Pick a Pick a Preamp

Bob Boyer

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#21
My opinion, a line level preamp can be tube. As Bob noted earlier, a phono stage is either going to have multiple gain stages (i.e. several tubes), or try using less, with more gain per stage. With multiple tubes, you run the risk of added noise. With few tubes, you run the risk of more distortion and/or shorter life, as Bob found. As a designer, Mike Elliott was under a lot of pressure to perform at a price point.

I use a Perreaux preamp, which is solid state and line stage only. Any my phono preamp is an Aragon 47k, which is also solid state. I guess I'm lucky, but I have no noise or distortion (that I can hear) over the surface noise of the record itself.
I'll follow along on Jim's comments that my post-Counterpoint simplification became the Michael Yee-designed, second generation Phonomena preamp feeding the Exposure 2010S, which has a passive line section for a preamp. As quiet as any phono section I've heard (and yes, you can hear some hiss if you crank it all the way up, just like any phono section) and devoid of distortion other than that generated by the vinyl itself. Like solid state's successor in audio history - digital reproduction - solid state design was a major step forward in noise reduction. And just as with digital, once the nasties were (mostly) tamed, it became eminently listenable. Don't get me wrong, I liked my Counterpoint stuff and would be using it today if improving cash flow at the time hadn't been so critical but I'm very happy with the sound I hear every time I listen to my current system.

And it's obvious from everyone here who uses Joe's White Oak products that solid state can be done very, very successfully.
 

J!m

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#22
I actually have a board and parts list to build up a solid state phono preamp I just haven't got to yet.

Specs and actual listening (of others) are VERY encouraging. I intended to over-build the power supply but otherwise follow the "directions". It is non-adjustable (easily) so you match the amp to the cartridge. But I have all the data and no current time or motivation to attack it.

Designed by someone on one of the other forums. I don't remember which right now.
 

Bob Boyer

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#23
Are you on the DIY forum - or another? I've been pondering one of the headphone amp kits at the diyAudio store. Like you, apparently, I'm not quite ready to devote resources to the build.
 

J!m

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#25
I’m on diy audio but not active. Also AK which may be where that thread was.

The designer has a long history with op amps or something and applied decades of design knowledge to this thing and it was well received.
 
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