Grimwould

EAR 834P Phono Stage.

26 posts in this topic

I have an EAR 834 P phonostage and would like to try and upgrade it, I have read a few posts on line about changing resistors and capacitors etc. to improve its performance, being a bit slow in the electronics side I would like to find a person who would be able to upgrade the stage for me:doh:.

Is there anyone in or outside off the form that could be trusted with the job?:dunno: I have done the valve re vamp and I am happy with the sound I have.

Any ideas or help would be most welcome Robert.:)

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Robert, some valve swaps would work wonders.

Beyond that, you really need to get the soldering-iron out. The modifications aren't difficult, but they are time consuming and fiddly. If you're going to pay someone else to do it, it honestly isn't worthwhile. I have done most of the Thorsten modifications to my 834P, but I would conservatively reckon that was about six or seven hours work, especially with the time it takes to get the bloody case apart and back together. Figure £40-£50 an hour for a decent electonics guy/gal, plus the component costs, and you could buy a much better phono stage for the money. No matter how good, you also have to account for the fact that resale value will be little better than a standard unit at best.

I love mine and it's performed well in comparisons. I've spent about £40 on components and £80 or so on valves so far. But I've also spent many hours of work. The standard unit is worth about £500 or so. That means well over £600 plus the labour. If you were paying for the labour, that's a total of around £1000 for a unit you could resell for about £500.

DIY wins, paying for modifications doesn't.

It's a shame, because a modified 834P can see off some reasonably serious opposition, but you really do need to get the gloves off and do it yourself, otherwise, just buy something better in the first place.

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Hi Richard.

Thanks for the advice, I have done the valves and was pleased with the results, just like always you are chasing the next upgrade :x I would love to do the work myself and time is not important but I am not sure my soldering skills are up to it, if I get it wrong I have a dead stage :doh:.I like valve stages but to improve on the EAR you have to spend big money and I am not sure I want to do that at the moment,though if a better unit was on offer I might consider :)

Regards Robert.

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Life doesn't come with easy answers Robert :cool:

You would probably spend £500 getting someone to do the main Thorsten mods to the 834P. So if you do them yourself and bugger it up, you aren't actually worse off, except you don't have a working phono any more. You could get £500 or so for the unit and a grand would buy you a better stage without doubt. The point of doing the mods is that you end up with at least £1000 worth of phono stage for a whole lot less.

A few options. If you have the time and the basic abilities, buy something cheap and tinker, then work upwards. Alternatively, use the time to earn some money and spend it on upgrades.

It's very much a personal thing. I have been taking electronic bits apart and pissing about with them since I was old enough to wield a screwdriver. It's got me into loads of trouble, but it's also got me a pretty decent system for far less than I'd have paid otherwise. Each to thier own and if you don't want to do it, nobody will blame you in any way. There aren't enough 834Ps in the world as it is, so there's no reason to take one out of circulation.

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I intended to do the Thorsten mods when I owned the EAR, but decided it was far more sensible to build the revised version from scratch,

I'll get around to building it later in the year, the other thing that appealed was the fact that I have some

NOS E283CC valves that I'd like to try ( same construction as Telefunken 803s ) in place of the Ecc83 / E83cc

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I'd recommend contacting Haden Boardman direct. What he doesn't know about the 834P isn't worth knowing. He can do all the mods for sensible money and is a fantastic guy to do business with. He's a former business partner of Tim De Paravicini and ex HiFi news journo and really knows his stuff.

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I'll try and look up his email address for you Robert. Give me a day or so and I'll send you a PM

Cheers

Paul

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Hi Robert,

If it is of any help, I know of a small but very professional 2 man outfit close to where I live in Hove (I realise that's a little way from Cardiff..). They charge very little for their services and have done a great deal of work for me over the past 10 years or so, fixing and servicing pro-audio gear, from turntables and CDJs, through mixing desks to allsorts of amps (valve, solid state and class D, pre-amps/DI boxes up to 4k per channel monster power amps).

I'm sure that if you contacted them with details of exactly what it is you need doing they will give you a very reasonable and accurate quote.

Please contact me if you would like their details :)

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I've got a stock 834p. Think its bloomin lovely.

But lets face it, we all like the idea of an upgrade, don't we?

I have no idea what the 1st steps to take are. A valve swap, I guess. So can anyone whos done it tell me what going for the NOS E283cc would bring to the party? It seems like a pretty cheap way of upgrading the phono-stage, compared to selling it to buy a significantly better one.

Matt.

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I've got a stock 834p. Think its bloomin lovely.

But lets face it, we all like the idea of an upgrade, don't we?

I have no idea what the 1st steps to take are. A valve swap, I guess. So can anyone whos done it tell me what going for the NOS E283cc would bring to the party? It seems like a pretty cheap way of upgrading the phono-stage, compared to selling it to buy a significantly better one.

Matt.

Hi Matt I have done the valve swaps and it does make a difference, you can tune it to your tastes a little, I tried the stock valves good but missing something,I had some ECC83 Jan Philips which gave lots of bass and a very smooth sound but not much upper detail. I have settled on a Jan Raetheon Long Black plate for the input valve and Watford Valves STR Cryo's for the other two valves.

There is lots of info out there on valve swaps if you Google it, there is also several upgrade ideas which I am interested in but I am not sure wether I am up to the task off fitting it hence my question to the forum!

Robert.

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Hi All sorry for the slow reply,re EAR 834 P Phono. I was looking at getting the EAR modified but due to most contacts being busy I decided to try a last chance valve swop!!:roll: I changed the valves out for some TJ Full Music versions,I sat back and gave it a go and the stage has taken on a new lease of life.I have now put on over 50 hours with the new valves and all I can say is that it is a much better stage more open/detailed and more as I was expecting and as such have decided to leave it as it is and consider next year a new stage much higher up in spec.:nuts:Many people have suggested a valve swop works with the EAR and I had tried several versions but the sound is a personal thing and as such one's idea of a good valve is anothers dislike.I would suggest if you are looking to make the EAR sound different then try the TJ's.:cool:

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