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Reviews

Audible Illusions
Modulus 3B Tube Preamplifier

Possibly more than any other preamplifier, the Audible Illusions Modulus 3A established itself as a classic in it's own time. The new Modulus 3B elevates that level of performance to a whole new realm.

The M3B adds a host of features and performance enhancements.

  •  Relay Switching signal does not pass through switches resulting in better clarity and definition.

  • Upgraded inter-stage coupling capacitors - All capacitors in the signal path are film and foil or Teflon for better resolution and lower noise.

  • Larger power transformer for the inboard power supply results in improved performance in all areas.

  • Cleaner, more direct signal path results in greater clarity, lower noise and improved resolution.

  • New audio taper on attenuators for more precise matching with a broader range of components.

  • User adjustable gain settings

The M3B is a deceptively simple design, employing a single gain stage, class A triode circuit utilizing no cathode followers or buffers to degrade the sound. It is a basic design concept that has remained a focus of the Modulus circuit topology since its inception and is one of the reasons for the sparkling sonic clarity and resolution. 

Inside you'll find a host of superb parts and pieces, along with excellent quality workmanship and great attention to detail. The list of parts includes: Teflon solder mask, OFC circuit board traces, custom film capacitors and custom stepped attenuators using high quality metal film resistors. 

What is it that makes the M3B such a standout? I'd have to say it is a balance of strengths with few, very few, weaknesses. A strong suit has always been the soundstage, and the M3B competes with most any preamp (almost regardless of price) in this area. It develops an absolutely holographic panorama, that is truly a delight to experience.

In sum, it is difficult to fault the Modulus 3B on any count. Look for yourself, but I doubt you'll find a preamp with this level of performance, build-quality and reliability at anywhere near the price.

Since the product began life in 1983, more than 18,300 M3A units have been sold worldwide! Quite an accomplishment, and certainly worthy of the popularity, the M3A stands on its own as a superb audiophile component of the highest caliber. The M3B continues that tradition, building upon the strengths of the legendary M3A.

The M3B is a full function preamp complete with phono input that will accept any cartridge with 1mV of output, or greater. For those using low output moving coil cartridges, optional Gold Phono Boards are available for increased gain. Designed by the legendary John Curl, the ultra-quiet pre-preamp boards give the M3B the ability to handle even very low output MC cartridges with low noise and superb resolution.

Audible Illusions Modulus 3B - $3495

 


According to Audible Illusions, the 6H23NEB is the best tube to use in their Modulus preamplifiers. Though scarce and rather pricey, A.I. says these tubes have the best combination of sound quality, low microphonics, lowest noise and longest life.

The sets are hand selected, fully tested and graded by by Art at Audible Illusions to be a perfect match for the M3A, M3B.

Sold in sets of four, each marked for use in a specific location within the preamp.

Very limited availability. Get them while you can!

 

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