newlash09

Anyone using tube Phono stages

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I'd go used puresound p10/t10 or a used ear834p . Shouldn't need to change for a while. 

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A second hand Croft 25 R sould do the job nicely , Its MM only but if you use a step up transformer all is good 

I had the 25 micro basic before the 25 R , Quality item 

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Super Wammer

If you have a friend who is good with a soldering iron, then contact Bigman80 on here or AoS and get him to send you one of his BigBottle DIY phono stages. It is a stunner, Barrington (Mayebaza) brought a mk1 to one of my bakeoffs and it stood its ground against my Tron Seven/MFA SUT combo. This DIY marvel costs circa £600 built, does mm & mc + uses loading plugs to match the loading of any cart you choose. 

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You often hear the generalization with diy built equipment that if it were available in the shop the mark up would be around 3 to 4 times the  cost to diy.  Potentially there is very good value to be found if your not to fussy about having a well known brand name on your rack.

DIY phono stages that are on my to do list at some point.

The pearl II (Wayne Colburn Pass Labs) 

Salas folded simplistic JFET phono stage

BigBottle also looks interesting 

Phono builds completed so far

Bottlehead Eros    (on promotion at the moment)

Boozhound


 

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On 24/08/2019 at 23:59, rabski said:

I may be about to surprise people, seeing as I am an 'all valve' guy. However, for a first phono stage, I'd be more inclined to go for solid state.

Generally, moving coil cartridges and valve phono stages really sing with a step-up transformer, rather than a higher-gain circuit. It's comparatively difficult to get the noise floor down and get enough gain using valves, and for various reasons, transformer coupling has advantages. There are some good high-gain valve stages of course, but they tend to be a bit wallet bruising. Good step-up transformers don't come cheap either. Further, it's relatively simple to get load matching correct for a specific cartridge using a valve phono and a step-up, but it may involve a couple of components and a soldering iron. An awful lot of valve stages do not have any load adjustemtn incorporated.

The best valve phono stages combined with the best SUTs offer a really magical performance. Poor ones don't, and IME are easily bettered by solid state. It's far easier to build a solid state stage with high gain and low noise, without breaking the bank, and there is no need to use an SUT.

There are good, bad and average examples of both types and a lot will depend on the cartridge itself. As will the sort of budget you're willing to throw at it...

What he said - a good phono stage is a good phono stage - nowt to do with whether it is SS or Valves.  I am also a believer in a great MM phono stage and use of step up transformers as the ideal.   If it was me I would find a great pre amp (or integrated amp if I was not a pre power man) with a great MM phono stage and then if I needed to run a MC would use a step up transformer (I have an audio technica signet one in the drawer for said purpose with variable gain and a pass thru  - also have a pair of the Ortofon/Sony and other named but all the same mini step up transformers in a simple RCA phono plug with mail and female socket ends so simple to slot in and work a treat) 

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