Kegworth Show Information

The information for this year's show is now live at www.thehifishow.com or by clicking on the show banner below.

NON EXHIBITOR ROOMS NOW OPEN - Special Offer....Stay Saturday, join in all the build up excitement on Sat night and then gain FREE access to the show on Sunday

ONLY 4 EXHIBITOR ROOMS LEFT - BIG SYSTEM SPACES SOLD OUT - ONLY 2 NON EXHIBITOR ROOMS LEFT

robbie010

Phono Stage to Passive Pre?

Recommended Posts

Super Wammer

Has anyone used a passive pre amp with a separate phono stage to good effect or is this generally avoided?

Is a normal pre amp needed to provide signal gain or could I adjust the gain on the phono stage to compensate?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

I use an Edwards Audio mm1 into a DIY passive pre to good effect, there are no adjustments on the Edwards but the volume control needs a further 25% to match CD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Currently using a Khozmo on the outputs of my Vinyl 1. It has waaay too much gain, even with 5751 in it and now I can balance the volume with my redbook sources. The Khozmo has a relatively benign input impedance and a varying output impedance, luckily in the region I use it pretty low. Works fine but obviously a bit OTT, I just had it lying around.

So saying, before this I tried a simple resistive divider with 1/4W metal foil resistors to achieve the same end, and for some reason that sounded somewhat worse to me, so I swapped it out. Maybe resistors do have a sound?

Sent from my BLA-L09 using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just about to start a similar thread then saw this one. 

In my case I run a vinyl only set up with no intention to add additional sources in the future. I am currently using an integrated amp with phono stage built in but looking to upgrade. A separate phono stage into a pre-amp seems overkill when I don’t need to select sources or balance output between them.

Similar to the OP, will phono stages generally have the gain to utilise a simpler passive pre or just an attenuator?

From his profile, The OP appears to use multiple sources requiring switching and (ideally) balancing of outputs, is that the key difference between our two respective situations or am I missing something else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I run an NVA Phono 2 into an NVA P90sa passive pre.

Denon 103 & Transfiguration Axia S moving coil cartridges.

More than enough gain. Equivalent to digital.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem with my phonostage into a passive pre, much better than my previous Sony ES770 amp using its phono.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
53 minutes ago, lostwin said:

I was just about to start a similar thread then saw this one. 

In my case I run a vinyl only set up with no intention to add additional sources in the future. I am currently using an integrated amp with phono stage built in but looking to upgrade. A separate phono stage into a pre-amp seems overkill when I don’t need to select sources or balance output between them.

Similar to the OP, will phono stages generally have the gain to utilise a simpler passive pre or just an attenuator?

From his profile, The OP appears to use multiple sources requiring switching and (ideally) balancing of outputs, is that the key difference between our two respective situations or am I missing something else?

A couple of years back, whilst in between preamps I used an Icon Audio PS1.2SE and then a PS3SE direct into my power amps for vinyl. The IAs had volume controls so easy to adjust output as required. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

Yes I have recently added a Audiozone Pre-T1 passive with a Welborne Labs Compleat phono stage & a Partridge SUT. Works beautifully, has two gain settings (high & low) so get more than enough volume. My initial worry was losing the  drive & dynamics provided by my previous powered pre, but the reality is I have more of those qualities now, not less, so I am very happy with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

 i saw it was going to be at lurchs bakeoff and wondered whose it was . i had a stereoknight here once  which looks a bit similar 

IMGP6464.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
15 minutes ago, hifinutt said:

 i saw it was going to be at lurchs bakeoff and wondered whose it was . i had a stereoknight here once  which looks a bit similar 

IMGP6464.jpg

It does look similar Phil yes, mine has Stevens & Billington transformers, is that what the Stereo Knight has?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

james zhang , the maker of stereoknight apparently says 

I learned that "my TVCs are no copy of S&B or any other brand for that matter. Mine are unique and come with some exclusive features like dual 33-step rotary volume switches designed and manufactured in my factory; dual 0/6dB gain switches; multiple RCA/XLR i/o ports to support simultaneous cross connections; a silver option with silver-wound transformers and silver wiring; and a remote option with display and even balance control."

https://6moons.com/audioreviews/stereoknight/1.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I run a Project (top of their range) phono pre into a Hattor Passive BUT I added the Hattor valve stage +6db to get useful volume.  Now I love valve stage and turn it on for all inputs. Oh well...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a Remton Valve phono into a TVC pre with precisely no issues.

Sounded very good to these ears.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are right to pinpoint the possible problem of insufficient gain in a passive pre amp with a vinyl player (as opposed to a CD player) as the source.

Ive heard Brook's Audiozone in my system and the gain option was used and was totally satisfactory. In another set up that I took to Kegworth I had use of Jonathan Billington's Music First 'Baby Pre' passive pre (coppe rwired) which also had a gain switch (+6db) and was using that Welborne phono stage that Brook refers to - that was no problem either. (Nor was the Music First Classic pre that Fourlegs lent me that day - that had no gain problems and sounded superb (silver wired).

These are all TVCs (transformer volume controls) and its important to distinguish them from other passives which are basically a volume control in a box. Why? The former avoid impedance mismatches which can plague the latter.

I think it would be wise to get a TVC with a gain switch, rather than without and dont worry about this 'lack of excitement' criticism which Ive heard from critics - they dont lack for anything except perhaps the input/output versatility of an active pre.

Jack NSM

Edited by Non-Smoking Man
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

I think Graham Slee makes a Phono Stage with Volume control and general concensus is that they are excellent phono stages  so this would solve the issue in a single box .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.