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Bigbottle MC only Valve/JFET phonostage Group Buy
Bigbottle MC only Valve/JFET phonostage Group Buy
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Old 20th November 2018, 08:18 PM   #1
Bigman80 is offline Bigman80  England
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Default Bigbottle MC only Valve/JFET phonostage Group Buy

Hi all,

This is a bit of a 'test the water' post.

Firebottle and I decided to do a joint project together a little while back. The goal was for me to have a valve phonostage that didn't cost the earth and could hang with the big boys. Alan (Firebottle) suggested I try a DIY project which would keep the cost down and could be built over time when funds were available.

I settled on a board I found online and spent the 9 it cost to buy and get here and I built it. The biggest issue I had was the lack of PSU. This needed building from scratch and pretty soon I was out of my depth and in need of some assistance.

However, this got me thinking. I wanted a DIY phonostage board that was so easy to build that anyone could do it from start to finish, practically unaided.
I searched the internet and there were a few SS ones which might have been a possibility but I wanted valves.

I couldn't find anything that was easy enough so I approached Alan about starting one from scratch. Luckily Alan agreed and we set about the BIGBOTTLE phonostage. I wanted to eliminate the need to build a PSU separately from the main PCB. I don't have the knowledge to build one so I decided that it must be included on the main PCB. Following the same 'paint by numbers' approach as the original DIY phonostage I built.

We took a decent lump of the design from Alan's Vivant phonostage but added a few tweaks. One being the EQ. I wanted a split Eq so that's what we did. The other major difference was MM/MC capability. I didn't want it, so it was made MC only.

We got as far as we could and then needed some help. We had a P2P prototype which I was very pleased with. It has been to a couple of bakeoffs and when compared against some stuff opposition, it was well received. Unfortunately, neither I nor Alan had the ability to convert the practical or theory into a PCB.

We reached out here, on DIYaudio to see if anyone could help. Enter JP.

Jean was willing to help us and took a hand drawn circuit diagram and converted it into a digital version. Next came the mock up PCB layout and on to the final build files.

I sent the files to a company in China and had 5 boards made. I kept one for myself, sent the others out to guinea pigs (lol) and 2 to JP to thank him for his work. I, got to work making mine. I built everything myself, a noob, with limited knowledge. And it worked!!! Alan has tested it and it's a success.

Now up and running and being thoroughly enjoyed daily, I have decided that as soon as JP has finished the final revisions to the design, I will offer a group buy for 10 people. This is going to be a controlled 'roll out' just to see how,

A) Easy it is to build.
B) Get some opinions on performance.

Included with the board will be a BOM. I will also do a Noobs build guide, which should be simple to follow as I have proved lol. The phonostage is MC only.

The first 10 boards will be sold at cost of the board plus postage.

If you are interested, just leave a note on the thread and I'll get in touch.

Pics of the board I built will be added asap.
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Old 20th November 2018, 08:25 PM   #2
Bigman80 is offline Bigman80  England
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Last edited by Bigman80; 20th November 2018 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 24th November 2018, 08:27 PM   #3
shattered_dream is offline shattered_dream  Germany
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Interested
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Old 24th November 2018, 08:34 PM   #4
Bigman80 is offline Bigman80  England
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Yay!!! Finally

I'll be in touch.

Last edited by Bigman80; 24th November 2018 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 24th November 2018, 08:44 PM   #5
Bigman80 is offline Bigman80  England
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Just had a look and the minimum order is 5. I have two interested so as soon as I have 5, I'll order!!
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Old 25th November 2018, 03:57 AM   #6
robnec is offline robnec
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Hello. count me in. What tubes it this thing using? Robert.
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Old 25th November 2018, 08:28 AM   #7
Bigman80 is offline Bigman80  England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robnec View Post
Hello. count me in. What tubes it this thing using? Robert.
Hi Robert,

2x PCC88 & 1x ECC83

I've got Telefunken in mine but have tried a few others. I haven't managed to try any expensive or rare valves as of yet so that could be something worthwhile.

The choice of valves may seem odd but it gives very low Miller capacitance and low output Impedance. Also, being P valves, they are a bit cheaper whilst not sacrificing any performance IMO.
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Old 25th November 2018, 09:53 AM   #8
Bigman80 is offline Bigman80  England
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Here is the BOM for those interested:

BIGBOTTLE BOM.pdf
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Old 25th November 2018, 10:00 AM   #9
Joachim Gerhard is offline Joachim Gerhard  Germany
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Do you have a circuit diagram ?
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Old 25th November 2018, 10:05 AM   #10
Bigman80 is offline Bigman80  England
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Hi Joachim,

I do, but i don't have permission to share it. I attained elements of the circuit on the basis of it not being published. Alan makes his Firebottle range and as this PCB has elements of the design, it would be unfair to share them against his wishes.

If there is something specific you wanted to know? Maybe i can either answer it or get an answer.
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