Posted 21st April 2017 at 01:05 AM byrjm (RJM Audio Blog)
Updated 21st April 2017 at 04:44 AM byrjm(revised to 2.0g (capacitors C9 and C10 misslabelled))
In hindsight the original CrystalFET suffered from overreach. To obtain the 55 dB midband gain required for an MC phono stage lots of other things I might have wanted to build into the design like degenerative feedback were discarded.
Degenerative feedback as it applies to JFET amplifiers is the practice of leaving the source resistor partially or completely unbypassed. It reduces the voltage gain, but linearizes the dynamic operation of the amplifier - coercing the gain to the ratio of the source and drain resistors rather than leaving it defined by the JFET transconductance. The circuit gain can then be fixed by the designer without worrying so much about matching devices.
The CrystalFET circuit is a traditional two stage passive photo preamplifier design, the only novelty here is the addition of a second JFET configured as a source follower to each amplifier stage. To obtain above 50 dB gain no degenerative feedback could be used, and the JFETs had to be not...