Boulder L3AE preamp

Discussion in 'Equipment Reviews & Opinions' started by shawnra, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. shawnra

    shawnra Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    635
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    Good morning,

    After a lot of trouble with my previous preamp I am coming into procession of a Boulder L3AE preamp in lieu of. I don't have much experience with Boulder and there doesn't seem to be much information on the web about them. Other than a few references on Audioreview and CAM I can't really find any information or reviews at all. Can anyone point me to an online resource for Boulder aside from their own website? History and that sort of stuff. I could never afford a newer Boulder product so their present line isn't really of any interest to me although I'd love to know a bit of their history. I did email them and they told me a bit about the unit but I'd love to hear some personal experience.
    I'll be using this preamp with a Sanders power amp and a Stello da220 mkII dac.
    Shawn
     

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  2. 240sx4u

    240sx4u Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    10,828
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    I know nothing specific except that I would love to try one out some day! Nice find.
     
  3. guiller

    guiller Toscaninichus Australis

    Messages:
    21,130
    Location:
    Buenos Aires (Argentina)
    Thanks for the pictures!
     
  4. shawnra

    shawnra Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    635
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    hey... that's what friends are for Eh!

    you can see by the internal photo what quality is involved in this preamp. the looks are very understated but you know that matches the rest of my electronics. I can hardly wait to fire it up and try it in my system, it should be at my doorstep in about a week or so. I really like the modular discreet op-amp design and you can see the care and quality in the shielding of sensitive transistors and such.

    best of all as of the 15th of July it will be paid in full and my whole system will be complete and completely paid for.

    a really good feeling because I've been working on my stereo for just over 2 years and it is the end of a very long term goal. I'm on disability and don't make a lot of cash and in the last 2 years I've redirected almost 15 grande towards my computer and stereo, so as you can imagine I've had to scrimp and save to make this happen.

    Shawn
     
  5. shawnra

    shawnra Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    635
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    I would still love to hear anyone else's experience with this preamp.
     
  6. shawnra

    shawnra Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    635
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    update

    Hey I wanted to post a followup on this. Got my preamp and couldn't be happier, what an awesome unit. Has excellent frequency extension and really excels in fleshing out midrange detail and expanse. To be honest I had used Sanders intended preamp with my Sanders poweramp and although I was happy with it, in comparison the Boulder kicks it's ass. Really has a wonderful way of pushing my poweramp for all it's worth. The Sander's preamp always had me pushing up the volume more and more wanting to hear detail. My preamp is quite old so the volume tracking is noisy and there's the odd static pop from aging electrolitics so in the next few month's stay tuned and I'm gonna do a rebuild on it. I've requested the schematics from Boulder, not that I need them for what I want to do but it does help me feel more comfortable understanding the big picture. Probably going to use TDK pot and Black gate electro's.

    Shawn
     

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  7. unionista

    unionista Active Member

    Messages:
    142
    Location:
    The Bay State
    Hey.... I'm really, really, REALLY late to this party, but I just wanted to offer that I've had the L3AE preamp for years, bought as a slightly-used demo unit. I was about to pull the trigger on a power amp but, in auditioning, I found that the power amps all sounded good when run through the L3AE so I bought that instead. If anyone finds a used one in good condition, jump on it!

    I used it, through various amps, to feed my Acoustat Spectra 11s. Recently, I finally replaced the Acoustats with KEF LS50s. I'm shopping for an amp now. The Boulder stays...
     

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