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  1. Aibo
    Decent tube sound
    Written by Aibo
    Published Aug 12, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - - Lots of functions
    - Detailed and well balanced sound
    - Full and detailed mids
    - Up-front sound signature
    Cons - - Bass could be a bit faster and more precise
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    TUBE-06 is a preamp with integrated DAC so you can connect your PC but also CD player, Radio Tuner - if you're one of those who still owns one :) - or anything else with analog line out. You also get tone controls in the front and volume knob that is controlling variable output, that can go as high as 5.4 V so you can connect this one to wide array of power amps, headphone amps...

    Everything works without fuss, PC recognized it and drivers installed automatically from the device itself in few seconds. When working the unit gets quite hot so beware not to touch the tubes. They do look very pretty in dimmed room and my girlfriend liked them - so I think it's safe to say this unit has high WAF. :) You can see for yourself how it looks in dimmed environment:

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    SOUND QUALITY

    It provides well balanced sound with lots of details. Bass is full and warm but not that fast and precise. It's maybe better suited for light nigh jazz and similar music than for fast paced beats. Mids are really well balanced, there's both fullness and huskiness to them, making vocals and instruments sound very natural and present. Highs are decently clear and pronounced which is not what I would expected from tubes.

    Sound-stage is wide, but the depth is not that great... so overall presentation has an up-front, very present character, which again I didn't expect form tubes (I thought it would sound laid soft and laid-back... but obviously those were just my prejudices).

    I tried hooking up external DACs to it too but it proved that integrated digital input already provides the best possible sound and I gained nothing stacking another (better) DAC in front of it. So I consider the digital input of this preamp to be the best way to high fidelity from you PC... and analog inputs should be used only to connect line-out devices such CD, BR, DVD players, etc.

    CONCLUSION

    If you need it only for it's digital inputs there are better pure DACs to be found at the price (FX Audio DAC-X6, Schiit Modi 3, SMSL M100, Topping D30...) but neither of them have analog inputs, tone controls and variable output that goes up to 5.8 V... So as far as preamps go, if you need one, this is a great bundle at a really great price.

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