In 2002, we brought out our new entry-level tube preamplifier, The Manley Shrimp®. But it is so unfair to label it as "entry-level". This preamp sounds sooooo much better than that!


  • Very short, simple minimalist signal path. All-tube design. 2 x 12AT7 + 2 x 7044
  • Generous energy storage via large power supply capacitors for more impact in the bass.
  • No global feedback makes the Shrimp very fast sounding. 
  • Non-inverting two-tube gain stage is direct-coupled for most pure signal path.
  • Cool White-follower output stage provides low 50 Ohm output impedance. This is much better than a boring plain ol' cathode follower. The Shrimp can drive anything, not to worry.
  • Filament supply floated 80V above chassis ground for quieter operation and longer tube life. 
  • NOBLE audiophile-grade level and balance pots. We use the nice parts in here!
  • MIT/MultiCap polypropylene audiophile-grade signal coupling capacitors, including two 30 uF monsters on the output stages.
  • Warm-up delay / MUTE button. Features and quality components usually not found on entry-level pieces.

The Shrimp is very quick and alive sounding. Good rhythm and extension. Very transparent sounding. We hope you enjoy our fresh and clean Shrimp cocktail!(Lemon and tartar sauce not required for normal operation.)



Shrimp FAQ #1: The Shrimp is unbalanced. Why can't I have balanced inputs and outputs?

Yes the Shrimp is entirely a single-ended design. The circuitry uses single-ended topology. In order to be able to provide balanced inputs or outputs we would have to convert the signal to balanced using something like some IC's or transformers. Both these options would add more "stuff" to the signal and be certainly audible detracting from the pure sound the Shrimp provides. If you are dealing with balanced source outputs or driving a balanced amplifier with the Shrimp, check to see if you also have unbalanced connections on that gear, change your cables and go with that. You might be pleasantly surprised that they too added extra audible "stuff" in order to provide balanced XLRs and the RCAs that don't have that extra "stuff" in the signal path actually sound better. (Depends on a given unit's specific design.) Or use some RCA to XLR adaptors. Most balanced gear has no problem being driven single ended but check with the manufacturer if they are going to want the negative pin 3 of the XLR grounded or floating. Transformer-coupled XLR jacks always can be driven single-ended by running HOT into Pin 2 and grounding pin 3 to pin 1. Some IC coupled XLR inputs will want pin 3 floating, others will require it to be grounded when running single-ended into it. Check with the manufacturer of your gear to see how to hook it up single-ended.

FAQ #2: No remote control? I need a remote!

You can UPGRADE your original SHRIMP to JUMBO version by getting in touch with our service department to book the upgrade.

FAQ #3: I am interested in purchasing a Shrimp preamp. I use a dedicated headphone amp that I intend to hook up to the Shrimp tape out jacks. Will I need to turn the power on to the Shrimp in order to have a signal come out of the tape out jacks? Or is the selected source signal always present at the tape out jacks, regardless of whether the Shrimp is "On" or "Off"? 

Good question! The TAPE OUT is passive and comes off the input select switch. So whatever source is selected will show up passed through at the TAPE OUT, regardless of whether or not the Shrimp is on or off.

FAQ #4: What's the difference between a 5687 and 7044?

The 7044 is used in the White Follower output stage, and honestly there's really no difference between the NOS GE 7044 and NOS 5687 in this specific circuit. The gain is less than 1, (0.9 actually) and rolling tubes here has minimal effect on the sound, if any. 

QUESTION: I've been enjoying my Manley Shrimp for about a year now. It's Great! How can I use headphones with the Shrimp? I want to retain the beauty of the tubes. Can I attach headphones directly to the second pair of mains out? Do I need a headphone amp between the headphones and the second pair of mains out? For the second mains out, +21dBm into 600 Ohm load would be providing about 126mW. Will this suffice without a headphone amp?

Reply: All I can say it TRY IT (you will not hurt anything) and see if it has enough juice to use without a separate headphone preamp.

Sweetwater (BeyerDynamic DT 880 Pro) and a cable from Cables For Less ( pair RCA males to 3.5mm stereo headphone female). Setting the volume between 11-12 o' clock is all the juice that is needed. Thanks!

Notes from Mitch: I'm glad Tim's having a good time with that set-up, but it's a close call in the headroom department. If it starts to sound strained or clip out a little on crescendos then that is an indication that the Shrimp's output stage is delivering less and less undistorted output power as the load gets heavier; normal for a situation like this.

Those BeyerDynamic DT 880 drivers are rated at 250 Ohms impedance. He'd get near full power with a 2500 or 5000 Ohm to 250 Ohm step down autoformer, which he'd need if the phones were any less sensitive, or the white follower stage were less forgiving. Good thing he's trying it with some newer higher-Z phones rather then some old 8 Ohm Koss monsters from the bad old days!

We only advise the user tries driving headphones directly from the Shrimp's outputs if the headphones' impedance is greater than 200 Ohms or the headphones' sensitivity is higher than 95 dB / mW, unless a step-down autoformer is part of the picture.

There is no risk to the Shrimp's circuitry and you won't blow up or destroy anything. But if the load is not friendly enough, it just won't sound very good. 




  • ALL-TUBE: Vacuum Tube all-triode design
  • Input Tubes: 2 x 12AT7EH large plate Electro-Harmonix Russian
  • Output Tubes: 2 x 7044 or 5687 GE JAN NOS
  • Five Line Level Inputs: unbalanced RCA
  • MUTE switch and Warm-Up muting delay
  • NOBLE volume control: Accurate tracking usually within 0.5dB. Smooth operation. (no detents)
  • NOBLE balance control: Center detented
  • Record Output: (AKA "TAPE OUT") Unbalanced RCA jacks, unbuffered, passive (always ON)
  • Main Outputs: Two sets of unbalanced RCA main outs for bi-amping or driving a powered subwoofer
  • Gain: 11.8dB
  • Input Impedance: 250 kOhm
  • Input Sensitivity: 200mV in yields 1V out
  • Maximum Input Level: 5V in produces 1.5% THD at output
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz - 80 KHz; 20 Hz - 20KHz, -0.3dB
  • Noise Floor: Typically -83 dB 20-20K with volume control fully open
  • Noise Floor: Typically -95 dB A WGT 20-20K with volume control fully open
  • Noise Floor (shorted input): Typically -94 dB 20-20K with volume control fully closed
  • Noise Floor (shorted input): Typically -106 dB A WGT 20-20K with volume control fully closed
  • S/N Ratio: typically 95 dB A WGT 20-20K
  • THD: 0.02% at 1V rms output
  • Output Impedance: 50 Ohms
  • Maximum Output: +23dBu @ 1.5% THD into 100K load (10.9V rms)
  • Maximum Output: +20dBm @ 1.5% THD into 600 Ohm load
  • Badge Lamp: Serial numbers below MSP054 used 12V 3AG "Fuse Lamp" 1 1/4 x 1/4" Order it here. Serial numbers MSP055 and up use LED illumination
  • Power Consumption: 55 Watts (485mA @ 120VAC)
  • Operating Mains Voltage: Units are purpose built for original destination country's mains voltage: 100V, 120V, or 220-240VAC as indicated on the serial number badge. Power transformer must be replaced in order to change mains operating voltage. 120VAC units may NOT be rewired to put the primaries of the power transformer in series for 220-240V operation or a large radiated field of hum will develop. If changing locations/voltages, the power transformer must be replaced with the dedicated one for the voltage at which it will operate.
  • Mains Voltage Frequency: 
  • Dimensions: W=19", L=11", H=3 1/2"
  • Shipping Weight: 15 Lbs.

Specifications subject to change because they just might.