xDuoo TA-26s as preamp?

I guess this is a newbie tech question but had no idea where to ask. The “Purchase Advice” category wouldn’t allow me to post.
I’m looking for a decent tube amp as my entry into tubes, and have seen favorable reviews of the TA-26, the predecessor to the TA-26s.
I own the SMSL SH-9 balanced amp and want to purchase a decent tube amp. If I run the xDuoo TA-26s as a preamp into the SH-9, will I get the full “tube sound”? The TA-26s alone doesn’t have the power for a few of my headphones.
Thank you!

In general at least some of the tube sound will carry over. This is a pretty common method of boosting tube output. Some also call them tube buffer stages or hybrid amps. This is used on very expensive amps too.

“Full tube sound” – probably not entirely. Each link in a signal chain adds its own flavor and/or masks the flavors that came before.


Fantastic! I think I’ll go for it then.
Thank you!

bit late to this thread, adding to the OP question.
I’m planning to do TA-26s in mono-block pre-out to Soloist 3X Performance, and will 2* TA-26s with the same source sound different because I’ve heard all tube amps with the same or different-model tube amps sound different?
So is running the tube in monoblocking a good thing?

First, welcome to the forum, @Ameer_Mak .

Second, I don’t think there is a “mono-block pre-out” option on the TA-26s. Even if there were, it would serve no purpose in this case.

Third, it seems that you’re just looking to insert a tube buffer between your source and the Burson amp. A single TA-26s would be just fine for that. Of course, you’re getting no use out of the 6N5P (western 6AS7G) tube in that configuration. Cheaper alternatives (preamps) could be more cost-effective (unless you’re also planning to try the TA-26s as an amp and not just a buffer). Looking at xDuoo preamps, the MT-601S is less than $100 and uses a 12AU7 tube, while the MT-602 uses dual 6J1 tubes (western 6AK5) at around $100.

Finally, whatever you decide to use as a tube buffer, turn the volume up on it. The Burson Soloist has a much better volume control than the xDuoo devices above, especially at low settings. So, for example, 3:00 on the xDuoo and 9:00 on the Soloist should be better than the reverse.

Happy listening!

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Hi, Thank you for your reply and for your warm welcome.
I liked your budget tube idea; I wish the MT-604 had pre-outs, and the Ta-22, while not cheap, appears to be a nice unit.

As was pointed out in the other thread, the TA-22 is a hybrid unit. It actually has a powerful class A transistor output stage that you wouldn’t by using if you run the pre-outs into the Burson Soloist.