The PV-2 tube preamp hails back to 1980, an era when audiophiles were starting to realize that new technologies don’t necessarily sound better than the old. I don’t know what the PV-2 (or its slightly modified successor, the PV-2a) originally cost, but I found a PV-2a for $200 about 10 years ago in a Manhattan pawn shop and fell in love. The preamp delivered all the classic warmth and natural tone that keeps so many audiophiles coming back to tubes decade after decade. It even had a really good-sounding phono stage. Its one flaw was a fragile power switch. A $25 generic replacement switch ordered from Conrad-Johnson didn’t fit; with the help of a hand file, I was able to slip in a much nicer switch from RadioShack for the princely sum of $3. Don’t expect as good a deal on a PV-2 as I got, though—a PV-2a recently went for more than $500 on eBay.
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