Most helpful positive review
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A hidden little audiophile gem
on December 22, 2007
This product has far exceeded my expectations! I bought this because I thought I could not go wrong with this price since I had just purchased new tube amps and I was using my old receiver as a pre-amp. However, I thought the sound from my SACD player was 10 times better if plugged directly into my new amps and thus this started my search for a passive pre-amp. Amazingly, the TCC TC-754 is totally quiet. I can perceive no difference in sound compared to having my components plugged directly into my amp versus being routed through this pre-amp. Although technically there is 20 dB of boost through the line outs, it does not appear to change or alter the signal to my ears. The TNT audio review was extremely helpful as it recommended a power supply upgrade. This upgrade greatly improved the TCC's phono pre-amp capabilities in my system, it really (to borrow an audiophile term) created a much larger sound stage. The phono stage is also pretty quiet but I can hear a slight hiss with the volume turned way up, but by comparison, I hear nothing at all with components turned off from the line outs when the volume is turned all the way up. The phono stage is for moving magnet cartridges only and it matched or slightly surpassed my 1990 Sansui's AV receiver's built in phono stage. One other thing that is important in evaluating audiophile gear, the burn-in or break-in period, I personally don't rationally understand this, but after listening to music through this pre-amp the sound seemed to be further mellowed, improved and warmed after about 50 hours of use. The TNT reviewer was indeed accurate in reporting this pre-amps closest competition would cost several times the TCC price. If your audio system matches well with passive pre-amp or sounds awesome with just the cd player plugged directly into the amplifier then I would highly recommend this little pre-amp! Another TNT audio reviewer's noted that his ~ $10,000 priced amps did not sound good at all with the TC-754. But that particular description reminded me of the same critiques that I have read about passive pre-amps as a class' sound with amps that need the higher gain and the other nuances of active pre-amps, but I am not an expert and I am only guessing. The TC-754 is not equipped with remote control, loudness, balance or tone settings. Instead it is product of elegant simplicity that has met my audio hobby desires perfectly!