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Beerbudget audiophile

Diy Valve phono stage for MM

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This has probably been done to death by now...

 but does anyone have any advice on a good inexpensive DIY tube phonostage? Who has built one and has actually compared to an off the shelf item?

 

I have enough confidence to DIY, and would rather get the satisfaction of building something myself, but don’t want to pay a premium for a kit that is just as good as an off the shelf item.

 

I would budget $50-250 - looking for clever/smart bang for buck 

 

I don’t actually mind the Phono stage in my Yamaha AS501, but I am not really comparing it to anything... 

rest of my system - Pioneer PL15 with AT95E with hyperelliptical stylus upgrade and sometimes an AT11E

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One is the Thorsten Loesch modified EAR 834P circuit, think this is it in the link below, lots of references to this one all over the internet, with some like Romy the Cat doing their own slightly different take on it.

 

http://www.jogis-roehrenbude.de/Leserbriefe/Carsten-RIAA/Carsten-RIAA.htm

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You cannot do a decent tube phono stage for less than $1000 DIY or around $2000 retail. Well, you cannot do a decent phono stage for that money regardless of the design. 

 

Go for Pearl or Pearl 2 from DIY Audio forum - it will be more expensive with all the parts included but well worth every penny. 

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1 hour ago, Decky said:

You cannot do a decent tube phono stage for less than $1000 DIY or around $2000 retail. Well, you cannot do a decent phono stage for that money regardless of the design. 

 

Go for Pearl or Pearl 2 from DIY Audio forum - it will be more expensive with all the parts included but well worth every penny. 

I know I am not going to get audiophile quality for cheap, I was looking for something different, something that will give me a different sound - perhaps even better than the phono stage in the Yamaha Amp. 

 

So far I have had a lot of fun researching and just playing around with different gear and seeing what really gets my attention,  (I would not have ended up with a set of Ascension Summoners if I hadn’t spent a few months reading about them first).

 

I don’t really like the idea of putting a $1000 -$2000 phono stage on a $600-800 amp, I am looking for something that someone has put together that is “better than it should be for the price”... the whole philosphy of being a “Beerbudget Audiophile ;)

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Fair enough. In that case, if you want a simple and cheap MM phono stage opamps are the way to go. Heaps of them in sub $500 mark - DIY should be in your budget. Just check out Pearl - you won't regret. 

 

https://www.passdiy.com/pdf/PEARL 2.pdf

 

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pass-labs/204336-building-pearl-2-a.html

Edited by Decky

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Pass labs gear is really good, I am running their B1 pre amp I built from a kit, souns quality is very good, but will not fit into your beer budget unfortuneatly.

I did build the AKITIKA solid state MM phonostage, really goo quality for the monet, in fact once I had it up and running I sold my Musical Fidelity X-LPSv3.

Here is the link https://www.akitika.com/PhonoPreamp.html but you will need to add cost for a PSU and chassis.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Muon N' said:

One is the Thorsten Loesch modified EAR 834P circuit, think this is it in the link below, lots of references to this one all over the internet, with some like Romy the Cat doing their own slightly different take on it.

 

http://www.jogis-roehrenbude.de/Leserbriefe/Carsten-RIAA/Carsten-RIAA.htm

I actually hadn’t even thought about modifying something, not sure why I didn’t consider. This is something that could pop up second hand from time to time cheers 

 

(logic :- if bought secondhand and not bastardised by myself or others, it will hold value and may be sold if unhappy)

 

 

Edited by Beerbudget audiophile

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If you are looking for a tube phono just to try out 

The best of many model options is a Little Bear unit as they range from $70 to a couple of hundred 

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At least with most valve kits, you can recycle or sell the expensive parts (like valves/transformer/case etc.) into another project if you're not getting the results you want. Maybe you already have a junk box to raid for some of the hardware?

 

I'm personally curious about the kits on eBay/Aliexpress for knock-offs of various valve phono stages: the EAR 834P, and others from Audio Note, Marantz, Shure etc. Including a PCB, passive components and valve bases, they might be ~$100, to which you'd add valves, a power supply and case. Might be a stretch to do it for under $250 but not impossible? But I can't vouch for them at this point.

 

The circuit I'd like to try out is a version of the RCA 7025 phono preamp. Very basic (2 x 7025 valves for a stereo amp) but would need another stage so it could drive an input on your amp.

RCA-ohono-sc.jpg

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3 hours ago, Beerbudget audiophile said:

I actually hadn’t even thought about modifying something, not sure why I didn’t consider. This is something that could pop up second hand from time to time cheers 

 

(logic :- if bought secondhand and not bastardised by myself or others, it will hold value and may be sold if unhappy)

 

 

I was suggesting that the circuit by TL be built from scratch, many do it with this one.

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1 hour ago, RCAJack said:

 

 

I'm personally curious about the kits on eBay/Aliexpress for knock-offs of various valve phono stages: the EAR 834P, and others from Audio Note, Marantz, Shure etc. Including a PCB, passive components and valve bases, they might be ~$100, to which you'd add valves, a power supply and case. Might be a stretch to do it for under $250 but not impossible? But I can't vouch for them at this point.

 

I picked up a board from Aliexpress for around 100 bucks. Audio Note circuit. The board is fully popuated but some of the parts are ordinary.  I already had a power supply and a ton of tubes and passive parts. Up and running in no time and with a few (lots really) tweaks it sounds extremely good. I would rather have paid less and bought an unpopulated board but it was still fun to play around with. It needs 265vdc and it's set up for 12.6v filaments.

20180704_115126.thumb.jpg.f53779bc7e567c8975af95904b35eb10.jpg

 

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Have a look at the tubes4hifi page.  Certainly cheap enough to give a go in a re purposed case and if you like it go all out on enclosure and sockets etc.

 

http://www.tubes4hifi.com/home.html

 

I built the PH14 and really like it.  Ousted my Graham Slee ReflexM.  If I was doing it again I'd build the power supply in a separate enclosure to remove the "I wonder if the PS is coming through" thoughts.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Batty said:

You could try this ... http://oatleyelectronics.com//product_info.php?cPath=81&products_id=936 for under $50 plus case and other hardware.

The more I read about this, the more I think it will be the kit I choose It will probably be good enough for me to get an idea/insight  

cheers

Edited by Beerbudget audiophile

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