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Tube phono stage on the cheap? - Page 2

post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by chillysalsa
The cheapest route is to go with DIY. If you can't build a kit, you could buy one and pay a friend to build it... eg. commission one of the talented builders here to put it together. You will get the best bang for buck this way, considering the really nice kits out there:

http://www.hagtech.com/ have the Classic, Cornet, etc.

and the Bottlehead Foreplay is great too.
I think the DIY route is a good way to make it cheap but I still believe that the used market is the way to go for most people (unless its a hobby you do it for) since for low amounts you get excellent pieces of gear.
post #17 of 45
Quote:
I think the DIY route is a good way to make it cheap but I still believe that the used market is the way to go for most people (unless its a hobby you do it for) since for low amounts you get excellent pieces of gear.
used market can be a great route to good sound but for most DIY is out and if talking high gain tube gear not for a beginner.actually tube gear is not for any DIY newbie.The voltages in an opamp headphone amp when powered from a line supply may give you a little "tickle" but tube gear voltages are lethal and you don't get a second chance.

And DIY CAN be cheap but my phono stage cost me $300 just for the parts ! Good iron aint cheap
post #18 of 45
I too have been looking for an affordable tubed phono stage. From a variety of sources I basically heard what Rick just said. In addition it was pointed out that a good tube phono stage is more difficult to design and build than a solid state one. For the time being I am using a Grado phono amp and I am quite pleased.
post #19 of 45
Did you know that the moving magnetic (MM) phono stage preamplifier of your Marantz 1060 is regarded as a very good phono stage, one of the best phono stages of any Marantz solid state unit. At the other end of the price scale is the Marantz 7C tube preamplifier. It too has a very good MM phono stage and will set you back a bit more than $2000, while the 1060 usually can be purchased for around $100.

The Dynaco PAS series of tube preamplifier is a good entry level tube preamp. These generally sell for about $200. In stock form the performance is nothing special, but with an upgraded power supply, new caps, and some other mods a PAS preamplifier outfitted with a good set of Mullard, Raytheon, Sylvania or Telefunken 12AX7 tubes, is capable of performing as well as a $2000~$3000 preamplifier.
post #20 of 45
Quote:
The Dynaco PAS series of tube preamplifier is a good entry level tube preamp. These generally sell for about $200. In stock form the performance is nothing special, but with an upgraded power supply, new caps, and some other mods a PAS preamplifier outfitted with a good set of Mullard, Raytheon, Sylvania or Telefunken 12AX7 tubes, is capable of performing as well as a $2000~$3000 preamplifier.
My PAS2 is used as my computer preamp and yes,the power supply is in need of an upgrade-really is the weak spot.Other areas that need attention are the jack panel,input selector switch (and the tone controls for some though I kept mine in).
A "quickie" power supply mod is to get the neon bulb out of the heater supply and replace it with a low current LED.This bulb is stealing current from an already current impaired heater supply.I also use RCA 5751 tubes in the line section.Lower mu and nice sound

For the really adventurous-resistor and cap upgrades

oh yeah almost forgot !

The phono stage to the tape outputs are where most tap in to use the PAS as a "phono stage only" device.Be aware that both this output and the main outputs are NOT low impedance outputs and should either be followed with a buffer,matching transformer or be only used with high input impedance -100K ohms or better

just adding to the knowledge pool
post #21 of 45
Thats interesting that you like the RCA 5751 tube in your PAS preamplifier. I tried some Raytheon windmill getter 5751, the same 5751 that sound so good in my Fisher 400, in my Curcio upgrade modded PAS-2 preamplifier and found that they made the PAS sound dead. The best sounding tubes I have tried in my PAS are the Raytheon, Mullard, and Sylvania 12AX7 tubes. I have also read that the Tung-Sol 12AX7 works well in the PAS.
post #22 of 45
Ok sure head-fi is all about spending other people's money but won't someone say something (Agree or disagree) on my comment that spending for a phono stage as much as your TT+cart cost is kind of an overkill.

And secondly are these tube phono stages ttuly tube ones or are they mainly opamp phono stages with the tube glow in the night.
post #23 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkmelt
Did you know that the moving magnetic (MM) phono stage preamplifier of your Marantz 1060 is regarded as a very good phono stage...
Of course! Why do you think I bought it?

I am curious, though, if a dedicated phono stage in the same price range would be better than that of the 1060, and since it's for my analog rig, I figured I might as well go all out and try to find an inexpensive tube stage. Judging from what most people have said here, I might as well stick with solid-state for what I'm willing to pay ATM.
post #24 of 45
Quote:
Ok sure head-fi is all about spending other people's money but won't someone say something (Agree or disagree) on my comment that spending for a phono stage as much as your TT+cart cost is kind of an overkill.
Not at all.My phono stage cost a whole lot more than my table and cartridge combined and it was loot well spent.No matter what your cartridge you are taking a signal in the low millivolt range and bringing it up to a useable level in the range of 1-3 volts depending on the stage and at the same time has to compensate to the RIAA curve used in cutting a disc so the information can fit in the groove .The best cartridge into a crappy phono stage will never sound as good as an average cartridge through a good phono stage.

Quote:
And secondly are these tube phono stages ttuly tube ones or are they mainly opamp phono stages with the tube glow in the night

again,it is all about the sound and I persoanlly don't care if the stage is made from bubblegum and sticks as long as it performs.
For me personally that is a tube phono stage : classic designs mated with modern techniques and parts.

Plus,granted tubes look cool glowing and this is a thing I like so since I have cats so all my tube gear is either fully enclosed (and fully vented of course) or caged.I don't need to SEE the tubes because they are not there for vanity or "cool factor" but to perform a function which in my mind they do better for whatever reasons.
YMMV
post #25 of 45
If you don't mind having another amplifier around, why not consider a vintage all-tube integrated amplifier or receiver such as a Scott or Fisher unit for your vinyl playback. The Fisher 400, 500C & 800C each have a magnetic cartridge phono stage and a headphone jack as do several models of Scott 2xx integrated amplifier. I have heard that these phono stages work well, although the available gain from the phono stage of the Fisher 400 is not quite as high as for the Fisher 500C. Unless the output level of your cartridge is much less than the typical magnetic cartridge, the slightly lower gain on the Fisher 400 is not an issue.
post #26 of 45
Even within the solid-state realm, the resistors and caps alone for my stage ran close to $60. Then I still needed opamps and a board and a PSU and RCA jacks and a chassis. I have close to $175 in it I guess.
Plus about 25 hours of my time so far, and it's not even cased up yet .
post #27 of 45
Like I said earlier,the words

Cheap

Phono Stage

Tube

don't belong in the same sentence.This is really one area where you get what you put into it and really needs loot thrown at it even if DIY.
An option would be a discrete JFET stage which would cost far less
post #28 of 45
Follow the below link for an unsolicited opinion on the sound quality of the phono stage in a Marantz 2220 receiver.

http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/vi...ges/85579.html
post #29 of 45
The Fisher 400 is a good option (I currently use one). I also like the EAR 834P, which can be found used for 6$00-$700.
post #30 of 45
Check this DIY tube phono stage kit. Pretty tempting at that price.


http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...sPageName=WDVW
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