For the past several years we’ve been selling variation of our LDR3 Passive Preamp first with our V2 board and later our newer V25 board. Eventually we added the OLED display. We’ve used the same powder coated heavy duty extruded aluminum case, Cardas jacks, machined aluminum panels, acrylic inlays etc. Parts and fabrication costs for this model have been on the high side for us and so we’ve priced the LDR3 at $1195 all this time.
In a few weeks, hopefully before the end of March, we’ll be introducing a replacement model for the LDR3, the LDR300x. While the internals of the LDR300x configured as a passive preamp will not change very much the externals will.
We are moving to a newer, lighter, smaller enclosure with newer and smaller front/rear panels. We are doing away with the machined aluminum front panel which was an expensive bear to fabricate and going instead with a dark acrylic lens. We’re also dropping the costly Cardas jacks.
The net result of all these mostly external changes is that going forward we’ll be able to offer the new LDR300x as a passive preamp at the remarkable price point of $789. Moreover, by also optionally leaving out the OLED display and only providing a simple status LED along with reduced functionality/features we will be offering a “no display” passive version for only $599.
Wait, there’s more!
Some of you may recall the LDR300 Buffered Preamp (without the “x”) that we released in the fall of 2018 and then discontinued in the spring of 2019. I won’t rehash that story here but we never stopped messing with the design of the buffer circuit used in the original LDR300. In fact we’ve improved upon it and are making it an optional part of the LDR300x. This means you can order the LDR300x as either a passive preamp or as an active preamp. Externally the active version looks and behaves the same as the passive version but the active version now has the new SSPB.V2 Preamp Buffer board.
The SSPB is more than just a JFET buffer, it also has a proper gain stage based on the LME49720 audio op amp with adjustable plug-in gain modules for running at unity (1x), +6dB or +12dB. Don't care for the LME49720? No problem. The dual op amp is socketed so you can go ahead and try alternative dual op amps if you like.
The active version of the LDR300x is priced at $995 and is one sweet sounding preamp.
More info on the LDR300x can be found here in an article we just published. https://www.tortugaaudio.com/ldr300x-preamp-coming-soon-in-passive-and-active-versions/
We'll be adding more info on the LDR300x as we get closer to a release date.
We also plan to organize a tour for the LDR300x and this time we're going to ship both a passive and an active version so tour members can try both.