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View Full Version : The VIVANT is here - super linear MC/MM phono stage



Firebottle
07-10-2016, 13:54
It has been a long time in gestation (aren't all the best things ;)) due mainly to me fiddling with other stuff, or flying, or drinking, or sleeping, you know how it goes .............

Finally got it finished this week and have been listening to some records.

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/tt97/Paramotorpilot/Firebottle%20Vivant/P1050754.jpg

The rear panel is kept nice and simple, but there are loading plugs internally to enable alternative MC loading, even 47K.

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/tt97/Paramotorpilot/Firebottle%20Vivant/P1050756.jpg

This is very similar to the KIN phono section circuit with one particular difference.
Internals are very neat but with very considered layout to ensure top notch performance.

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/tt97/Paramotorpilot/Firebottle%20Vivant/P1050758.jpg

The money shot, with the Vivant 'alive' :

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/tt97/Paramotorpilot/Firebottle%20Vivant/P1050759.jpg

How does it sound, I hear you ask. An incremental step up from the KIN phono stage, giving greater dynamics and a further 'into the mix' feel.
Pretty darn good.

:)

mikeyb
07-10-2016, 14:01
Looks great 😉

struth
07-10-2016, 14:11
Neatly put together.. bravo young man:lol:. Sure the testers are lipping their licks

Jimbo
07-10-2016, 14:19
Great to see this see the light of day Alan and if its as good as the phono stage in the KIN it will be stunning!

walpurgis
07-10-2016, 14:42
Very smart Alan. I like that. If it sounds as good as it looks it should be great! :D

Arkless Electronics
07-10-2016, 14:56
Looking good Alan! A bit of competition eh... :eyebrows:

petrat
07-10-2016, 15:02
Nice work, Alan ... :clap:

Firebottle
07-10-2016, 15:17
I shall be bringing this to MiBO for the lucky attendees to drool over :drool:

jollyfix
07-10-2016, 17:51
Very nice Alan.

Firebottle
07-10-2016, 17:55
Looking good Alan! A bit of competition eh... :eyebrows:

Oh yes, some STIFF competition.
Listening this evening to some well know tracks we are impressed with the balance and sheer vibrancy of the sound.
The rim tap on Dire Straits is just so percussive it is SO realistic.

Cheers,
Alan

Firebottle
07-10-2016, 17:56
Looking good Alan! A bit of competition eh... :eyebrows:

Oh yes, some STIFF competition.
Listening this evening to some well know tracks we are impressed with the balance and sheer vibrancy of the sound.
The rim tap on Dire Straits is just so percussive it is SO realistic.

Cheers,
Alan

Arkless Electronics
07-10-2016, 19:08
Oh yes, some STIFF competition.
Listening this evening to some well know tracks we are impressed with the balance and sheer vibrancy of the sound.
The rim tap on Dire Straits is just so percussive it is SO realistic.

Cheers,
Alan

Bring it on:) I'm equally confident;)

Lee Henley
07-10-2016, 20:02
Look forward to hearing it Alan next time your over here

rubber duck
08-10-2016, 08:02
Price? Availability?

Firebottle
08-10-2016, 09:48
Availability is actually 'made to order'. Lead time currently has to be quoted at 10 weeks, due to extenuating circumstances.

Black or Silver front to your choice, price is 1100.

mikeyb
08-10-2016, 10:17
All this discussion isn't helping me you know 😉 😁

CageyH
08-10-2016, 10:26
Looks very neat Alan. :thumbsup:

I still don't like the typeface though, but that does not really matter as I am sticking with my KIN. ;)

CageyH
08-10-2016, 10:30
Just out of interest, what valves have you chosen for the Vivant?

Firebottle
08-10-2016, 10:34
They are the same valves Kevin, just a different EQ scheme.

CageyH
08-10-2016, 10:44
If it is better than the KIN stage, then it must be pretty special.

CageyH
10-10-2016, 12:21
After a little chat with Alan, I am trying to plan a little road trip to pay him a visit before this disappears off to MIBO.

mikeyb
10-10-2016, 13:18
After a little chat with Alan, I am trying to plan a little road trip to pay him a visit before this disappears off to MIBO.
Be good to know what you think when you get a change to hear it 😉

Spider
10-10-2016, 20:34
What are the improvements sonically over the Firebottle plus which in my opinion is a very fine phono stage?

alcarmichael
10-10-2016, 20:53
I really want to try this, alas an ever nearing house purchase means I'm not going to have any free money for at least three years.

Firebottle
11-10-2016, 04:32
Tim, it's always difficult to describe but here goes:
A more expansive and deeper sound stage. Lower intermodulation distortion giving better clarity and focus on the minutiae of the music. You will hear things you haven't before.

Zero degradation of EQ with aging valves.

CageyH
11-10-2016, 07:54
A visit chez Firebottle is planned for this weekend. I will be taking my SL1200 up with a few different cartridges to try through the Vivant.

I will post my feedback when I get back to Toulouse. If I think about it, I may even take a few pictures.
I have been told by the wife that she is keeping hold of the cheque book to avoid me being tempted by mono block amps etc.

Gordon Steadman
11-10-2016, 08:56
I suspect I will beat you to a listen, I'll need the headphones to really hear it properly but I'll take mine so I know the sound. I'm seeing Alan and Shirley on Thursday.

Take cash, that way the chequebook can stay at home:)

smangus
11-10-2016, 11:44
Hi looks good , what are the dimensions please? Thanks

Firebottle
11-10-2016, 12:20
24 x 9 x 32cm excluding sockets on the back.

smangus
11-10-2016, 13:21
Cool was hard to tell from the photo, sort of looks bigger.

CageyH
13-10-2016, 06:35
I suspect I will beat you to a listen, I'll need the headphones to really hear it properly but I'll take mine so I know the sound. I'm seeing Alan and Shirley on Thursday.

Take cash, that way the chequebook can stay at home:)

Gordon, I will be interested in what you think of it.

Gordon Steadman
13-10-2016, 06:53
Change of plan, sadly. Had a small health problem so will now be going next week - hopefully.

So you will be the first!!

CageyH
15-10-2016, 20:01
Gordon,

I hope you are feeling better now. You are in for a treat.
I really liked the Vivant. A quick summary of the day below, tomorrow I will add some pictures as I have just walked back to the house after leaving early this morning.

It was a day of playing with MC cartridges, so I took my T/T with my Hana SL and AT 33PTG/II. The Hana sounded great, but the AT just pipped it for me. We started off with my KIN, playing through Alan's AIR into his suspended quad ESL57s.
This sounded great. We swapped in the Vivant, and to be honest I was not expecting a big change, but I was impressed with the difference between the two.

Not being content with that, the Firebottle mono blocks were substituted in to the system. Again, not expecting a massive difference I was pleasantly surprised with the music coming out of a pair of ESL57s hanging from the roof beams.

Absolutely stunning.

Whilst I was there, Mr Firebottle got out his bag of pixie dust, and spread some over my KIN, increasing the performance of the phono stage, and all with no charge.

I could have sat there all weekend listening to the system, but reality was calling, and I needed to head back home.
A mere round trip of 720km (450 miles) today, and thoroughly worth it.

CageyH
15-10-2016, 20:01
Gordon,

I hope you are feeling better now. You are in for a treat.
I really liked the Vivant.

A quick summary of the day below, tomorrow I will add some pictures as I have just walked back to the house after leaving eearly this morning.

It was a day of playing with MC cartridges, so I took my T/T with my Hana SL and AT 33PTG/II. The Hana sounded great, but the AT just pipped it for me. We started off with my KIN, playing through Alan's AIR into his suspended quad ESL57s.
This sounded great. We swapped in the Vivant, and to be honest I was not expecting a big change, but I was impressed with the difference between the two.

Not being content with that, the Firebottle mono blocks were substituted in to the system. Again, not expecting a massive difference I was pleasantly surprised with the music coming out of a pair of ESL57s hanging from the roof beams.

Absolutely stunning.

Whilst I was there, Mr Firebottle got out his bag of pixie dust, and spread some over my KIN, increasing the performance of the phono stage, and all with no charge.

I could have sat there all weekend listening to the system, but reality was calling, and I needed to head back home.
A mere round trip of 720km (450 miles) today, and thoroughly worth it.

Lee Henley
04-11-2016, 13:50
I heard the Vivant last night round my house, Alan has done a fantastic job on this one guys, sounds sublime, very natural presentation and wonderful soundstaging. We were only using a Goldring 1040 which is loan to me at the moment until I get a decent MC cart but none the less it sounded superb. I'm looking forward to hearing it again when I get a MC cart

Nice one Alan

Lee

Firebottle
07-05-2018, 16:00
Keep the transformer as far away from the inputs as possible and watch the layout ;)

http://i68.tinypic.com/9jj59s.jpg

Bigman80
07-05-2018, 16:26
Keep the transformer as far away from the inputs as possible and watch the layout ;)

http://i68.tinypic.com/9jj59s.jpgOh, I like what you've done there, swapping in a custom Toriodal TF and showing the bottom end to the RCA sockets. Very clever. Moves all the interference on to a different plane. Nice and neat too. Top stuff.