Croft Vitale Preamplifier

It has been over a year and a half since Glenn Croft has re-entered the market with his legendary valve preamplifiers and he has already introduced the renewed Vitale.

It's necessary to remind those who have ignored the return of the elderly English pioneer of vacuum tubes, that this is a hard-wired preamplifier (without any PCBs) with fine solid core copper wire. The fully equipped circuit uses one double-triode ECC81 [tube] in the line stage and two ECC83's in the phono stage, the latter being the highlight of the Vitale that copes with a substantially lower cartridge input than 1mV. The two volume pots define the separate left and right balance of the stereo image, when you are patient enough to adjust them with precision. The caps, the pots, the wiring and the aluminum chassis all have been improved significantly since the last version, while to note, the above version with an aluminum face plate/plastic knobs is GrD30.000 cheaper than the one with a wood face with plate/ metallic knobs, and it still doesn't affect the sound. While listening to the original version last year, I was impressed by the directness, harmonics and timbre, though I noticed that the sound was a little bit fat compared to my own passive preamplifier. However, the new Vitale does overcome this 'problem' through a clearer, cleaner, undistorted and airly-uncoloured timbre, indulging us to the magic sound of vacuum tubes, even by using systems with a much higher output! This is quite an achievement by a preamplifier device that cost GrD220.000 only. Without any hesitation, the new Vitale has become a permanent match for my own single-ended power amplifier (an Audio Note mod.), constituting my "big" valve reference system.

 


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