Phono preamp recommendations wanted

delapoer

Member
2004-05-31 6:03 pm
UK
I'd like to build a phono preamp to significantly better the Rotel RQ970BX which I have had for many years. I want it to only be MM compatible and also solid state. Ideally it would be in kit form but as a minimum available as an unpopulated pcb. Is there an acknowledged leader, or leaders, in this field?
 

SY

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-10-24 10:19 pm
Chicagoland
www.SYclotron.com
That does look very tempting! Thanks for the link, I will look further. I could easily use my existing Rotel box and PSU I guess but will it be a lot better sounding?

Probably not significantly different- Rotel's phono stage is pretty decent, and likely Dan's is as well. For MM, the big neglected factor is cartridge loading. Get that right and you've got half the battle won.
 
Hi,

Guessing something will be a lot better sounding - is simply guessing.

YMMV but IMHO any decent piece of amplifier kit is hard to significantly better.
Better is more usually better system matching, and that is very hard to predict.

The Rotel has a discrete LTP input driving an AD744 in the first stage
and that drives a NE5534 second stage. Service manual is here :
B&W Group North America Service & Support - Service Manuals

Replacing all signal, not power supply, electrolytic caps is an idea,
(but of course you could replace all of the electrolytics), upping the
values as modern electrolytic capacitors are smaller and much better
than the older types due to the advent of switching power supplies.

Panasonic types are well rated I understand.

rgds, sreten.
 
Last edited:

delapoer

Member
2004-05-31 6:03 pm
UK
I knew that the Rotel was well thought of but I guessed there would be upgrades in sound quality by now. I had thought of replacing some components with more accurate ones.

Probably not significantly different- Rotel's phono stage is pretty decent, and likely Dan's is as well. For MM, the big neglected factor is cartridge loading. Get that right and you've got half the battle won.
 

delapoer

Member
2004-05-31 6:03 pm
UK
I had thought that, since the Rotel was a pretty modest price, there would be generally recognised better designs. Thanks for the link, I will study the diagram. I had also thought of replacing some components in the Rotel with more modern ones.

Hi,

Guessing something will be a lot better sounding - is simply guessing.

YMMV but IMHO any decent piece of amplifier kit is hard to significantly better.
Better is more usually better system matching, and that is very hard to predict.

The Rotel has a discrete LTP input driving an AD744 in the first stage
and that drives a NE5534 second stage. Service manual is here :
B&W Group North America Service & Support - Service Manuals

Replacing all signal, not power supply, electrolytic caps is an idea,
(but of course you could replace all of the electrolytics), upping the
values as modern electrolytic capacitors are smaller and much better
than the older types due to the advent of switching power supplies.

Panasonic types are well rated I understand.

rgds, sreten.
 
I would advise building the Salas Simplistic phono. I had the Rotel you had, replaced it with a Acoustec PH1-P. This was a major upgrade. I replaced the PH1-P with the Salas and got another jump in performance. The boards that Tea-Bag sells in the GB are very well done and Salas is a great help if needed. This option is a little more expensive than some of the others, but it is well worth every penny.
 

delapoer

Member
2004-05-31 6:03 pm
UK
It seems to be a very good one from what people are sayng but I think I missed the GB deadline by a few weeks.

I would advise building the Salas Simplistic phono. I had the Rotel you had, replaced it with a Acoustec PH1-P. This was a major upgrade. I replaced the PH1-P with the Salas and got another jump in performance. The boards that Tea-Bag sells in the GB are very well done and Salas is a great help if needed. This option is a little more expensive than some of the others, but it is well worth every penny.
 
Salas phono is amazing. I built it on perfboard. I think I still have a pdf of the layout if you are interested. It's not to hard to build on perfboard.

Another to consider is the booze hound jfet stage. Had that, it was nice, better than the stages in my rotel and carver preamps and it is cheap.

The bugle is also an option, as well as the pass pearl.
 
Can you tell me why, and do you know which diy designs use this?

sorry for not being clear, talking about salas simplistic riaa. there is building guide pdf in first post, first stage cascoded only version at page 16 of thread.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analogue-source/129126-simplistic-njfet-riaa-16.html

input capacitance combined with cabling capacitance is a bit high for some MM's , cascoded version is reducing input capacitance.
dont know how your rotel riaa is performing, but this is best sounding preamp i ever listened to. is simple enough to build it PTP, without PCB.