Best Tube Preamps 2021

Pro-Ject Tube Box S Phono PreAmplifier

The Pro-Ject Tube Box S phono preamp offers impressive performance, unique operability, and a beautiful design. Not to mention, it’s inexpensive compared to any other phono preamp available on the market.

Tube Box S2 is the first Pro-Ject product to offer a completely discrete circuit design, without OpAmp. It is also the first product to ship with replaceable tubes for optimal system synergy. Accepts MM and MC cartridge inputs with front panel gain settings (adjustable via buttons) of 40, 43, 50, 53, 60 and 63 dB. Five variable input impedance settings are available to suit any MC cartridge, while the 47k ohm input impedance setting is fixed and suitable for high-efficiency MC and MM cartridges.

Activating the subsonic filter (also available via the front panel push button produces less noise in the low frequencies, but also takes a lot of energy out of the music, resulting in an emotionally ‘flat’ sound. Ject lists the filter at 20Hz With a slope of 18dB / octave, however, the “20Hz” part confuses me because the filter doesn’t sound like it starts going down at 20Hz, in fact it seems to go down around 30-35Hz.

The design of this phono preamp is remarkable. The outer frame has a glossy finish that is versatile for new or old turntables. The controls, inputs and outputs are firmly established. The operability is extraordinary. It outputs weak signals at high amplification, which makes the music wide and amazing. The vacuum tubes, along with other essential features – the subsonic filter, gain levels, and mono settings – work in sync. Other phono preamps with the lower or equal characteristics of the Pro-Ject Tube Box S phono preamplifier have higher prices.

P1 Bluetooth 5.0 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier

P1 Bluetooth 5.0 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Hi-Fi Valve Headphone Amplifier Wireless Receiver Audio Decoder Preamp USB DAC APTX-HD
  • With 3 kinds of audio input(Bluetooth/USB/RCA) and 2 kinds of output(RCA/3.5mm headphone), P1 can be used as HiFi tube Preamp, USB DAC or headphone amp with HiFi clear, warm, dynamic, sweet tube sound, bringing extremely high-quality listening experience.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 (QCC3034) supporting APTX-HD lossless transmission. PC-USB (CM6642) supporting 24bit 192KHz and compatible with Windows/Mac/Linux system, matching well with many audio devices such as iPod, Phone, MP3 players, TV, Blu-ray players, Echo Dot, CD players, etc.
  • Adopting NE5532 op amp+classic 47 headphone amp architecture which can drive 32-300 ohms headphones, and a bypass switch is specially designed to turn on/off the tone control, more convenient to enjoy original sound or obtain more delicate sound with treble and bass control knob, adding much fun and higher playability.
  • Exquisite appearance with proper size, blue and orange light decorating vacuum tube, makes it fashionable and attractive, bringing wonderful auditory and visual enjoyment, very suitable for home and desktop audio system.

It’s no wonder the P1 Bluetooth Vacuum Tube Preamp is our flagship product. A quick overview of all the features included in this product is enough to explain why. The volume, treble and bass buttons on this unit are located on the top. They give you the option to adjust your sound to your preferences. As for the audio input options, it supports Bluetooth, USB and RCA inputs. These provide a variety of options for audio sources.

You can make your tube emit blue or orange light when using it. It adds to the ambience of your space. Oh, you can also turn them off if that is not suitable for you. With this preamp, you can enjoy rich and clean sound. It does exactly what the manufacturer promised. The device comes with a manual to guide you on how to operate the device. You also get a power cord and a USB cable

This unit is popular with users and they have commented that it offers excellent value for money. They have found that the control knobs work very well and that the sound quality they produce is first-rate. One user commented that the manufacturer provided excellent customer support in the event of a faulty device and a few others complained that their device’s Bluetooth sometimes disconnects and a solution has yet to be provided.

Little Dot MK II Tube Preamp

Little Dot MK2 MKII 6J1 X 2 6N6 X 2 Tube Standard Hybrid Headphone Headphone Amp Pre-Amp Tube Amplifier (MKII)
  • Little Dot MKII greatly increases sound quality, dynamic range, output impedance, and harmonic distortion
  • Little Dot MKII also gains the driver tube-rolling options from the rest of the MK-series with the ability to roll 6JI, WE403A/B, GE5654, M8100, CV4010, EF95, etc at its factory jumper setting, and with jumper pins shorted, EF92, CV131, and all equivalents and drop-in replacements

If you want a preamp that can balance useful features with excellent sound quality, look no further. Truth be told, the Little Dot MK2 tube preamp is undeniably excellent when it comes to sound quality. Additionally, the audio it produces has a clear, round, and spacious nature that many preamps lack.

The Little Dot MK II tube preamp is known for its flexible sound quality by fully affecting smooth impedances and distortions using its tube amp innovation. You can lower the impedance level to 600 ohms from 50k ohms, which can also lower the clamor level. This preamp device prepares for fully controlled additions with the boost switches so you can change the rating to achieve the most extreme level of performance quality.

Also, the Little Dot MK2 has options like conductive tube bearing, capable of hitting EF95, CV4010, M8100, 6JI, etc. in the factory setting of the jumpers. So if you’re new to vinyl, you might be less afraid of messing up while you’re experimenting.

However, the tubes are not of the best possible quality, so you may have a hard time rolling them. So we recommend that you get other tubes to replace if you want to experiment.