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Thread: Valve phono stage for loan - want to try it?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 3,527
    I'm Alan.

    Default Valve phono stage for loan - want to try it?

    I've been at it again, putting soldering iron to components, and have built myself a valve phono preamp for MM input, with line level output.
    My vinyl source is mediocre to say the least but it certainly sounds as good if not better than my discrete transistor phono preamp.

    Now what I would like is to some feedback to its real performance.
    It would be good if those of you with excellent vinyl sources could try it, better still to compare it with other preamps; is anyone interested?

    I am willing to ship it to the first candidate if you are willing to ship to the next.
    It weighs in at 1.55Kg

    Alan
    Firebottle - for the no bottleneck approach.

    I love Hendrix for so many reasons. He was so much more than just a blues guitarist - he played damn well any kind of guitar he wanted. In fact I'm not sure if he even played the guitar - he played music. - Stevie Ray Vaughan

  2. #2
    Join Date: Aug 2010

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 539
    I'm Francois.

    Default

    Hi Alan,

    I am happy to give your MM stage a listen!
    I currently have a MingDa 2006 valve PhonoStage with some lundhal MC transformers... So hopefully a good frame of reference for your design.

    I have some pictures of its inside if you want to compare the design to yours?

    My cartridge is a Lyra Clavis, bolted on a modified Technics SL1210.
    My amplification is Single Ended 845 valve integrated from Yarland (as reviewed in HFC anf HFN last month...)
    All is finally plugged in a pair of Triangle Antal ES...

    PM me if you are interested.

    Best

    F
    Francois, London, UK
    Source component/s:
    Cambridge Audio Azur 540C, Raspberry Pi 2 with IQ Audio DAC+ running Volumio, Lenco GL75 in original plinth, Audio Note Arm One, Technics SL1210 with external PSU (6L6 design) and Mike New bearing, Audiomods Mk IV with micrometer, Heybrook TT2, Jelco 750D, Tellurium Q Iridium, Home Brew TX1003 Based SUT, Sumiko BPS iii, Goldring 2200 MM, Audio Note IQ3 MM
    Amplification:
    Audion Silver Night 300B SE
    Loudspeakers:
    Fostex 206 Based Horn Speakers, Supertweeter from Bespoke, Tannoy LGM 12"
    Cables/stands:
    LAT SS1000 Mkii to speakers, silver litz between SUT and phonostage

  3. #3
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 3,527
    I'm Alan.

    Default

    OK, first reply was from Tarzan (Andy) so he will be the first recipient.

    I just ask that you all keep the whereabouts and findings on the open forum so all can share in the results.
    Hopefully it will be interesting to see how different forumites find the same kit performs in widely different systems, I will certainly be looking forward to the results.

    Frankyc2003 (Francois) you are the second reply so once Andy has given it a listen he can forward it to you. It will be interesting to compare to such exotica . I would like to see the internal shots please.

    For those of a technical persuasion the circuitry is based on a good engineering approach:
    A regulated supply with choke filtering, DC heaters, a pentode input stage, passive RIAA equalisation, a triode gain stage followed by a cathode follower to give low output impedance. All 3 valves are used Mullard manufacture.

    Alan
    Firebottle - for the no bottleneck approach.

    I love Hendrix for so many reasons. He was so much more than just a blues guitarist - he played damn well any kind of guitar he wanted. In fact I'm not sure if he even played the guitar - he played music. - Stevie Ray Vaughan

  4. #4
    Join Date: Aug 2010

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 539
    I'm Francois.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebottle View Post
    I would like to see the internal shots please.
    There We go...


    that's the whole of the phonostage...



    This is the MM stage which I am using with Lundhal Transformers


    I believe a published diagram is available here:
    http://www.china-hifi-audio.com/ming...2coa3g9jft58o6

    looking forward reading Tarzan's findings!
    Cheers for the opportunity Alan!
    Francois, London, UK
    Source component/s:
    Cambridge Audio Azur 540C, Raspberry Pi 2 with IQ Audio DAC+ running Volumio, Lenco GL75 in original plinth, Audio Note Arm One, Technics SL1210 with external PSU (6L6 design) and Mike New bearing, Audiomods Mk IV with micrometer, Heybrook TT2, Jelco 750D, Tellurium Q Iridium, Home Brew TX1003 Based SUT, Sumiko BPS iii, Goldring 2200 MM, Audio Note IQ3 MM
    Amplification:
    Audion Silver Night 300B SE
    Loudspeakers:
    Fostex 206 Based Horn Speakers, Supertweeter from Bespoke, Tannoy LGM 12"
    Cables/stands:
    LAT SS1000 Mkii to speakers, silver litz between SUT and phonostage

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2010

    Location: Oxford

    Posts: 871
    I'm NotSoPissedOffNowCosMyHiFisUnpacked.

    Default

    I'd be interested in a try but not before end of March due to my impending house move and the fact that I need to sort my Partridge transformers before I can use a MM stage.
    Ian
    http://www.hifisounds.co.uk

    Photo bucket - loads of mods!

    SL1200- DIY PSU- DIY FET int regs-Denon DL103 by Expert Stylus Company on Isokenetic stabiliser & Sumiko HS-12 shell- Achromat - Isonoe feet, Meridian 200 Phono satge, Junson JA-88D, Audio Aero Capitole CD/ DAC, extreme modified Marantz SA7001, Squeezebox Touch modded to death!, Focal 826WSE- Kimber 8TC, Kimber and CAT5 attenuated DIY Interconnects, Kimber mains

    "Leave Nothing as Standard"

  6. #6
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: Cricklewood

    Posts: 9,081
    I'm ILOB.

    Default

    I be interested always good to hear something new
    Loves anything from Pain of Salvation to Jeff Buckley to Django to Sarasate to Surinder Sandhu to Shawn Lane to Nick Drake to Rush to Beth Hart to Kate Bush to Rodrigo Y Gabriela to The Hellecasters to Dark Sanctury to Ben Harper to Karicus to Dream Theater to Zero Hour to Al DiMeola to Larry Carlton to Derek Trucks to Govt Mule to?

    Humour: One of the few things worth taking seriously

  7. #7
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 3,527
    I'm Alan.

    Default

    Thanks for the interest chaps, and thanks for the photos Francois; they certainly use well rated resistors

    I have gone down the 'compact' route again, basically dictated by the choice of case I had kicking about.

    Here is the MM Pre:

    This is with the front panel off


    Here are the internals


    On test in the lounge


    Alan
    Firebottle - for the no bottleneck approach.

    I love Hendrix for so many reasons. He was so much more than just a blues guitarist - he played damn well any kind of guitar he wanted. In fact I'm not sure if he even played the guitar - he played music. - Stevie Ray Vaughan

  8. #8
    Join Date: Aug 2010

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 539
    I'm Francois.

    Default

    Out of curiosity, which pentode have you used for your input stage?
    ECC83 Mullard must sound good BTW!
    Francois, London, UK
    Source component/s:
    Cambridge Audio Azur 540C, Raspberry Pi 2 with IQ Audio DAC+ running Volumio, Lenco GL75 in original plinth, Audio Note Arm One, Technics SL1210 with external PSU (6L6 design) and Mike New bearing, Audiomods Mk IV with micrometer, Heybrook TT2, Jelco 750D, Tellurium Q Iridium, Home Brew TX1003 Based SUT, Sumiko BPS iii, Goldring 2200 MM, Audio Note IQ3 MM
    Amplification:
    Audion Silver Night 300B SE
    Loudspeakers:
    Fostex 206 Based Horn Speakers, Supertweeter from Bespoke, Tannoy LGM 12"
    Cables/stands:
    LAT SS1000 Mkii to speakers, silver litz between SUT and phonostage

  9. #9
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 3,527
    I'm Alan.

    Default

    I haven't gone down the traditional route, of say the EF86, I have used what was to hand in my small valve stock.

    I decided not to duplicate the usual 2x or 3x ECC83 design so I used 2x ECF80 plus 1x ECC83. This wouldn't be a common choice but it has turned out remarkably quiet. The triode section of the ECF80 is low mu so is ideal for the cathode follower on the output.

    I had a look at the Ming Da circuit and it struck me that there wasn't a lot of current flowing even in the cathode follower output stage. I tend to go for more current to make the music flow also,

    Alan
    Last edited by Firebottle; 22-02-2013 at 15:22.
    Firebottle - for the no bottleneck approach.

    I love Hendrix for so many reasons. He was so much more than just a blues guitarist - he played damn well any kind of guitar he wanted. In fact I'm not sure if he even played the guitar - he played music. - Stevie Ray Vaughan

  10. #10
    Join Date: Aug 2010

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 539
    I'm Francois.

    Default

    That sounds very interesting...
    I have to say that the Ming Da was plagued by hum when I first got it...
    But a couple of Capacitors later, it seems to have regained a normal composure...
    I am really looking forward reading what Tarzan think about your design!
    Francois, London, UK
    Source component/s:
    Cambridge Audio Azur 540C, Raspberry Pi 2 with IQ Audio DAC+ running Volumio, Lenco GL75 in original plinth, Audio Note Arm One, Technics SL1210 with external PSU (6L6 design) and Mike New bearing, Audiomods Mk IV with micrometer, Heybrook TT2, Jelco 750D, Tellurium Q Iridium, Home Brew TX1003 Based SUT, Sumiko BPS iii, Goldring 2200 MM, Audio Note IQ3 MM
    Amplification:
    Audion Silver Night 300B SE
    Loudspeakers:
    Fostex 206 Based Horn Speakers, Supertweeter from Bespoke, Tannoy LGM 12"
    Cables/stands:
    LAT SS1000 Mkii to speakers, silver litz between SUT and phonostage

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