Check out our latest LDR preamp for balance audio

LDR1.V2B Rear Panel with optional Cardas XLRs Tortuga Audio Releases LDR1.V2B Preamp for Balanced Audio - March 15, 2015 – Tortuga Audio is pleased to release the LDR1.V2B Balanced Passive Preamplifier. The LDR1.V2B is the latest model in our LDR (light dependent resistor) based passive preamp product line and is our second model offering attenuation for balanced audio. Unlike its more expensive big brother, the LDRxB, the LDR1.V2B has only a single XLR […]

What customers and reviewers are saying about our preamps

Tortuga Audio Passive Preamp recommended by

HiFi Pig Reviews the LDR6

"There is just a sense of absolutely everything having been stripped free of fuzz and imprecision. Instrumental placement isn’t approximate or inferred. Instead, instruments are precisely located at a fixed and exact distance from the others with the space between performers and the characteristics of the recording environment jaw-droppingly obvious.""... the LDR6 produces a sound completely free of colouration, with a soundstage that was just consistently deeper and better resolved than with any other passive pre-amp I have ever used.""...suitably matched, sonically, the LDR6 is an absolute gem. Jaw-droppingly transparent, with faultless microprocessor control, this pre-amp provides a level of transparency usually the domain of hair shirt enthusiasts, with the convenience of remote control."
owner review

My system has NEVER felt (and sounded) this good

"Your newsletter prompted me to say a big belated “thank you” for making the very best preamp I have ever used. From tube to solid state, vintage Western Electric and Marantz to modern Cello and Krell, nothing comes close. My downsized system is unbelievably dynamic yet completely natural and without any hint of strain, harmonically accurate and rich especially with “challenging” brass and woodwind instruments, always happy to play back what it receives. My system has NEVER felt (and sounded) this good." - Steven K Lee Logo

Owner Commentary on the LDR3x

"Today I received the LDR3x board and I am FLOORED by the sound quality. I've been using a TVC [transformer volume control] for several years and was very happy, but the LDR simply blows it away. I am hearing detail I never knew existed in recordings I have listened to hundreds of time before. Bass is better, treble is clearer, etc….the sound is killer. I am retired and have been pursuing this hobby seriously for 40 years. The last 20 years of my career was as a music wholesale salesperson – I worked for Telarc for 7 years and then for an indie distributor where I sold several audiophile labels, so I have some serious experience listening. This volume control is fabulous."   
owner review

Owner Review of LDR1

"Let me state up front that the LDR1 is the most pure, neutral, transparent, noise-free and grain-free component I have ever heard."
owner review

LDR3 – “Best Purchase Ever Made in Audio”

"Overall, I'm enjoying the Tortuga LDR3 immensely.  It's mating up to the Job 225 seamlessly and I feel it's leaps and bounds better than any TVC I've heard and used in my own setup.  For the first time since I've joined this hobby, I finally feel like I'm listening to real music, and not a reproduction of music.  All curiosity of "should I upgrade this or that" has seemed to disappear and all I'm left with is enjoyment of music in it's truest form.  Thank you so much for what I believe to be my best purchase ever made in audio."  - Steven Zaointz logo

Audiophilia Review of LDR1

"The LDR1 did not exert itself upon the signal, as far as I could discern. As such, it represents the least colored preamp I have ever heard in my system. It also provided greater resolution than any other preamp in my experience." Logo

The LDRxB – “Yes, it’s that good…”

"I can honestly say though even at $2695 this unit will easily blow away stuff that is 3x the cost.  Actually, come to think of it, I'm not sure what else one could want no matter the cost unless you want fancy aluminum cases and bragging rights." - AudioCircle Member logo

RMAF2014 Report By Kemper Holt of

Volti, Tortuga, Triode Wire Labs, Border Patrol This system just made you want to stay and listen to music, mine or music I'd never heard before. Relaxing, exciting, clear, organic came to mind. Volti had their Allura A15/MT1s ($15,900/pr) looking and sounding great. Border Patrol's P21 EXD amp ($12,750) using push/pull 330Bs and external power supplied 18Wpc to drive the 99dB/W/m sensitive Alluras. Tortuga Audio showed the LDRx passive preamp ($1495) software driven and digitally controlled unit with resistive analog attenuator using light resistive diodes. The LDRx seemed to be a perfect fit despite its affordable pricing, helping the system have a clear and transparent presentation, wide stage, and big dynamic contrasts, kudos for bringing such great performance at a low cost. Another company bringing superb sonics at attainable prices was Triode Wire Labs cables, which were used to connect everything. Triode Pete had his renowned Plus power cords in use, and his American Speaker Cables and Spirit interconnects proving again that handcrafted, made in America, great sounding cables can be held to common sense pricing. The sound here had my friend contemplating a purchase, beautiful workmanship and elegant, yet exciting sound, great room.  (From logo

Owner “I have an LDR1 and it is fabulous.”

I have an LDR-1 and it is fabulous. Best preamp I ever owned at any price. When I bought it I thought I would get super transparent sound at the cost of thinning things out. Usually, that is the price for transparency. I took the risk anyway. I was dead wrong. The transparency is indeed the best I ever heard - but it is so full sounding - I can't believe my ears. Now, warm and full are not the same. It is not warm. It is truthful to the recording. Regardless, it is that fullness and weight and supreme smoothness without sounding bloated and without giving up one iota of detail which makes this a world class product. I doubt things could get more than 5% better at any price- even $100,000. The LDR1 is the most perfect preamp I could ever imagine. Logo

Reviewer REALLY liked the LDR1 Passive Preamp!

"I like my tube preamp. I liked the S&B TVC that I auditioned a few years back. I REALLY like Morten's LDR1. Characteristics I found with the LDR1 can be summarized as follows: > natural full bass with good transients and heft > excellent midrange balance > improvement of a narrow band midrange ring that my speakers suffer from > clean with good transparency. Possibly a bit less transparency than I have heard before with my system, but I've never experienced so balanced a midrange in my system before which may affect that perception. > consistently great sense of tonal color, with good saturation. > highly listenable, even allowing me to listen into and appreciate music that I often find strident (even with the tubes, Chicago and Otis Redding recordings for instance). Possibly there is some softening of the edges of notes? I don't know, but it certainly was no negative for me. > a real sense of flow and a lack of sibilance and high frequency hash that brought back some memories of how things sounded with my old Phillips and B&O turntables. I did not expect this but it was great. In summary, the LDR1 is highly recommended."