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Old 13th June 2007, 04:32 PM   #1
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Default Seduction or Cornet for phono???

I recently rescued a number of my vinyl albums from my folks place in England. They survived the trip back to Phoenix in spite of US Ariways' best attempts to destroy them. This means that I now have to consider the phono preamp and turntable.

If I buy a new turntable, then I'll likely go Rega (maybe P1 or P2) they come with MM cartridges.

My other choice is that of phono preamp.

After a bit of searching, I have selected the Bottlehead Seduction and the Hagerman Cornet for further consideration.

As I am new to DIY phono, I have a number of questions:

1. My Aikido preamp (using four 6SN7s) has a gain of around 18dB (maybe a little higher). Will the 40dB and the 44dB gains of the Seduction and Cornet respectively be sufficient???

2. Does anyone have any personal opinions of either of these?? The Bottlehead would be cheaper ($279) whereas the Cornet2 esitmates around $400 worth of parts.

3. Having had such anguish from building my Aikido, I would seriously like to buy a kit that likely has been troubleshooted already as far as noise is concerned. Are there any other kits that I should consider??

Thank-you,
Charlie
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Old 13th June 2007, 05:02 PM   #2
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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I'm quite familiar with the Hagerman Cornet, great little phono stage, which I strongly recommend. (Musical, excellent detail and very quiet when built according to the manual.)

I reviewed it a couple of years ago in Positive Feedback Online and you should be able to find it in the archive.

I think either of these phono stages will have enough gain to use with your Aikido.
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Old 13th June 2007, 05:20 PM   #3
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Default Aikido Phono

You have heard my Aikido phono but I have made a few minor revisions that I think make it even quieter and better sounding. It is higher gain than the two you are looking at and I go straight in to the power amp (second aikido phono stage doubles as CD input line amp). Your an Aikido build expert by now so the phono section would probably be a piece of cake. Luck!
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Old 13th June 2007, 06:43 PM   #4
jduffy is offline jduffy  United States
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Default Re: Seduction or Cornet for phono???

Quote:
Originally posted by cbutterworth


The Bottlehead would be cheaper ($279) whereas the Cornet2 estimates around $400 worth of parts.

Not necessarily true. I built the Cornet2 for around $235 including tubes. I went crazy cheap hunting down parts but it was a good time with fantastic results. I imagine about $325 would be a reasonable total.

Added plus with the Cornet2 is build time. Populating a PCB is so easy compared to point to point. It took me about a night. Hardest part was cutting the holes in a Hammond chassis. Took about an afternoon with some hole saws.

Enjoy your build.
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Old 13th June 2007, 07:24 PM   #5
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Bruce,

I have considered building an Aikido phono, but I don't think that I can afford the time to troubleshoot. On top of that, the new baby's occupying Kara's old room, forcing us to use our guest room as shared project room / guest room. This means that I cannot commandeer space for weeks on end while I get an Aikido phono built.

I suppose that once I source parts for the Cornet2 - cheap (as jduffy suggests) and with upgraded parts, it'll then be crunch time.

Either way, it'll warrant a get together to side-by-side with your creations.

Anyway, I now have some of my vinyl favorites - mainly Pink Floyd, but also Klaus Schulze, Yes, as well as an almost pristine box set of Pablo Casals playing the Back cello suite (recorded in the late 1930's).

Mind you, I also need to invest in a turntable!


Charlie
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Old 13th June 2007, 11:40 PM   #6
jduffy is offline jduffy  United States
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Funny you mention Pink Floyd as I've been listening to Meddle through the Cornet2. Great detail and still my favorite Floyd album.

Best of luck with all your projects.
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Old 13th June 2007, 11:54 PM   #7
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I am looking forward to playing my original UK vinyl versions of Atom Heart Mother, Animals, Dark Side of the Moon, Ummagumma, etc. I also just noticed that my Bob Dylan bootleg His Gotham Ingress is in mono!

My only question is one of gain and whether there'll be enough with the Cornet2. What I would really like is to be able to play my vinyl at the same volume setting as my CD-player. This means that the phono signal needs to be boosted from 3mV for a Rega MM to around 2V (what Rega reckon comes out of their Apollo). Assuming that my calculations are correct, this will require around 60dB of gain. It would be annoying if I had to remove my extra attenuation in the power amp (a simple, single l-pad) and create separate ones for each non-phono input on the preamp.

Maybe I could add a step-up transformer to the cornet2?

Charlie
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Old 14th June 2007, 01:03 AM   #8
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" Funny you mention Pink Floyd ..."

" ... just noticed that my Bob Dylan bootleg His Gotham Ingress is in mono ..."

" ... What I would really like is to be able to play my vinyl at the same volume setting as my CD-player. ..."

"CDs suck ..." - Bob Dylan in recent Rolling Stone interview. Thus, difference between night & day, CD v. http://www.elusivedisc.com/prodinfo....er=SONLPH60611
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Old 14th June 2007, 03:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
My only question is one of gain and whether there'll be enough with the Cornet2. What I would really like is to be able to play my vinyl at the same volume setting as my CD-player. This means that the phono signal needs to be boosted from 3mV for a Rega MM to around 2V (what Rega reckon comes out of their Apollo). Assuming that my calculations are correct, this will require around 60dB of gain. It would be annoying if I had to remove my extra attenuation in the power amp (a simple, single l-pad) and create separate ones for each non-phono input on the preamp.

Charlie,

Other than CD, what are your line level sources? If (as I suspect) they have level controls, the place to put extra attenuation is inside the RCA plugs of the CDP cables at the preamp end, not in the power amp.

AFAIK, no kit phono stage has 60 dB. of net gain. You'd be in the scratch build situation and you indicated that's undesireable.
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Old 14th June 2007, 04:37 AM   #10
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Eli,

My other sources are DVD, TV, iPod, and tuner. Of these, only the iPod has level control. However, I do notice that the DVD, TV and tuner are slightly lower in volume than the CD-player.

I expect that I'll build the Cornet2 and tame the cd-player to give similar listening levels as the phono.

Charlie
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