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Hauke 28th April 2002 07:03 AM

5842 or EC8010 with OPT!
i just wanna build a preamp like the Euridice: 5842 with preamp opt. Now my questions: Has anyone build this? How does it sound? Which opt should i buy? I thing it will work with the Lundahl LL1660 gapped for 30mA. Are there other alternatives?
Thanx a lot & Greetings from Hamburg


Hauke 30th April 2002 07:59 AM

5842 Preamp with opt!
has anyone experiences with the euridice preamp?

Greetings from Hamburg Hauke

Vinylsavor 30th April 2002 10:25 AM

Hi Hauke,

I have no experience with the Euridice, but with transformer coupled preamps.

I personally think a tube like the EC8010 or 5842 are no good choices for a linestage, unless your sources have very low levels
and you need the amplification of these tubes.

Even with a step down transformer you will have something like
20 dB gain. Quite hefty for a linestage! That means you will have
to throw away a big part of the signal with the volume pot, which usually compromises sound.

If you want to get the maximum benefit from a transformercoupled linstage with low Zout, you need to place a low impedance volume control (i.e. 600) at the output.

But then you will have the problem of overload at the tubes' grids.
typical line output level of a CD player is 2V RMS, which is close to
6V pk-pk. These tubes are usually biased around 2-3V, which
would be barely enough and mean that you overload them permanently. Even if you stress it and run them at 4V bias and low current you have a mere 3dB of headroom and the tubes opwerate in a fairly non linear region.

My sugestions:

Use a tube which runs at higher (preferably much higher) grid bias. I.e. 27, 56, 76, 6J5, 6SN7 or better yet a directly heated
tube like 26 or 10/801 (my favorite)

Alternatively you can step down the voltage with an 4:1 input transformer. This would give you two benefits: The tube sees a very low DC resistance to ground (high gm tubes like that) and
you can drive a low impedance volume control which by this input transformer.

Just some thoughts, I can elaborate further if you're interested.

Viele Gruesse nach Hamburg aus dem sonnigen Muenchen


Hauke 30th April 2002 10:50 AM

Hello Thomas,
thanx for your fast reply! First my introducion why i need a linestage with opt: I want to listen with my HD 600 earphones and i wanna drive several amps (biamping in future). So i need a lower output R. I have some #26,#76 in stock. I also looked at the wot amp:
but what transformer should i buy? The Bartolluccis are very expensive, and i wanna be flexible in future.
Have you got schematics with the 6SN7?
Greetings Hauke

Vinylsavor 30th April 2002 11:44 AM


I suggest that you first determine the gain you need. This obviously depends on the output level of your sources and on the sensitivity of your power amp(s) and to some degree on
the sensitivity of your speakers.

Then you should get a clear picture of the impedance you
need to drive with your pre. I.e. 600 Ohms for the headphone ?
Based on that you can set a target for the Zout (preferably one third or less of the impedance you want to drive).

Based on that you can make a good choice of tube and transformer.

The best line output transformer I came across so far is the Lundahl LL1660.

I have no schematic with 6SN7, but trannie coupled linestages are very simple. You can work with the Euridice schematic and make the necessary adaptions.


tõnu 30th April 2002 01:33 PM

Is this correct?
2 Attachment(s)
Hi Thomas and all

Also plan use 5842 in my setup.Can you check is it correct and logical on added ´´schema´´.
I wont try the Sovtek 2A3(have pair)as pseudo 45.


Vinylsavor 30th April 2002 01:57 PM


I can't see anything obvioulsy wrong with your circuit.
I think it will work.

However I have my reservations against the use of the 5842 as driver tube as I mentioned already. But this is a matter of taste, or lets say philosophy.

In order to get full power output, you will drive the driver tube at it's limit. That means it will contribute considerably to the total distortion. Now some people say that the 5842's distrotion spectrum harmonises well with that of a typical DHT.

However I see that as playing with distortion and the outcome is not really predictable. Since the driver tube needs to work quite hard, slight changes in bias will change it's distortion spectrum, which will produce a different blend with the output tube.

You have virtually zero headroom in the driver.

My philosophy is to have just enough gain in the system, but plenty of headroom. I shoot for a minimum of 12dB in the driver stage. This way the driver contributes very little to the harmonic spectrum of the amp. Its dominated by the output tube. This way the result is more predictable and needs less voicing. With such a headroom I can vary the driver bias a lot without noticably changing the sonic character of the amp.

I too use a DAC with resistor I/V conversion and a step up transformer. However my experience is that such current output DACs start to sound nasty if there is a large voltage swing on the current output. I shoot for something like 20mV (in my case a PCM1704). But that requires an additional gain stage. I see that you tried to do the whole amplification with as little stages as possible. I learned not to try to get the maximum out of each stage and rather use 3 stages which don't work so hard and have plenty of headroom.

It's years since I used the TDA1541 (I still have some gold crowns lying around). So I don't remember if they have considerable DC offset. You might want to check that. Even a few micro Amps can saturate the core of such small signal trannies. check the datasheet of the TDA1542 for the max offset and check with the trannie winder how much DC it can tolerate.

Please don't see my comments as critique, I just described my design philosophy. It doesn't mean that your circuit is necessarily bad sounding. In fact it can well be that it's exactly to your taste.

Try it, if it doesn't work out for you, than try some mods.

Oh one last comment: The output impedance of the 1:15 with the 20 Ohm at its input is something like 4500 Ohm. Don't know how the Amplimo is spec'ed, But I would use a lower impedance pot, like 10kOhm. The 5842 has a high Miller capacitance which forms a high pass filter with the 50 kOhm pot.

Also add a 'safety' resistor from the wiper to ground, say 470k. Just in case the wiper looses contact, so that the grid still has a DC path to ground.

Best regards


tõnu 30th April 2002 02:46 PM

tubestage vice 1:15 transformer?
Thanks Thomas for good comment!

Maybe is better dont use any transformer at all?!
and use an extra stage with 5842 or 6C45P-E (have pair of both)like Lesha. I did so before got Amplimo TM-3 and remember sound was somehow warmer.After adding 1:15 transformers sound changed a little agressive. For 2A3(maybe some good nos 45 in future)driver use some suitable DHT. Any idea or schema where 45 used with DHT driver, what DHT?


Vinylsavor 30th April 2002 03:02 PM


nothing against the transformer. In fact I'm a big fan of
transformercoupling. But I try not to use excessively
high winding ratios. Except for MC step up and OPT I
try to stick with 1:4 or less. Higher ratios usually need
compromises in other areas.

In addition the transformer provides some 'natural'
filtering of the HF garbage which is present at the DAC
output. Plus and this is a big plus, it offers the opportunity
to isolate the DAC electrically from the amp (isolated grounds).

I do exactly that in my DAC which uses the BB PCM1704 with
resistor I/V and Lundahl LL7903 1:4 step up. Followed
by a EC8020 gain stage with Lundahl LL1660 4.5:1 step down
line output.

A nice DHT driver for the 45 would be the 26.


tõnu 30th April 2002 03:33 PM

Can you check it
Thanks Thomas again! I have pair of Lundahl´s
LL7902 line inputs. It can be used 1:1 and 1:2.
Can you check it. Maybe it is usefull between
1541 and 5842/6S45P-E. What do you think?


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