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Old 7th April 2004, 10:15 AM   #1
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Question Audion sterling phono stage - a good base for future upgrades?

Hi All,

I know this might be better in the analogue section, but it's more about the circuit etc...

I'm needing a phonostage soon, and have found one of these available at a cost I can afford. Is the basic design of this stage right, so that I'll be able to beef up the power supply, upgrade the caps etc later. Or is there a better design that I should look for on the second hand market ?

Cheers

Rob
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Old 8th April 2004, 10:56 PM   #2
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Ok I know I didn't give any info

All I can find is this:

http://www.audion.co.uk/html/premier.html

I believe the sterling is a 2 gain device with passive riaa eq in between.

Any pointers will be appreciated - I know a lot of 'tube' people are also into vinyl......

Pretty please

Rob
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Old 8th April 2004, 11:06 PM   #3
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Hi Rob,

No idea about the phono stage other than what's said on the webpage.

Should be a decent performer, maybe not top notch but still enough potential to dignify it with a few tweaks.

Keep in mind that the output impedance of the phonostage is too high for most solid state gear.
It should be no problem for a valve linestage, which you'll need as there's no volume control as far as I can tell.

If the asking price is fair, why not?

Cheers,
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Old 8th April 2004, 11:10 PM   #4
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Interesting that they don't give a gain figure (normally at 1kHz), but the page you sent me to is badly in need of editing, anyway. With only 2 gain devices, both medium mu, and passive EQ, I'd suspect that gain, RIAA following, and S/N may be a problem with this box. They of course give a rather incomplete S/N spec, too...

All in all, I think you can do better.
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Old 8th April 2004, 11:21 PM   #5
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Hi Frank and Sy,

I'm going to upset a few people here and let you know that I'm aiming for a digital preamp (meridian 561). I'm into home cinema aswell as my vinyl, and only have 1 room, so I decided on the dcx x/o for my main speaker project, fed by the 561 processors digi outs...

Basically i need to offer this unit the best analogue I can afford which is approx 350 (second hand)

I'm willing to attack a kit, but not too confident to build a one-off. Also time may come into play as I can't go without my music (nearly all my stuff is vinyl) while I build something.

Cheers

Rob
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Old 8th April 2004, 11:28 PM   #6
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I'll be interested in Frank's take, but I'd be inclined to go find a piece of second-hand gear (something like a CJ PV series or AR SP6B, for example), just use the phono stage, and then start playing with modding the circuits. A solid base is the easiest place to start a climb.
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Old 8th April 2004, 11:33 PM   #7
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Hi Sy,

Can get a CJ pv6 with phono stage for 450.

Would this beat a dedicated phono stage?

I asked in the valve section as I'd rather use a valve phonostage..

Cheers

Rob

Edit - found an EAR834p for the money too..
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Old 8th April 2004, 11:46 PM   #8
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Hi Rob,

Quote:
I'll be interested in Frank's take, but I'd be inclined to go find a piece of second-hand gear
I'd agree with that.

Quote:
Would this beat a dedicated phono stage?
Question is, how dedicated is it?
I suspect it's just a preamp design split into two units to cover the market demands.
A good pointer is the rather too high output impedance of the phonostage which requires the close proximity of a linestage with high input impedance to work properly.

Quote:
Edit - found an EAR834p for the money too..
When it comes to designing phonostages Tim DP has one of the best track records of the industry.
It's a matter of taste, no doubt, but I always liked his designs.

Cheers,

P.S. Vinyl and a digital preamp???
Good thing you're not in the same room with me.
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Old 8th April 2004, 11:58 PM   #9
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If you want to go with a digital linestage to accompany something like the CJ, just use the tape outs of the preamp and simply ignore all the rest of the baggage. As Frank says, the 5K output Z of the proposed phono stage is unneccessarily high. A CJ will probably do better. I don't know the dP gear well enough to comment on it, but Tim pops in here now and again and might have a comment.
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Old 9th April 2004, 12:05 AM   #10
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Hi Frank - I'll mail them and see if the EAR is still available.

""P.S. Vinyl and a digital preamp???
Good thing you're not in the same room with me.""

I know, I know

Thing is I started building my 3-ways ages ago, and found the less compromises I made, the further away the goal became. I did some op-amp circuits a few weeks ago, and that was only on couple of chips. Decided my 3 way xo's with approx 26 op-amps was way too much work for me and my breadboards. Thought I'd give the dcx digi x/o a chance, and thought a digi av pre-amp would be a smart way of integrating the x/o...(removes the need for a 6 gang passive pot after the unit - 11 gang if I choose to attenuate the center, sub, left,right,rear surrounds

We'll see... If I ever get round to buying my own house I'll be looking at a seperate system for 'serious' listening, and the home cinema for shaking the walls ( that'll probably esl's and di-pole subs for music..)

Thanks for the advice !

Rob

Edit : typed this while Sy posted the above...

Wo'nt be able to buy over easter, so more comments are welcome
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