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DIY Phono Stage Recommendation
DIY Phono Stage Recommendation
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Old 13th January 2019, 11:51 PM   #1
Enochrome is offline Enochrome  United States
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Default DIY Phono Stage Recommendation

Hi All,

Does anyone have recommendations for a diy phono stage kit? I think I want to prioritize a really low noise floor. Other attributes are important, but after experiencing a Klyne phono stage and it's noise floor (or lack thereof) I think that falls in line first.

I've checked out the glassware kits, but I don't know the differences and advantages of the tetra vs. the aikido?

As well, the Pass Pearl 2 DIY looks really interesting but I just discovered that it can be used as an MC stage by adjusting the gain. In that you can use it for moving coils, I'm wondering if the noise floor is affected by increasing the gain?

Thanks for any future suggestions.
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Old 13th January 2019, 11:57 PM   #2
adason is offline adason  United States
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Pearl 2?
Board and guarantied original and matched jfets available from Nelson.
Will not disappoint!
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Old 14th January 2019, 09:02 PM   #3
gigigirl is offline gigigirl
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Default Depending on what you want

Hi, Depending on what you want, an MC or MM phono stage. The quietest & certainly one of the best sounding MC phono stages is the AD797 shown on the A/K site. Reportedly better than the Pearl 2 (when used with MC) 47 labs Phono amp and many others.
For MM luckily there is now a development thread for an MM version of this MM phono also on the A/K site

The other plus with the AD797 is it can be build for around $150, which is a lot cheaper than the pearl 2 can be built for.

Cheers
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Old 14th January 2019, 09:16 PM   #4
carlsor is online now carlsor  United States
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I built the Vacuum Tube Audio PH16 phono preamp which is MM only, but is dead quiet.
Sounds more musical than the Ayre P-5xe that I used to own. Lots of positive reviews.
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Old 14th January 2019, 09:40 PM   #5
WntrMute2 is offline WntrMute2  United States
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I have built RJM's PhonoClone 3, his VSPS and the Hypnotoad AD797 phono stage which I built as a true dual mono phono stage.
The AD797 uses a chip (not the 797) that I believe is hard to source at the moment. I think you'd be happy with RJM's stuff and there is awesome support here on DIY Audio!

The Phonoclone and VSPS PCB Help Desk

RJM offers a kit and delivery is fast from Japan. You'll have to construct a power supply which is easy and directions are on his website. RJM Audio

AD797 Phono Stage Build and Help Desk Thread | Page 72 | Audiokarma Home Audio Stereo Discussion Forums

Sachu88 often has boards for this and a power supply at good prices and surprisingly fast delivery from India.

I'd probably use the RJM stuff as is is more fully supported by Richard and he has new stuff such as the Emerald coming out all the time.
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Old 14th January 2019, 09:51 PM   #6
gdan is offline gdan  Greece
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DIY Phono Stage Recommendation
You can check this if you are interested for a MC pre-amplifier:

The MC100 - A High-Quality Moving Coil RIAA Preamplifier | audioXpress
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Old 14th January 2019, 11:50 PM   #7
Enochrome is offline Enochrome  United States
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These are all great!! Wow. I think I will try the RJM and see what it does. I like that there are boards for it and the help if I need any. This is based on the 47 Labs design? This seems to have low noise in mind. Could this be run off batteries?



The Pearl looks interesting. I'll have to spec how much it will be to make, since the boards alone are $200. Why don't they offer this through the DiyAudio store?



I could also if time and money allows try the tube MM stage mentioned because I do have an MM cartridge. Although, tubes might take a little more patience and concentration


I really want to start making things. I'm going to try the Whammy also, and may start that first for the learning curve.



Thanks for all this info and if there is any more info and suggestions I am all ears/eyes!
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Old 15th January 2019, 12:37 AM   #8
ra7 is offline ra7  United States
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DIY Phono Stage Recommendation
I have the Pearl II and it beat out a top-of-the-line Audio Research by a mile. Low, very low, noise floor, wide bandwidth, and superb in every other aspect. A true high end design and execution, IMO. I have the Bottlehead Seduction and my own versions of opamp-based flat gain preamps, but they are yet to come close to the Pearl II. Will not disappoint.
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Old 15th January 2019, 12:50 AM   #9
tommydoan84 is offline tommydoan84  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ra7 View Post
I have the Pearl II and it beat out a top-of-the-line Audio Research by a mile. Low, very low, noise floor, wide bandwidth, and superb in every other aspect. A true high end design and execution, IMO. I have the Bottlehead Seduction and my own versions of opamp-based flat gain preamps, but they are yet to come close to the Pearl II. Will not disappoint.
Agreed. For MC Phono stage, I have built RJM's phono, AD797, and Pearl 2 and a few other kits Boozhound lab, etc. To my ears, Pearl 2 is the best in term of sonic quality! I heard Salas Folded Cascode phono stage is comparable to Pearl 2 but I have not built it myself. I got the board and parts for Salas Phono but did not have the time to build it yet. It's one of my future pending DIY project.

Cheers,
Tom
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FW PASS Aleph J, F4, B1, B3, ACA, M2, MOFO, Pearl 2 Phono Preamp, CNC phono pre, RJM PhonoClone 4.4s, Open Baffle speakers
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Old 15th January 2019, 01:41 AM   #10
Enochrome is offline Enochrome  United States
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Oh man! Ok. Let me think. Is there a BOM for the Pearl? If I buy the boards do they send the BOM with it? What about a power supply? Any recommendations?
If I could get 60db out of it with a low noise floor, I would be a happy camper.
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