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habsrock93 30th December 2008 03:15 AM

What do you guys think..
Here's the situation. I just got given my parents record collection and turntable for x-mas (Includes every original bob dylan record in pretty much mint condition) Now to say I'm excited would be a huge understatement. This is the best thing thats ever happened. So, I really want to put some effort out and build a kick *** phono stage. The system that I'v been working on over the past year or so is a tda1541 dac w/tube output, aikido linestage point-point, and a f4 amp. Thats pretty much the only experience I'v had with diy audio. So still kinda new to this.

The two circuits I'v narrowed it down to ( more suggestions would be great ) are PhonoDude and Steve Bench's RIAA. The Cartridge is a MM, and my budget is $1000 dollars. Do you guys think either of these circuits could stand up to a "high-end" mega buck phono stage?

I really want to make a quailty piece of gear that sounds great. Any idea's or suggestions would be much appreciated.



jeffdavison 30th December 2008 03:50 AM

I can personally testify that the Phono-Dude is a great sounding phono stage. I built one up a year ago and it replace my heavily modded Moscode Super-It. It's one of the best sounding phono stages I have heard. I did make my own power supply and used Allen Wrights SuperReg CCS voltage regulator and I used Mullard ECC35's instead of the 5751.

While it hasn't made me want to replace my John Curl Vendetta SCP2, it is almost the equal as far as sound quality.

I originally bought the PC boards he was selling, but I went point to point instead as I wanted to have a separate PS and a smaller footpring chassis than the boards would allow. I have them stashed away in my parts archive.

Very nice circuit a WE420A (Raytheon 5755) MuFollower input -passive RIAA- 5751 MuFollower output. His website says a 12AX7 can be used instead of the 5751, but it has more gain, and this puppy has mucho gain. I went with thte ecc35/6SL7 as it is basically an octal equvalent and I had a bunch laying around. I also integrated some step up transformers cuz I have a very low output MC cartridge.

I have some pics but they are too large to post and this BBS doesn't have an auto-reizer :(


planet10 30th December 2008 04:26 AM

With that kind of budget, i'd be looking to do up Allen Wright's FVP or RTP phono srction.

Kofi has a thread currently running here on the bench RIAA


audiowize 30th December 2008 07:15 PM

"The Cartridge is a MM, and my budget is $1000 dollars."

Spend some of that on a a moving coil cart and a decent set of step up transformers. There will be plenty left to build a very nice phono stage!

45 31st December 2008 12:48 AM

Re: What do you guys think..


The Cartridge is a MM, and my budget is $1000 dollars. Do you guys think either of these circuits could stand up to a "high-end" mega buck phono stage?

I really want to make a quailty piece of gear that sounds great. Any idea's or suggestions would be much appreciated.


Dave [/B]
With $750 I would buy a Dynavector P75 MKII. ;)

Then if you want the best, IMO, you could go for a Dynavector Karat 17D3 cartridge.....


planet10 31st December 2008 06:59 AM

BTW what TT & arm & cart?


habsrock93 1st January 2009 12:05 AM

Thanks for all the reply's! I will definitely consider buying a MC cartridge and transformers. I'm still a little tossed up on what design to use. But realistically , the choices probably all sound really good. The turntable is an old Sansui P-50 with a stock arm and a cheap shure cartridge. I guess it's nothing special, but it will do (for now :) )

So lets say, tentatively, I build Steve's RIAA with quality parts and a external power supply. Then spend what ever is left over on step-up transformers and some more records. (new turntable will have to come later)

Would you guys do it differently?

Have a great new years


audiowize 1st January 2009 12:20 AM

I don't think anybody has asked, but have you built many projects? DIY'ing a phono stage isn't super easy, all iron needs to be isolated from the chassis, DC heaters are almost always mandatory, along with subbers all over the place, etc. Considering a kit isn't a terrible idea. At minimum, I would forget about an external power supply box, that introduces extra noise possibilities that aren't fun to track down.

Instead, shop around for a power transformer with low magnetic radiation (6 k-gauss or so is nice, 11-15 isn't super stellar for a phono pre). A good indicator is a transformer specifically made for phono preamps or one with a copper foil wrap. If you don't see what you need, bug a winder. The winder at Edcor seems to be amenable to making just about anything.

vinylkid58 1st January 2009 01:20 AM


Originally posted by habsrock93
Would you guys do it differently?

With your current cart/table combo I'd forget about LO MC and SUT's. Just concentrate on building a really quiet and accurate phono pre, and buy a better MM cart. if you have any money left over.

A friend recently built an octal phono/preamp very similar to a JE Labs with the external tube PS. He probably spent close to $500 just for the Audio Note resisters and copper foil in oil caps for this build. Needless to say it sounds very good. His table is a Rega P3 with Ortofon OM30 super.


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