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Old 9th June 2021, 03:37 AM   #151
maxandamelia is offline maxandamelia
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I’ve had mine finished and running for a couple weeks now. It has a great, wide open sound but I’m also getting some noise at high volumes. With my turntable off, near the upper end of any volume I’d ever listen to, I can hear a clear rumble or hiss from both channels. It’s not an electric sounding hum or buzz and it’s not present when I swap in my old solid state phono stage (NAD phono pp2, which doesn’t have a subsonic filter afaik). This is my first tube phono amp. Is that noise just to be expected or is there a problem area I should be looking at? All voltages on the plates measured within range and all components appeared to be in the right spots when I finished the build originally. Wiring from the transformer is routed as shown in the manual. Thanks!
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Old 9th June 2021, 11:08 PM   #152
canonken is offline canonken  United States
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EQ1616D Phono Amp
Has anyone here built this that considers themselves 'less experienced' with these types of projects? I have built a Bottlehead Reduction and ACA and those were no problem for me, though I took a LONG time to do them just to be careful.

It looks like the factory assembled piece is a work of art in terms of how methodically and carefully it is assembled. It looks like you pay $450 for assembly - while I know this is a DIY forum, this seems to be a 'lifetime' component and there is value in knowing it was done perfectly and beautifully and I would never second guess my own work.

Thanks!
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Old 10th June 2021, 12:06 PM   #153
Ray77 is offline Ray77  Canada
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I think tube phono amps are generally noisier than solid state ones. I did hear some low level noise on both speakers but they weren't the same noise. Moving the interconnect cable between turntable and amp seemed to help. I now use an SUT for my MC cartridge and use the MM phono setting. The SUT has options to lift ground on primary and secondary sides of the transformer. There is no noise now.

As for build difficulty, this kit took longer than the Elekits I've built (TU 8500 & 8600). Elekits use PCBs and wiring harnesses; no wires were included or required. Point to point wiring in tight spaces can be a challenge. As for ongoing doubt if you made a mistake, doesn't that come with the territory of DIY? If both channels work and all voltages at test points are in spec, then the unit should operate the same as a factory built unit. I would have liked more test points for further assurance.
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Old 11th June 2021, 03:10 AM   #154
odamone is offline odamone  United States
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Has anyone else noticed that this phono stage has less gain than other phono stages or other line level sources? My Lehmann phono was pretty closely matched to the level of my Luxman DAC. The sun valley is about 50% quieter.

The Lehmann is 46db of gain for MM and 47 ohm output impedance.

The Sun Valley is 35db for MM so it seems it should be quieter.

Is there any expected audio impact when comparing level matched phono stages with different gains? I am assuming the sun valley has more distortion and possibly less dynamic range. Would appreciate any input on this. It’s hard to a/b test and drawn reliable conclusions so looking for more perspectives. Thanks.
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Old 11th June 2021, 02:03 PM   #155
Ray77 is offline Ray77  Canada
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Musical Surroundings Phenomena 2 (solid state) has adjustable gain starting 40 dB. Phono section of Elekit TU 8500 tube preamp is 37 dB (MM). On Sunvalley you can add 4 dB of gain to the 35 dB using Gain switch. I've not noticed any distortion or noise with the extra gain. CD and digital streamer line outputs do seem louder than phono preamps as I have to turn up the volume control on my preamp when switching to phono source (if not directly connected to the power amp).
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Old 14th June 2021, 02:57 AM   #156
odamone is offline odamone  United States
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Question for those who have built this: can you hear the right channel from input 2 when input 1 is selected and vice versa? i assume you can’t and my build has an error, but would just like to validate- I can’t tell from the schematic. thank you!
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Old 14th June 2021, 03:37 AM   #157
Ray77 is offline Ray77  Canada
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If my cartridge is on Input 1 and I switch to Input 2, I don't hear anything on Input 2 and vice versa. I use the unused input as a "mute" if I am turning on/off the turntable. The Mono switch does put the left channel signal onto the right channel but I assume that's for either Input 1 or 2, not both.
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Old 14th June 2021, 03:46 AM   #158
odamone is offline odamone  United States
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thanks for testing. i can’t seem to trace where my problem is. i’ve re-done the input toggle solder joints and inspected the pcb. i’m struggling to make sense of the schematic…e.g. rl1a - what is that?
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Old 14th June 2021, 04:29 AM   #159
Ray77 is offline Ray77  Canada
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RL1a refers to the RL1 relay that is on the input - MM/MC selector board. Its one of the 3 yellow rectangular blocks that are soldered onto that board. Check the solder connections and orientation and the 2 diode orientations (page 8). Hope that helps.
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