High Quality Phono stage kit, looking for ideas

gthang

Member
2010-12-28 10:13 am
Hi all.
I'm starting to think about new projects to occupy me over the winter. I'd like to build low powered SET amp and also a phono stage.

My (DIY Lenco based) turntable can accommodate up to 4 arms and carts at the same time. To make the best of things I need a phono stage with 4 inputs. I'm not able to design electronics but can follow instructions, solder and build things. I'd like some ideas please, idealy links to phono stage kits I can buy and adapt to include a switch and 4 inputs. 4 x MM is fine as I'll use SUT for my MCs.

So far I've found and like the look of this (should be possible to add more inputs and a swtich) VS Phono Stage with LCR Modules (kit)

Please post links to any more high quality phono stage kits you know of, valve or SS

Thank you very much.
Graham
 
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Aikido Phono or Tetra Phono

My 2 cents worth.

You may want to consider John Broskie's designs. Either the Aikido Phono or the Tetra Phono. Either blank pcb's or partial kits may be found at Phono Preamps

I have bought and built 2 Aikido Phono preamps; one for my self and the other for a friend.

The Aikido Phono is excellent and sounds simply fabulous in comparison with my Linsley Hood Phono preamp , Audio Research PH-1 and a cheapo Rotel RQ970.

It now has a permanent place in my system.

I dont think you can go wrong with either of Broskie's designs. Although I haven't tried the Tetra Phono, I would venture a guess that it would be an equally good design.

Thanks
 
I would highly recommend the Budgie from Shannon Parks DIYTube.com. I have compared it at a friends house with multiple phonostages including a Marantz 7c and the budgie beats it hands down. As an added bonus it's reasonably inexpensive to build. Shannon's forum has all the help you could ever need.
Paul
 
Hi all.

Please post links to any more high quality phono stage kits you know of, valve or SS

Thank you very much.
Graham

There is also the Hagtech Cornet 2 / 3 (not sure if the '3' is out yet).

Or the Elliott Sound Products P06.

You can Google these easy enough.

I suspect the Salas one will beat the others, hands down, though.

Regards,

Andy
 

gthang

Member
2010-12-28 10:13 am
I've had a good look at the Salas one, while I could build it I'm too much of a novice for something like that as it assumes greater knowledge than I have. I will spend far too much time trying to understand what I need to buy beyond the PCB(s) and the mini kit. Shame, as no doubt it will be very good.

The Hagtech Cornet 2 looks like a good stage, however I have similar issues with that one and the case doesn't easily allow for extra inputs to be added.

I think perhaps I'm trying to punch above my weight so to speak with the idea of building a phono stage. I lack experience in bringing all the parts needed into one place to actually put it together. They all require a more solid understanding than I have.

Thanks very much for all the ideas and links.
 
The Hagtech Cornet 2 looks like a good stage, however I have similar issues with that one and the case doesn't easily allow for extra inputs to be added.

You don't have to use the Lansing case which Jim specifies in the BoM - I have used the one which is 2" longer. This means you do away with the PCB-mounted RCA in/out sockets (mine are much higher-quality sockets mounted on the back panel, with wire connection to the PCB - likewise the mono switch on the front).

Not quite sure what you're thinking when you say "the case doesn't easily allow for extra inputs to be added"? I always add 2 parallel RCA sockets to each channel, for 'C' and 'R' cartridge loading - and the longer case enables you to do this. But you don't want to use a selector switch to choose which of your arms is connected to the phono stage ... a switch in the low signal level from a cartridge damages the signal, IMO.

The only problem with the Cornet IMO, is the fact that it uses tubes - with their attendant high voltages. So you might like to start off on the Hagtech 'Bugle2', to get some experience under your belt. Again, you can use another case and put in case-mounted RCA sockets.


Regards,

Andy
 
Hi,

It is not difficult to add multiple switched inputs to a phono stage,
and ignore those who say you can't, no point building 4 phono
stages just to move the switching required to line level.

Of course you can if you want to mix and match 4 different
arms with many cartridges and SUT's to 4 phono stages.

What phono stage I can't possibly comment, other than
the differences between decent designs are minimal,
and decent design is everything, not the schematic.

rgds, sreten.
 
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Hi,

It is not difficult to add multiple switched inputs to a phono stage,
and ignore those who say you can't ...

rgds, sreten.

Well of course it's not difficult to do this, sreten - the question is ... will having an input selector switch produce a worse-sounding phono stage than if you don't have this switch. ;)

A mate of mine who developed the phono stage I've been using for the last 10 years found that with his current (excellent-sounding) upgraded Doge 8 preamp (with inbuilt MM/MC phono stage), the sound from his Grado Reference Reference1 MM cartridge improved when he removed the 'MM/MC' switch and hardwired the MM input sockets to the PCB.

He also found, on another phono stage, when he removed the mono switch (at the input) ... it sounded better. :eek:

This says to me that switches in the extremely low-level signal path from a cartridge, degrade the sound (compared to not having them).


Regards,

Andy
 
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gthang

Member
2010-12-28 10:13 am
Thanks chaps,
TBH I'm not really looking to debate the use of switches. I have no issues using a quality switch in the low level signal chain and will not lose any sleep over it. To put that into perspective I use the cheapest interconnects and speaker cables in my system and drink alcohol when using my TT :D

That said, I'll be using a SUT for MCs so the switch will see MM signal levels. I want to keep the switch on the back so the internal cables are kept as short as possible, I hope to use an extension bar to link to the control knob on the front panel. I'll just need to find a decent switch and suitable mounting hardware to achieve the above. (and decide on a 'stage)
 

Mr Onion

Member
2012-02-10 1:43 pm
This is the inside of my Pre amp

[IMGHTTPDEAD]http://s19.postimg.org/bgbwlbin7/screenshot_555.jpg[/IMGHTTPDEAD]

The switch is a Elma 2 pole, 6 way. I suggest that you use a 4 pole 6 way to switch the grounds as well to prevent interference from the other arm/cart's. Make sure you use a 'non shorting' type switch.

The extension rod is at the bottom left of the same page.

Mount the switch in just front of the sockets and join with short flying wires.

That with a VSPS will probably be your best solution. (sorry I missed the MM only in your first post. the PC3 I suggested earlier is MC only)
 

gthang

Member
2010-12-28 10:13 am
Thanks for posting the picture. That is exactly what I had in mind. I notice theres a couple of suitable 4 pole switches on hificollective, I will choses on of thoses. The rjm kit for $150 looks just about right, Ill be ok with the psu as well from what ive read.
Ill post a new thread once ive actually built something.
Cheers all.
 
To the OP - having multiple inputs on a phonostage is a recipe for noise. That's why you will rarely, if ever see it. And your loading will be sub-optimal for various cartridges, save one.

6L6 - do you really mean "having multiple switched inputs on a phonostage is a recipe for noise"? :confused:

Because every phono stage I have ever made always has 2 extra RCA sockets in parallel with the main socket for the phono cable - ie. "multiple inputs" - and I have never noticed any extra noise (particularly on the battery-powered units which, as you might expect, are "extra quiet").

These parallel RCA sockets are for infinitely adjusting 'R' and 'C' loading, via 'loaded' plugs.


Regards,

Andy