SOLD - FOR SALE: Beard CA506 tube preamp, Active and Passive, with phono
Item #649400972Info: Beard CA506 tube preamp, Active and Passive, with phono
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Dec 19, 17 6:21pm (PST)
Edited: Jan 05, 18 6:41pm
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Bill Beard of the UK retired in the mid-90's, but he left behind some of the best-sounding tube equipment in the world.
I owned a PA35 amplifier back in the late 90's into the 2000s - 6 x EL84s per side and 35 watts per channel. It was better than the VTL Tiny Triodes that people like to drool-over.
I first heard his small CA35 tube preamp in the early 2000s and it made other so-called 'high end' preamps sound like they were broken. I eventually found a CA35 for sale and I grabbed it. It was better than my upgraded (and very popular) Copland CTA 301 MKII - a $3300.00 preamp that was a Giant Killer at the time. The little Beard was better in the line stage and much better as a phono stage....and the Beard offered inputs for both MM and MC cartridges, which the Copland did not. I sold the Copland for three times more than what I paid for the Beard! :-)
There are plenty of companies out there who make a good amplifier, but can't make a decent preamp.
Many years have passed and out of the blue, a friend just brought me a Beard CA506 to sell for him - the bigger, more expensive and hard-to-find brother of the CA35. I got to listen to the 506 for the first time, and I can tell you that it sounds even better than the CA35! I have had several preamps through here over the years, solid state and tubed, from $4000.00 to $11,000.00 and higher, and I will put this Beard up against them any day.
It has more more options than the CA35. The 506 can be used as a Passive or Active preamp, and it has a separate volume control for each. There's a switch for AC and DC coupling, to take any capacitors out of the signal path for Passive operation.
The preamp has a switch for both high and low Gain, which is handy for volume matching and for systems with very sensitive speakers; you can cut back on the volume increase rate and ramp it-up more slowly, so that there is more space between 'not quite loud enough' and 'too loud'.
There is a balance control and two phono inputs, one each for MM and MC, with a toggle switch, so that you can have two 'tables or two arms/cartridges (MM or MC) connected at the same time.
There are two sets of Pre Outs (also controlled by an Active/Passive switch) so that you can bi-amp or hook-up a powered subwoofer.
There's a Tape In/Tape Out, so that you can use the Beard just as a phono stage, and at the low asking price, it's worth it to buy it just as a phono stage if you want. Hook-up the Tape Out to a line level input on another high quality preamp that does not have a phono stage.
The installed tubes are Tungsram and GE 12AU7s and 12AT7s
The Beard CA506 is hard to find and rarely shows-up on the Used market - this is only the second one I have seen in 20 years. This will be a huge step-up from most preamps out there.
EMail Transfer preferred, Bank Money Order or direct deposit. If buyer wants PayPal, buyer pays fee.
As shown. No box, but a box and packing materials will be provided to ensure a safe trip if shipping is necessary.
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