Features a dual-mono design that has been built in a purist point-to-point style featuring twelve triodes. The ZTPRE is a fully balanced line stage with buffered low impedance outputs to drive any amplifier.

Additional features include quad power supplies, dual volume controls, up to three sources, variable output levels and an optional remote control volume.

(click to enlarge)

While it might look great, it's really about the sound! The opposing layout of the tubes create a small 2 x 4 inch space between the tube pins at the correct angle where the entire audio circuit can be built using only the parts leads themselves.

When you look at how much this industry spends on cables and wires, it's not hard to realize that the only thing better than a preamp built with the world's most expensive wire is one that doesn't use any.
The ZTPRE project was about figuring out how to wire the circuit with the absolute least number of nodes and how to keep the shortest distances between them that created this uniquely beautiful chassis design.

Normally a fully balanced circuit like this would be laid out in about 144 square inches of chassis space (or more), where the ZTPRE has done it in 8.

The transparency of this approach is limited only by the tubes and interconnecting cables themselves which is a kind way of suggesting that this preamp will never be the weak link in your audio chain... regardless of how much money you may have wrapped up in sources and amplifiers.

A preamp like this one is very much like the preamp that you can't hear... except for the way it animates the music. It takes music that already sounds good, and makes it pop into a believable experience. It does this with dynamics, separation, pace, density and holographic imaging and does so against a backdrop of liquidity and intoxicating tone. All things which are the natural result of gimmick free circuit design and superior execution.


The ZTPRE comes standard with 1 pair of balanced XLR inputs and 1 pair of balanced XLR outputs.  Each channel's output has an output level control and master volume. This is the most 'purist' configuration with the least number of parts because there is no input selector.

Option 1 adds a Silver Contact Input Selector to expand the number of balanced sources from one to three.  The orange stars indicate the additional
parts for this option.

Option 2 is using stepped attenuators in place of the master volume controls. These attenuators divide the otherwise infinitely adjustable volume controls into 20 steps using 1% precision metal film resistors. This approach can bring more transparency to the sound and make it easy to adjust both channels equally by counting the steps as you turn them. The bad news is that these steps make it impossible to have fine adjustments to channel balance. So, surmise it to say some people like them and some people don't which is why it is an option on the ZTPRE. NOTE: The rear mounted output level (trim) control for each channel IS a stepped attenuator and comes standard in all ZTPRE's.


Option 3 is to use infinitely adjustable motorized Alp's volume controls that can be operated by remote control from the listening position. This option lets you raise and lower both volume controls at the same time with one remote. You can also manually make adjustments to channel balanced and the relationship between the two controls will stay that way until you either turn the volume all the way up or all the way down which resets the balance to perfect center.  Watch the video above to see it work. NOTE: The only way to make this video was to plug the output of the ZTPRE into our ZDSD digital recorder so the sound you hear in this video is the actual ZTPRE.

Option 4 - Unbalanced RCA input for non-balanced sources

Option 4 changes one of the balanced inputs to an unbalanced RCA jack by using transformer-coupling. This makes it possible to connect an unbalanced source to your ZTPRE by transformer balancing it. NOTE: Unbalanced sources are typically 2 volts, while balanced sources range from 3.5 to 10.5 volts. This means that if you use an unbalanced source with this option, it should ideally be higher output than 2 volts. A common way to accomplish this on stock 2 volts sources is to use our single tube device called the ZSTAGE to raise the voltage to 5 or 6 volts

Option 5 is signal capacitors.  The ZTPRE is based on our highly successful unbalanced preamp design model CSP3 which has developed an almost cult following since 2006 due in part to it's wonderful signature.  To maintain that signature in the new ZTPRE we use the same audiophile capacitors.
However, for those who want to kick things up a notch, we offer cryo-treated copper foil beeswax capacitors by Jupiter that we feel are the best sound money can buy for this product.

Included in the price of the standard ZTPRE is your choice between Red or Black Face plates, and Black or Silver knobs.

Below are the four possible combinations:

Click on pictures to enlarge

All of the above options can be configured from within the shopping cart.

The ZTPRE is compatible with RCA to XLR adapters on the inputs,
outputs, or both.


Weight   18 lbs. ea.
Dimensions   3.5" H x 17.00" W x 10.75" D
Circuit type   Single ended Class A Triode SRPP
Output   Adjustable 0 ~ 35 volts
Input voltage   10.5 volts RMS 
Noise / Hum   - 58 dB
Input Impedance  
47 k Ohms
Output Impedance  
600 Ohms
Response   5 Hz ~ 100 kHz +/- 4dB   20 Hz  ~ 20 kHz +/- 0.7dB
At 10.83 VRMS output 0.4% THD
Feedback   ZERO negative feedback used
Rectification   Ultra Fast Recovery Bridge
Signal tubes   6N1P-EB
Biasing   Self-Biasing circuit - never needs adjustment
Resistors   All resistors are audiophile grade
Signal Caps   Cryo treated Copper Foil Beeswax
Filter Caps   All filter caps are premium quality
AC cord   IEC connector provided with removable power cord
Dual Fuse holders / one per channel / external
Consumption   109 watts at full power
Input jacks   High Quality XLR 
Output jacks   High Quality XLR 
Warranty   Lifetime to original owner / 90 days on tubes

ZTPRE Distortion Analysis at full output 0.4% THD

ZTPRE Schematic of One Channel Only



11 inches deep x 17 inches wide

Have your ZTPRE built and shipped to your door for a
30 day money-back in home trial
less a 10% restock fee.

Hand Crafted in the USA and sold Factory Direct with a
L i f e t i m e   W a r r a n t y  !