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Old 20th January 2014, 11:32 AM   #1
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Default Basic Pre-Amp Kit

Hello all!

I'm looking to buy/build a VERY simple preamp for my Hi-Fi/Audio Engineering set-up. While I realise this is something that has been asked a million times, I feel I need something specific to my system, which consists of:

Source:
Turntable (Project Debut II - Rega Phono Mini)
Soundcard (Focusrite Pro40 with balanced TRS outs)

Speakers:
LEAK 3090s (specs can be found here).

Amplifier:
I've just upgraded my power amp from an ageing Studiomaster Mosfet 1000 to a Quad 520f (manual here).

Until now I've been using the volume control on my soundcard which has been working out OK, but the only way I can use my turntable is via USB through my laptop, and I'm fairly sure the A/D converters on the Raga aren't that great - it produces a lot of digital noise and generally leaches the sound (at least I hope it's that).

I'm looking for either a kit (I have some soldering skills but would rather not have to scour the internet for individual parts) or a pre-made device. A semi-constructed kit would be ideal, so I could mix and match connections and tailor it to my needs. I'm looking for something with 2 inputs, ideally one RCA and one TRS/mono jack, with either jack or XLR outputs and a simple volume control. I don't want to mess around with valves unless it's a pre-made device, and much as I love the idea of valves I'm big on transparency so it would have to be a subtle colouration at the least. In reality I think I'd prefer as little in my signal chain as possible, hence why I'm looking at taking the DIY approach.

So far all all I've found that's easily available in the UK is this, but I don't how the specs will play with my new amp (I'm really confused as to how this all works in terms of input sensitivity etc.) My budget is anything under 100.

If anyone could point me in the right direction I'd really appreciate it!

All the best,
L

Edit: While it's way over my budget I was also looking at the Pro-Ject Pre Box as a complete solution.

Last edited by BlindMelon7; 20th January 2014 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 20th January 2014, 11:50 AM   #2
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Location: Randers, Denmark
Dantimax have good reputation, but I have not build anything myself

Dantimax (elektronik) - Preamps_-_poweramps
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Old 20th January 2014, 12:07 PM   #3
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Thanks for the link! These guys look perfect.

I'm trying to work out the difference between the Remote 3 (Remote3 - Remote controlled passive preamp) and the RemPre (RemPre - Remote controlled preamp kit).

In terms of input the RemPre suits my needs but I think I'm looking for a passive preamp? (not really sure what the difference is to be honest)

Cheers!
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Old 20th January 2014, 12:26 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Randers, Denmark
A passive preamp have no active components = no amplification or other fun stuff. You might be ok using a passive preamp but it depends on the rest of the system.

There could be some impedance matching problems and line level problems.
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Old 20th January 2014, 12:40 PM   #5
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Yeah, that was mainly what I was confused about. Is there any way of working this out based on the specs of my amp? http://www.meridian-audio.info/publi...%5B1739%5D.pdf

Edit: Input sensitivity 500mV (at full volume)
Input impedance 20kOhm (not sure of the correct capitalisation of that!)

Last edited by BlindMelon7; 20th January 2014 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 20th January 2014, 11:31 PM   #6
alexf is offline alexf  United States
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Location: SF Bay Area
"Passive amp" is an oxymoron: an "amplifier" that doesn't amplify. BS.
A much better term would be an input switch box with volume control.

For the sound card that's all you need. Even the volume can be controlled in the software. If you want to use the power amp with a turntable, a real pre-amp is a must.
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Old 21st January 2014, 09:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexf View Post
"Passive amp" is an oxymoron: an "amplifier" that doesn't amplify. BS.
A much better term would be an input switch box with volume control.

For the sound card that's all you need. Even the volume can be controlled in the software. If you want to use the power amp with a turntable, a real pre-amp is a must.
Even though I already have a dedicated phono pre?
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Old 21st January 2014, 10:22 PM   #8
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A Nelson Pass B1 is a very simple passive pre - in keeping with you littl in the signal path requirement. It can be run off batteries or a plug in transformer which most people have lying around from old electrical things.

The downside is you may have to do some component buying on the internet. Boards and bits are available direct from his website.
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