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Thread: Bigbottle MC Phonostage

  1. #1
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 8,856
    I'm Oliver.

    Default Bigbottle MC Phonostage

    Earlier this year, I embarked on a little project to build a DIY phonostage. I picked a PCB off the internet and stuffed the board with good quality parts. The "Wizard" Phonostage was born BUT it didn't sound as good as i had hoped. After a little bedding in period, i decided to get the main man (Firebottle) on the case.*

    Alan and i sat down for a little brainstorm about what i liked about the phonostage and ultimately what i didn't. The soundstage was all central and there was little to no width or depth. There wasn't much scale either. Almost like listening through a little tunnel.

    We listened to multiple phonostages we had around at the time and picked what we liked about them. Eventually Alan got his soldering iron out and set about the board, changing values, components, layout and adding some of the circuitry from his own Vivant phonostage. Once he'd finished, the board barely resembled what it had started out as. Mounted breadboards on top made it look like a multi storey Car Park, a proper DIY job! but the sound now was where i wanted it to be. Over the last few months i have been comparing the Wizard we made, to as many phonostages as i could get my hands on. I wanted to see how it fared and whether id wasted my time and money.

    I decided a few weeks back that it was something i'd like to get "out there" but didn't really know what that could look like or even where to start. My plan was/is to provide it as a DIY project for people like me, to be able to have a go at this sort of thing with relative simplicity. I wanted to make a full BOM, provide assembly instructions and share the joy i felt when i got it up and running.*

    One of the big worries i had was to construct the PSU for the phonostage. I needed help with that as i had no idea what i was doing. Stuffing a board is like painting by numbers but creating a PSU? No way! I then realised that if i made a PCB, it could have the PSU components all on there as well as the phonostage components, and it could be just as easy to assemble as the main board.*

    The first port of call was to see if Alan would allow me to use his linear circuit in any plans i had going forward. Thankfully, he agreed and did me a hand drawn circuit diagram. GREAT!! But wait, What do i do now. I was lost and had no idea what to do now. I downloaded multiple bits of PCB design software but quickly realised i was way out of my depth........I needed to recruit some help.

    I managed to get a top UK designer on the case but a few personal set backs for him have slowed progress to a stop (Understandably, All the best to him too). I reluctantly accepted that i was an impatient sod and needed to get this moving at a rate i wanted, so i found a really good fella in Germany to take the Project on.*Within 24 hours he had converted the Hand drawn Circuit diagram into a digital file and sent me a copy for my perusal. It went straight to Alan for approval.*

    Another 24 hours passed and i got a 3D rendering of the proposed Circuit board!!! This is the pace i like lol.

    Hopefully, before the end of the year there will be a "Bigbottle MC Phonostage PCB" a BOM, and an assembly guide.

    There is also the possibility of a MM PCB version and also a Head Amp PCB but this is something I will look at once I've got my head around how everything works, how much it costs to manufacture the PCB, etc.*

    This has been a great learning curve and I have to say, there are some really great people out there who are willing to help and offer support and advice. This project has brought out the "good eggs" in the HiFi community. Without them, it would still be a circuit diagram sat on my table.

    Sent from my VKY-L09 using Tapatalk
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+/Allo Boss 1.2/Isolator 1.3 & 2x LPSU's with Volumio & JRiver
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A
    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

    Alternative reading: http://www.audioaddictsforum.com

  2. #2
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Much Wenlock

    Posts: 951
    I'm Gary.

    Default

    Great stuff Oli


    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    Earlier this year, I embarked on a little project to build a DIY phonostage. I picked a PCB off the internet and stuffed the board with good quality parts. The "Wizard" Phonostage was born BUT it didn't sound as good as i had hoped. After a little bedding in period, i decided to get the main man (Firebottle) on the case.*

    Alan and i sat down for a little brainstorm about what i liked about the phonostage and ultimately what i didn't. The soundstage was all central and there was little to no width or depth. There wasn't much scale either. Almost like listening through a little tunnel.

    We listened to multiple phonostages we had around at the time and picked what we liked about them. Eventually Alan got his soldering iron out and set about the board, changing values, components, layout and adding some of the circuitry from his own Vivant phonostage. Once he'd finished, the board barely resembled what it had started out as. Mounted breadboards on top made it look like a multi storey Car Park, a proper DIY job! but the sound now was where i wanted it to be. Over the last few months i have been comparing the Wizard we made, to as many phonostages as i could get my hands on. I wanted to see how it fared and whether id wasted my time and money.

    I decided a few weeks back that it was something i'd like to get "out there" but didn't really know what that could look like or even where to start. My plan was/is to provide it as a DIY project for people like me, to be able to have a go at this sort of thing with relative simplicity. I wanted to make a full BOM, provide assembly instructions and share the joy i felt when i got it up and running.*

    One of the big worries i had was to construct the PSU for the phonostage. I needed help with that as i had no idea what i was doing. Stuffing a board is like painting by numbers but creating a PSU? No way! I then realised that if i made a PCB, it could have the PSU components all on there as well as the phonostage components, and it could be just as easy to assemble as the main board.*

    The first port of call was to see if Alan would allow me to use his linear circuit in any plans i had going forward. Thankfully, he agreed and did me a hand drawn circuit diagram. GREAT!! But wait, What do i do now. I was lost and had no idea what to do now. I downloaded multiple bits of PCB design software but quickly realised i was way out of my depth........I needed to recruit some help.

    I managed to get a top UK designer on the case but a few personal set backs for him have slowed progress to a stop (Understandably, All the best to him too). I reluctantly accepted that i was an impatient sod and needed to get this moving at a rate i wanted, so i found a really good fella in Germany to take the Project on.*Within 24 hours he had converted the Hand drawn Circuit diagram into a digital file and sent me a copy for my perusal. It went straight to Alan for approval.*

    Another 24 hours passed and i got a 3D rendering of the proposed Circuit board!!! This is the pace i like lol.

    Hopefully, before the end of the year there will be a "Bigbottle MC Phonostage PCB" a BOM, and an assembly guide.

    There is also the possibility of a MM PCB version and also a Head Amp PCB but this is something I will look at once I've got my head around how everything works, how much it costs to manufacture the PCB, etc.*

    This has been a great learning curve and I have to say, there are some really great people out there who are willing to help and offer support and advice. This project has brought out the "good eggs" in the HiFi community. Without them, it would still be a circuit diagram sat on my table.

    Sent from my VKY-L09 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 8,856
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    It's very exciting Gary.

    Sent from my VKY-L09 using Tapatalk
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+/Allo Boss 1.2/Isolator 1.3 & 2x LPSU's with Volumio & JRiver
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A
    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

    Alternative reading: http://www.audioaddictsforum.com

  4. #4
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: brighton uk.

    Posts: 4,104
    I'm jamie.

    Default

    yep,very cool,stick me on the list to hear it please,did you sort the valve/pcb problem out?
    My System
    John Wood KT88 Amp.
    Paradise Phono Stage
    Sony TTS-8000 Turntable.
    PMAT-1010 MK6 Tonearm.
    Sony X555ES Cd Player
    Yamaha NS1000m Speakers
    Audioquest Columbia & Colorado interconnects

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2014

    Location: london se6

    Posts: 595
    I'm AndyElectroNumpty.

    Default

    nice one , looks great! Even though I know naff all about eletronics lol. might even have a go at it when you get it sorted.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 8,856
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jamie123 View Post
    yep,very cool,stick me on the list to hear it please,did you sort the valve/pcb problem out?
    Yes mate, the problem I had was that I couldn't find any free software to create the Circuit diagram as none of the free stuff contained a Valve as a drag and drop component. The fella who's done all this for me had the necessary software and has flown through the work.

    Sent from my VKY-L09 using Tapatalk
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+/Allo Boss 1.2/Isolator 1.3 & 2x LPSU's with Volumio & JRiver
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A
    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

    Alternative reading: http://www.audioaddictsforum.com

  7. #7
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: brighton uk.

    Posts: 4,104
    I'm jamie.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    Yes mate, the problem I had was that I couldn't find any free software to create the Circuit diagram as none of the free stuff contained a Valve as a drag and drop component. The fella who's done all this for me had the necessary software and has flown through the work.

    Sent from my VKY-L09 using Tapatalk
    happy days!
    My System
    John Wood KT88 Amp.
    Paradise Phono Stage
    Sony TTS-8000 Turntable.
    PMAT-1010 MK6 Tonearm.
    Sony X555ES Cd Player
    Yamaha NS1000m Speakers
    Audioquest Columbia & Colorado interconnects

  8. #8
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 8,856
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smangus View Post
    nice one , looks great! Even though I know naff all about eletronics lol. might even have a go at it when you get it sorted.
    You and me both, Andy. What my hopes are, is for this to be so easy, anyone can put it together.

    Sent from my VKY-L09 using Tapatalk
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+/Allo Boss 1.2/Isolator 1.3 & 2x LPSU's with Volumio & JRiver
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A
    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

    Alternative reading: http://www.audioaddictsforum.com

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2014

    Location: london se6

    Posts: 595
    I'm AndyElectroNumpty.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    You and me both, Andy. What my hopes are, is for this to be so easy, anyone can put it together.

    Sent from my VKY-L09 using Tapatalk

    That's cool , this guy might give you some pointers , his approach seems very electronics noob friendly with clear instructions etc-


    https://www.muffsy.com/


    His kits are modular and look pretty straightforwards.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 8,856
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smangus View Post
    That's cool , this guy might give you some pointers , his approach seems very electronics noob friendly with clear instructions etc-


    https://www.muffsy.com/


    His kits are modular and look pretty straightforwards.
    I've looked at his stuff mate. Very easy to follow. That's the goal.

    Sent from my VKY-L09 using Tapatalk
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+/Allo Boss 1.2/Isolator 1.3 & 2x LPSU's with Volumio & JRiver
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A
    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

    Alternative reading: http://www.audioaddictsforum.com

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