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TerryO

Valeb LCR-1 Mk2 RIAA Phono Stage Comparo

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Yeah, it took a few months for mine to settle down and open right up. Once that happened it has been nothing short of spectacular. Super long burn in time.

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For those who might be interested I popped the lids off the Mk3 Valab and have attached the pics here.

 

Can you spot the differences between the Mk2 & Mk3?

valab lcr-1 Mk3 interior pic phono stage.jpg

valab lcr-1 Mk3 interior pic.jpg

valab lcr-1 Mk3 top view both units.jpg

valab lcr-1 top view installed.jpg

IMG_0117.jpg

valab lcr-1 Mk3 back pic.jpg

Edited by shawnwes

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Guest Muon N'

looks like there are 2 extra filter caps in the mKll?

 

All I can see.

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3 minutes ago, Muon N' said:

looks like there are 2 extra filter caps in the mKll?

 

All I can see.

MKII used a few more blue can shaped caps near the black heatsinks, while the MKIII has those little red sqarish ones.

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Guest Muon N'

@rocky500  Yes, you are right :thumb:

 

There is an extra blue near the transformers and the reds near the heat sinks are changed to electros, so looks like a few changes.

 

Without calling out every resistor type changes, these are what I see now after you pointed out those Rocky :)

 

1603490391_valablcr-1Mk3interiorpicphonostage.jpg.96254d6cef7123eea9cf93473b1b333f.thumb.jpg.c06a32307c9dbbfa6c1861ee789e82c0.jpg

Edited by Muon N'

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I don't think it's enough to obsolete my Mk2. :)

 

Will be wonderful after burn in ;)

Edited by MattyW

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On 20/01/2019 at 1:35 PM, shawnwes said:

For those who might be interested I popped the lids off the Mk3 Valab and have attached the pics here.

 

Can you spot the differences between the Mk2 & Mk3?

valab lcr-1 Mk3 interior pic phono stage.jpg

valab lcr-1 Mk3 interior pic.jpg

valab lcr-1 Mk3 top view both units.jpg

valab lcr-1 top view installed.jpg

IMG_0117.jpg

valab lcr-1 Mk3 back pic.jpg

How are initial impressions? I found it a bit forward initially until it settled in.

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On 20/01/2019 at 11:32 PM, MattyW said:

How are initial impressions? I found it a bit forward initially until it settled in.

I have about 30 hrs on it now. It’s definitely starting to open up.

However, I’m awaiting some parallel resistor cables so that I can adj. my loading to 1 k ohms as my only choice is 200 ohms or 47k. Neither of which is ideal for my cartridge DV20X2H.

 

The one for sale on EBay Australia has the loading for 500 ohms & 1k built in. Does yours have those settings?

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I always used 47k with my DV 20x2H

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I have a MK11 which i think is great, very flexible.

Valab phono.jpg

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So..... The Mk3 loses all the loading options in the Mk2? Doesn't seem like a progression of the phono stage if that's the case.

Edited by MattyW

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This is the original MKII settings. I think some asked to have them modified to change a few values at time of ordering.

 

 

Phono settings2.jpg

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1 minute ago, MattyW said:

So..... The Mk3 loses all the loading options in the Mk2

Hmmm, very interesting. My TF1 has gain settings of 40db,55 and 65 db on the front panel and 7 resistive  loading adjustment as well. Plus extra adjustment inside. Looks like they are trimming down.

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I asked mine to be changed at time of ordering to what myskylab posted for available settings.

You can see they changed 2 resistors in the pic below.

resistors.jpg

IMG_3375.jpg

Edited by rocky500

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1 hour ago, shawnwes said:

I have about 30 hrs on it now. It’s definitely starting to open up.

However, I’m awaiting some parallel resistor cables so that I can adj. my loading to 1 k ohms as my only choice is 200 ohms or 47k. Neither of which is ideal for my cartridge DV20X2H.

 

The one for sale on EBay Australia has the loading for 500 ohms & 1k built in. Does yours have those settings?

You could possibly at some time, get someone local (if not able yourself) to change the 2 resistors from my post to get the 1K loading.

This is the what they sent me with the resistor change.

 

 

 

 

Phono settings5.jpg

Edited by rocky500

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These are the settings that are built into my unit which seem to be the same as the ones Rocky posted. As you can see there's a pretty big gap between 200 and 47k. Dynavector recommends >1k Ohms for this cartridge so am going to try various loads between 1-20k to see where the sweet spot is. 47 k works the best for the loads I have but know it can do alot better. Can't really adjust the gain (40db setting) as it's as loud as I can reasonably play it where I live with my volume set to just past 9 oclock on the Exposure. I may have to go the route of a low output MC if I can't tame it with resistor load. I've already put out feelers to a Hana vendor regarding the new Hana ML cartridge.

IMG_0119.thumb.jpg.0c93cdba8e58a0feb45d9820382e998a.jpg

Edited by shawnwes

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3 hours ago, MattyW said:

So..... The Mk3 loses all the loading options in the Mk2? Doesn't seem like a progression of the phono stage if that's the case.

Kevin's comments on the changes are in one of the posts I made on page 3 of this thread. If you look at the different layouts between the one that was in the LCR shootout, the one in the Ebay advertisments, vs the latest version I have there is considerable difference, esp in the size & number of capacitors both in the power supply and the preamp sections. I can't help but think he wouldn't dumb it down just to keep it at the same price point as he's put alot of effort into making it work and there's room to increase the price if need be to keep the quality up.

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4 hours ago, shawnwes said:

Kevin's comments on the changes are in one of the posts I made on page 3 of this thread. If you look at the different layouts between the one that was in the LCR shootout, the one in the Ebay advertisments, vs the latest version I have there is considerable difference, esp in the size & number of capacitors both in the power supply and the preamp sections. I can't help but think he wouldn't dumb it down just to keep it at the same price point as he's put alot of effort into making it work and there's room to increase the price if need be to keep the quality up.

so Kevin thinks its a 1% improvement thats okay,  he`s a nice person to deal with and will change the impedance settings to suit your requirements

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I have a MK11 which i think is great, very flexible.
1122330503_Valabphono.jpg.c39718234307be2772af203894ba4670.jpg
This is the custom setting that Kevin did for most of sna members? I have the same too, very flexible.

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40 minutes ago, dwbasement said:
10 hours ago, myskylab said:
I have a MK11 which i think is great, very flexible.
1122330503_Valabphono.jpg.c39718234307be2772af203894ba4670.jpg

This is the custom setting that Kevin did for most of sna members? I have the same too, very flexible.

 

"Flexible" with a proviso!

 

I would suggest the difference in sound between:

  • 100
  • 99

... and

  • 83, and
  • 76

... is marginal.

 

Likewise:

  • 30 & 29, and
  • 23 & 22.

 

A much more useful set of options (given it seems to be an MM/MC phono stage) would be, IMO:

  • 47K
  • 33K
  • 4.7K
  • 3.3K
  • 2.2K
  • 1K
  • 470
  • 220
  • 100
  • 47
  • 33.

 

Andy

 

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I don't even use loading options on mine.  It's at the default 47k and gain set to 40db.... I find a quality SUT to be better than high gain settings on the LCR-1.  Much more solid and palpable sounding.

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"Flexible" with a proviso!
 
I would suggest the difference in sound between:
  • 100
  • 99
... and
  • 83, and
  • 76
... is marginal.
 
Likewise:
  • 30 & 29, and
  • 23 & 22.
 
A much more useful set of options (given it seems to be an MM/MC phono stage) would be, IMO:
  • 47K
  • 33K
  • 4.7K
  • 3.3K
  • 2.2K
  • 1K
  • 470
  • 220
  • 100
  • 47
  • 33.
 
Andy
 
Not my expertise Andy, this setting was done by our former sna'er @Hensa
I think he only asked to include a couple of value then Kevin came up with what he can do...

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1 minute ago, dwbasement said:

I think he only asked to include a couple of value then Kevin came up with what he can do...

 

Too true, dw.  When you have dip-switches switching in set res values ... there are limited options.  Much better IMO, to use a default value - 47K or 100K, for instance - and provide a parallel pair of input RCAs for loaded RCA plugs ... to get the loading result which is the optimum.  Which is what I do with my 'Muse'.

 

Andy

 

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33 minutes ago, andyr said:

 

Too true, dw.  When you have dip-switches switching in set res values ... there are limited options.  Much better IMO, to use a default value - 47K or 100K, for instance - and provide a parallel pair of input RCAs for loaded RCA plugs ... to get the loading result which is the optimum.  Which is what I do with my 'Muse'.

 

Andy

 

I've ordered a parallel loading kit to try it with the Valab. If it works out I'll get some better splitter cables made up and I'll be happy.

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