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Wayne, Nelson and Karen:  New Pearl was born last night
Wayne, Nelson and Karen:  New Pearl was born last night
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Old 3rd January 2004, 04:54 PM   #1
dshoaf is offline dshoaf
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Default Wayne, Nelson and Karen: New Pearl was born last night

Finished my first PassDIY project last night and wanted to share my reaction.

A little background

I've built the Pearl preamp thinking that I'd use it for a while until I decided whether I'd use it to transfer some old LPs I still have that have never been released in CD formats. I purchased a used Sony TT just like I had back in the 70s and got a low-end Benz cartridge for it in preparation.

So, last night I inserted the Pearl into the garage system for burn-in, thinking I'd need to let it cook for a while after I confirmed that everything was working and had worked out some grounding issues.

Put on an LP and stood back just to see what it would sound like stone-cold, so to speak. Well, the little Yamaha speakers just about jumped off the shelf and KD Lang's voice totally filled the garage - so much so that my wife came out to see who was singing!

Well, the Pearl is not going to burn in out in the garage and is, as I write, running in my living room system. I'm off to the local used LP store here in Santa Cruz to dumpster dive and will not bother with transfering LPs to CD.

Some suggestions for assembly for others considering the Pearl

* A well-built case for it can be gotten from Elecraft of Aptos, CA (www.elecraft.com). Look for the EC-2 case. The two Pearl boards will mount, in sandwiched form, inside. That is, one board mounted on the top, upside down and one mounted on the floor of the case right-side up. This is a well-known amateur radio company but they do market their cases separately in blank form for DIYers.

* Get the Q-kit along with the boards. Its got all the semi-conductors except the 9V zener diode. Thanks, Karen, for making this available.

* All the rest of the components came from the suggested suppliers. I didn't find any typos on the bill of materials from the Wayne's article.

* Use RCA connectors that are isolated from the case as the grounding of the boards requires it.

* Grounding: The rev1 Pearl boards do not appear to have the signal and power supply grounds tied together on the board. Testing the board's operating voltages prior to mounting the boards into a suitable enclosure and wiring up the grounds will lead you to think there's something wrong with your insertion of the components. This is an extra problem when you're doing the final assembly late at night - typical for us DIYers, I suppose. I got around this problem by temporarily ground the two traces while I tested for circuit voltages and currents.

I'll post some pics for the gallery soon.

Thanks again too all for the excellent design. Now, on to a pre amp. I'm stoked.


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