanced input and output. Good warranty.

Weakness:

It looks too rough, too plain. Limited dealership.

I am a newbie and begin to appreciate more music than ever before. I picked up the Perreaux SM6P because research showed it was a very good preamp. Once I hooked it up after I got it from AA, it beat my other Parasound PHP/850 by great margin. It is not a fair comparsion because of their price different. The timing is better, fantastic detail and bass is awesome. I could hear better music for sure.

Similar Products Used: Parasound php/850.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
elmura   AudioPhile [May 26, 2002]
Strength:

Torroidal transformer. Dual mono design. Class A. Balanced option. Bass control. Sweet sound. Clean. Good imaging and detail. No upper frequency harshness. Open soundstage.

Weakness:

A little restrained dynamically.

A high-end preamp. Not in the same league as much more expensive units from other companies but nonetheless an excellent product. Warm and clean sounding. A step up from Marantz, Rotel & Denon preamps. Built tough.

Similar Products Used: Perreaux SM1P, Denon, Marantz, Rotel
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Daniel   Audio Enthusiast [May 05, 2000]
Strength:

Sound and build quality.

Weakness:

Cheap looking plastic remote.

Can't say that I have owned that many high-end pre-amps. Before I bought the Perreaux SM6P I auditioned some other similar priced pre-amps. A slightly cheaper Swedish balanced preamp that sounded clearly worse than the other two, grainy and not that accurate.

The Gryphoon Tabu pre sounded about as good overall as the Perreaux and I would have been happy with any of the two. The Gryphoon sounded a bit more forward with my Plinius SA100mk2 and produced slightly more background noise than the Perreaux. It was also a tinny bit to wide to fit in my hifi furniture.

In the end I managed to get a slightly better deal on the Perreaux unit and I'm very happy with it. The unit it self is very well built, weights about 11kg, and doesn't produce any unwanted noise. In fact it's extremely quit and operates like a dream. The digital controlled resistor ladder makes it easy to adjust the volume to your liking and the mute button really comes in handy some times. I would suggest optimizing speaker placements before using any balance control tough. In short I would describe the sound as clean with good extension at the frequency extremes. It's slightly on the warm side of neutral but not by much.

I would definitely recommend an audition.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
David Williams   an Audio Enthusiast [Aug 02, 1999]

Equipment Reviewed
Perreaux SM6 Classic partnered with Perreaux 250P

Versus

Plinius M16 partnered with Plinius SA100 Mk3

Associated Equipment

Marantz CD17KIS, Cardas 300b, Kimber PBJ (balanced), Ocos, Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk2, DH Cones & Squares under CD player.

Opinion

Firstly, I am generally not quick to form opinions on audio equipment and this is no exception. I need prolonged exposure to really work out what is going on. That said, the Plinius & Perreaux both transformed my system. The difference was enormous. I was not previously aware how power starved my current system is. The big amps opened the soundstage dramatically & let the music effortlessly wash over the listeners. My 60 watt integrated (Marantz PM17) now sounds miserly by comparison, still enjoyable, but you have to work harder to get into it.

I liked both the Plinius & Perreaux, selecting a favourite was not easy. The Plinius produced a soundstage that was more forward & had more depth, but the Perreaux's soundstage had enormous height & greater width. The 20 x 14 listening room has a ceiling height of approximately 18 feet (speaker end) sloping to 8 feet. The Perreaux effortlessly filled the available vertical space with a huge wall of sound, so much so that questions were raised whether it was a little overblown on the live Marianne Faithful track "Time Square" (Blazing Away) sounding a touch more stadium than cathedral. Alternatively it could be considered that the listeners were moved from row 20 to the front row.

The "naturalness" of instruments (acoustic guitar) was debated, with honours being given to the Perreaux by all. This is very subjective, and impossible to prove unless one was there when the track was recorded.

On some tracks the Plinius sounded a little edgy on the tops, not exactly harsh but significant enough to cause concerns about fatigue over extended listening sessions.

Some may say the Plinius combination extracts more detail, however the Perreaux presented the same detail but in a more natural, cohesive way. Nothing was founded to be missing.

Overall when the enjoyment test was applied, I recall the times when I found myself really enjoying the music was when the Perreaux was playing.

Another Listener’s Opinion

The Perreaux was far more assured and open, laid back and controlled. I remember saying the speakers suddenly sat up and folded their arms (like an obedient school kid). The soundstage was enormous by comparison.
In contrast the Plinius was interesting and involving beyond the initial sample of the integrated amp. But the base/lower midrange tended to run away with itself, especially on the cello track. The overall sound was harsher/brighter than the Perreaux.
The Plinius' soundstage was quite small and more directional, but the imaging was still good.

Conclusion

A close finish but it would appear the Perreaux takes the honours, although I have awarded the same marks (4) to both. I am a tough marker.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Richard Prestwich   Audiophile [May 21, 2000]
Strength:

An easy, laid back listening quality. Extrememly well balanced top to bottom. Smoooooth Sound. Quite seductive.

Weakness:

Ruthlessly revealing, especially with planer or electrostatics. Just the slightest hint of mid bloom and the "Classic" facia does take getting used to, but it does grow on you.

I use this preamplifier in conjuction with Perreaux's 350 stereo power amplifier. Based soley on it's own merits, I have to rate this Perreaux SM6 preamplifier as a very good value overall. This unit is built like a battleship and sounds as smooth as velvet. There is an "ease of listening" quality that just lets the music flow (more like envelope you) without ever calling attention to itself. It just moves out of the way. The SM6 has a very open sound stage and provides an extremely natural presentation of the soundscape. (I listen 3-D, not front to back and side to side and I don't believe in listening in only the "sweet spot".) You never get the feeling that this is solid state sound or the traditional euphonic sound that most tube units seem to "gush" with. I had previously used a top flight Parasound preamplifier that I thought gave me all of the music I could perceive, but this Perreaux SM6 gives you so much more and it is so smooooooth, not laid back or unexciting, more like when first lying in the middle of cool mountain stream on a hot summer day with the cool water just washing over you...inviting, relaxing, ...you just don't want to get up and leave. Quite seductive and naturally expressive. No listening fatigue. I use this preamp in conjuction with the Perreaux 350 Stereo Power Amplifier along with the Monitor Audio Premium Gold Series Tower 4 monitors that are extremely fast and coherent and which used to be a bit weak in the lower bass before the 350 got ahold of them. These amps seem utterly limitless in their ability to produce ultimate power. They will let you know with total clarity why New Zealand is nuke-free with their ability to swing huge amounts of power as fast and effortlessly as a white-hot knife would slice through warm butter. Jokingly, I wonder if you could power a small city with this amp and it is just as easy to listen to as the SM6. An utterly effortless quality to the sound. This combination of components can transport you to Nirvana or scare the hell out of you with its ability to express ultimate power and all seemingly in the same "breath". My speakers are far more listenable than they have ever been with this combination of components. The only caveat is that I now realize just how crappy my cd player sounds. Another excuse to upgrage...I love it!

Similar Products Used: I'm not a name dropper. Most very high quality audio manufacturers have had their "signature" sound described ad infinitum, all of which is a totally subjective experience anyway. When you buy at this price and quality level it is all a matter of your own ears, listening room and what you want to (or think you should) hear.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Armeen   Audio Enthusiast [May 11, 2000]
Strength:

Very quiet preamp with lots of connections. Offers both balanced ins and outs. You can hear instruments distinctly/individually instead of all of them being slurred together.

Weakness:

Very warm sounding to the point where the midrange seems artificial. Very closed soundstage. Ended up being a downgrade from the B&K MC101. Ugly looking.

My equipment:

CEC-TL5100 Transport
MSB Gold Link DAC 24bit/96khz
Kimber Kable AGDL & Silver Streak Interconnects
B&K MC101 Preamp
2 B&K EX442 Amp (bi-amping)
Vandersteen Model 3A Speakers
Luminous Technology Speaker Wires
Panamax 1000 power conditioner

I RATED THE VALUE HIGH BECAUSE I GOT THIS PREAMP FROM AUDIOADVISOR.COM FOR $800 INSTEAD OF THE $2,595 LIST. IT'S GOING BACK TO AUDIOADVISOR FOR A FULL REFUND TOMORROW!

Similar Products Used: B&K MC101
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-6 of 6  

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