Author Topic: Which phono preamp for pro recording?  (Read 2219 times)

fabriciom

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Which phono preamp for pro recording?
« on: January 10, 2012, 10:11:16 AM »
Hello,

I would to know what phono stage/preamp DIY is best for studio recording? I'm looking for the most transparent and neutral sound.

-Thanks


Gold

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Re: Which phono preamp for pro recording?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2012, 04:10:11 PM »
IMO the most important features for a professional setup are a balanced +4 dBu output and the ability to calibrate to a standard reference level. Most of the boards available fall short on both counts.

A transparent preamp is a worthy goal but the sound of the cartridge will swamp the sound of the preamp in most cases.

I guess that didn't answer your question. I'd look around the DIY audio site. There is a lot of that there.

12volts

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Re: Which phono preamp for pro recording?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2012, 05:14:29 PM »
The best design I have seen is by Douglas Self. Read all about the 2 options available, unbalanced & balanced here :-

http://www.signaltransfer.freeuk.com/RIAAunbal.htm

http://www.signaltransfer.freeuk.com/RIAAbal.htm

The Signal Transfer Company is run by a member of this site, Gareth Connor. I can vouch for the design and the quality
of the product - I've built 3. They are superb.


Frank B.

JohnRoberts

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Re: Which phono preamp for pro recording?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2012, 06:32:27 PM »
i invested a couple decades into designing tweaky phono preamps back in the '70s/'80s and my take-away from it all is there is far more variability in the cartridges than the electronics. After sourcing a good cartridge the setup matters too. Use a good tone arm/turntable, and pay attention to the termination. Phono carts are inductive in their top end, so the capacitive loading of the preamp input termination matters. Often overlooked is the impact of the additional phono cable capacitance. Using long cables can add a bunch of unwanted capacitance, using funny audiophile cables can have more than or less than expected.  So kind of a GIGO situation, the best preamp path doesn't matter if you're feeding it garbage.

Modern opamps have gotten so good that you don't need to raise a sweat to assemble a clean preamp path. There are a number of decent published designs, including a couple of mine, while mine are probably over engineered for the task. use a decent modern audio grade opamp, with precision linear RIAA feedback components and you will be fine.

I'd love to give you chapter and verse about phono preamp design, but yawn... start with a good cart it matters more..

JR


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Gold

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Re: Which phono preamp for pro recording?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 07:15:18 PM »
http://www.signaltransfer.freeuk.com/RIAAbal.htm

If it could be modified for variable gain on the input pairs or later downstream it would be a winner. Unfortunately even the MM input would need about a 20dB range to cover all bases.

fabriciom

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Re: Which phono preamp for pro recording?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2012, 08:15:39 AM »
My current setup is a Technics 1200, Ortofon CC Arkiv cartridge and a Rega Fono MM. All this is connected to an RME ADI 8 DS AD/DA converter. I do need to upgrade the Technics RCA cables but as far as I'm concerned I believe the weak link in my chain would be the Rega Fono.
What would you guys recommend?
Upgrade the Technics RCA cable and get the balanced Signal Transfer Phono Preamplifier?

-Thanks

JohnRoberts

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Re: Which phono preamp for pro recording?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2012, 11:02:37 AM »
Do you know what the capacitance of your preamp input termination, turntable, and cable is? Do you know what that cart want's to see as a load?

Start there.

JR
John Roberts
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Tune it, or don't play it...

madswitcher

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Re: Which phono preamp for pro recording?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2012, 04:06:16 PM »
Have a look on Ebay for an Alice phonopak unit.  It is a pro standard unit, variable output, will give you no hassle and should be about £25 to £30 or so.

fabriciom

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Re: Which phono preamp for pro recording?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2012, 04:10:12 PM »
Hi,

Do you think the phonopak is better than the Perl II build?

Hermetech Mastering

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Re: Which phono preamp for pro recording?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2012, 08:57:10 AM »
The Radial J33 phono pre has balanced outs, sounds great, and I've been using with it a similar setup to yours for a few years now, with great results (SL1200 with Goldring 1042 cart/stylus).


SSLtech

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Re: Which phono preamp for pro recording?
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2012, 11:52:37 AM »
Why is it that even after people have received a perfectly wonderful explanation explaining how there really is no single simple answer, they still want things reduced to a simple answer?

-Sure. Build the Phonopak. When you hear it you will weep. Angels shall descend from the clouds and shafts of dazzling light will illuminate where you stand.
"A waist is a terrible thing to mind"
Quote from: PRR
Ah, but that was 1999; we don't party like that any more.

JohnRoberts

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Re: Which phono preamp for pro recording?
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2012, 01:02:48 PM »
+2

This is your basic audio-phoolery.

Looking at this logically if a phono preamp could magically make recordings sound better, it would not be useful as a reference system, to estimate how recordings will sound to others.

This question has been adequately answered.

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...


 

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