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Eddie Current Transcription Phono Preamp?

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by robinje, Mar 17, 2010.
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  1. jp11801 Contributor
    Denon Dl-S1
     
  2. Skylab Contributor
    I just ordered one. Couldn't help myself - I want to get a tube phono stage that includes an integrated step-up trafo. This just seemed to be the way to go - nice price for what it offers, and good initial feedback from folks.
     
  3. mikeymad
    Thanks for the updates JP... goes on the 'me want' list....

    If you keep it long term, please check in with this thread with updates and any tube rolling...

    Cheers,
     
  4. jp11801 Contributor
    Oddly the stock tubes sound great, I did sub in a 6FG8 and a pair of ge 5 star 5751s. I am going to archive the sound digitally using my metric halo to allow for easier side by side comparisons.
     
  5. eaglejo
    JP, If this thing is even being mentioned in the same breath as a Doshi, that is insane. I just got my TA and will a/b it against my Art Audio Vinyl Reference. I suspect it will combine the best attributes of a tube phonostage but with drive/dynamics.
     
  6. robinje
    I got an email from Craig indicating that two caps can be snipped out of the circuit, reducing MC gain by a few dB and supposedly very slightly improving sound quality. I am reluctant to do this because I like the TA very much as it is. Has anyone tried this minor tweak? If so, how do you like it now???
     
  7. Rob N Contributor
    Not tried it yet.It reduces gain to 70db
     
  8. jp11801 Contributor
    I'm not going to be able to do much in the way of tube rolling but I'll be able to post up tube rolling sound sample in the up coming weeks using the ECTA.
     
  9. Rob N Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by robinje /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I got an email from Craig indicating that two caps can be snipped out of the circuit, reducing MC gain by a few dB and supposedly very slightly improving sound quality. I am reluctant to do this because I like the TA very much as it is. Has anyone tried this minor tweak? If so, how do you like it now???



    Using a pair of 5751's will reduce gain by around 6db
     
  10. Skylab Contributor
    Hoping my Transcription arrives today...
     
  11. recstar24 Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rob N /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Using a pair of 5751's will reduce gain by around 6db



    And they are a much better sounding tube than the 12ax7. They can get pricey, like the Sylvania Gold Pins, but even the lower GE brand style 5751's are better sounding than every 12ax7 I have tried (including the telefunkens)
     
  12. Skylab Contributor
    I've had my Transcription now about 10 days. I wanted to try to get at least a little break-in before posting about it. But I also had a bit of a concern at first - while the sound was good, there was more noise than I felt was acceptable. I did not use the stock tubes at all - I've tried the tubes that EC includes, and have not been impressed. So I first put in a Mullard CV1988 and a pair of Sylvania gray-plate 12AX7's. I'm using it in MC mode, so I know better than to expect total silence, but still this did result in much more tube-rush type noise than I was happy with.

    So I let that go while I broke the amp in a while, and the changed to a Sylvania 6SN7WGT and a pair of Tung-Sol military 12AX7WA's from 1963. MUCH better. Since the noise had been on both channels, I'm assuming the Mullard was the culprit, but it could have been the Sylvania 12AX7's I guess. In any case, all is well now.

    The Transcription is more detailed and has a better soundstage than my Audio Electronics PH1-DJH. It also is a little more forward sounding, and a little less mellow. That means it's closer to neutral - the AE is a little lush. But I wouldn't describe the Transcription as bright. More like "vivid". It sounds very good, actually. I'm pretty happy so far. I definitely like it better than either the AE, or the Ray Samuels Nighthawk, which are the only two phono preamps I have on hand.
     
  13. ironbut
    In the good old days (actually, just a decade or so ago) most of the better tube sellers used to grade tubes as "phono" or "MC" grades.
    That was based on listening tests that were with a good number of hours on the tubes. Some tubes that start out "low noise" will revert to the normal noise level at 20 hours or so.
    These tubes usually carried a much higher price tag since it takes time to do correctly. The only sellers I know of that still do this is Kevin Deal at Upscale, Branden at Tube World and Jim McShane.

    Unfortunately, the way things are now, the low noise NOS tubes are far and few between and what folks call phono grade more than likely only have one quiet side.
    If you really need quiet tubes, it's easier to get ones that aren't the most sought after brands. Those are pretty picked over.
     
  14. Skylab Contributor
    Yeah - I know it's a crapshoot, and I actually should have known better than to use the Sylvania 12AX7's. I got them pretty cheap from an unknown seller, and the fact that they tested really strong shouldn't have lulled me into a false sense of security [​IMG]

    But I knew the Tung-Sols were quiet, fortunately. So all's well that ends well.
     
  15. robinje
    My TA is very, very quiet with the stock tubes. I have to turn up the volume on my Zana Deux SE to absurd levels to hear ANY hiss or 'tube rush'. At normal listening levels, the rig is silent. I have some Telefunken smooth plate 12AX7's (matched pair with balanced sections) that I intend to try, but I a extremely pleased with the stock tubes.
     
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