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Old 6th January 2015, 02:01 AM   #1
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Default BA-3 as preamp or rebuild B1

I'm currently using a B1 between a Pearl 2 and F5. I have increased the gain on the Pearl 2 from stock since my cartrige output is .5 mV. My speakers have a sensitivity 91.5. So with the potentiometers turned all the way up the system can get loud enough for me. I could increase the gain on the F5 if I needed a little more volume.

I would like to upgrade the line stage as my next project. I've been reading about the BA-3 as preamp and thinking that might be the way to go. But then again I could upgrade the B1 with stepped attenuators and new power supply. I know the BA-3 front end would have more gain than I need but it could give me the possibility of building an F4 in the future.

Any Ideas?

Thanks
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Old 6th January 2015, 03:32 AM   #2
erin is offline erin  Australia
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I never heard the BA-3. Depends if you are looking for a different sound or not.

The B1 is hard to beat. Its extremely transparent and natural sounding.

I recon build the F4 first then think about your preamp.
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Old 6th January 2015, 03:36 AM   #3
ammel68 is offline ammel68  United States
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Default No comparison...

Having built both, I think the BA-3 sounds MUCH better than any B1.
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Old 6th January 2015, 03:36 AM   #4
Hikari1 is online now Hikari1  United States
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I am using a BA-3 in front of a F5 into Focal 714Vs.

Here's my BA-3 (Post 295)
BA-3 As Preamp

I used a passive preamp with and without a tube buffer for a while into the F5. Even used the MC section of my phono stage w/a HOMC cart for more gain (yes, a changed the loading to 47K). Didn't do it for me. I even pumped up the gain resistors on the F5 to 200 ohm. It sounded good but not what I was after.

I cobbled together a Jfet BOZ and bam...immediate gratification. Slam and bass, no downsides I felt.

Put together a BA-3 front end and it was even better. Plus, the P3 pot on the BA-3 really lets you dial in the sound you are looking for. I wouldn't worry about too much gain. With a CD player or 40 gain phono stage and MM cart I still use up 3/4 of the volume knob on occasion. I haven't heard any clipping. To my ears the BA3 is more like 20 gain or so. I felt the Jfet boz had more gain.

I could see the passive/F5 approach working for small scale jazz or some types of music where transparency and delicacy are valued. It worked better with CD than vinyl, which made me mad. But for rock or or classical the F5 plus preamp was better for me. No contest. Especially with vinyl...
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Old 6th January 2015, 03:50 AM   #5
6L6 is offline 6L6  United States
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The ba-3 is so much better sounding than the b1 it's a no brainer.
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Old 6th January 2015, 04:17 AM   #6
erin is offline erin  Australia
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I never heard of it until today.
Can you describe where it sounds better?
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Old 6th January 2015, 04:36 AM   #7
Hikari1 is online now Hikari1  United States
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B1 is a passive preamp, no gain. Actually negative gain. BA-3, that we are discussing here is actually the front end of the BA-3 series used as a preamp.

Here's Nelson's write up:

Burning Amplifier BA-3

Too me it sounds better with the F5 in every way, the f5 has pretty low gain in the amp.
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Old 6th January 2015, 04:41 AM   #8
Hikari1 is online now Hikari1  United States
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Kevin:

If you have 2 10f caps and 2 matched 2k170 you can cobble together a Jfet boz with batteries pretty quick as a test. Actually, you have these items now...they are in your B1. You can use this or any other good preamp to see if you like the sound of your F5 with a preamp. Perhaps you have a friend close by or a shop that demos equipment...
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Old 6th January 2015, 05:02 AM   #9
erin is offline erin  Australia
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The thread was also asking about the B1.
Still no one can describe how the BA-3 sounds better?
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Old 6th January 2015, 05:38 AM   #10
ammel68 is offline ammel68  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erin View Post
Still no one can describe how the BA-3 sounds better?
Sure...where the B1 sounds flat and lifeless(I think you describe it as "transparent"), the BA-3 sounds more "alive" in the mids and highs combined with more balls in the lower registers.

After building and hearing the BA-3, I threw my B1 in the trash.
I guess I should have removed those expensive and hard-to-find Toshiba JFETs first, though.
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