----- Original Message -----
From: "John Ross" <[log in to unmask]>
> At 4/3/2007 10:24 PM, EricJ wrote:
> >When it comes to phono preamps that are capable of
> >historical EQs, I was wondering...
> >1. How many people use anything but RIAA, NAB, and FLAT
> > EQs for digital transfers when doing preservation work?
> For 78s and pre-RIAA LPs, I generally use a tube-era preamp that has
> front-panel adjustments for Turnover and Rolloff. A McIntosh C-8 is
> particularly flexible, but it requires an early Mac power amplifier
> as a power supply. I also like my Scott 121-C, with the Dynaural
> Noise Reduction function. I wouldn't use the noise reduction for
> preservation, but it's nice for casual listening. Of course, any tube
> equipment of that vintage almost certainly needs to be re-capped
> before you would want to use it for serious work.
> >2. Is the ability to reproduce a wide range of EQs on the phono
> >preamp important, or do you apply the final EQ in the DAW using
> >digital filters?
> I think either approach is acceptable, as long as the EQ is correct.
> >3. Do you use an analog processor in conjunction with your DAW to
> >apply EQ later to a FLAT digital transfer (ie. an analog processor loop)?
> >4. How often do you run into the situation where your phono preamp
> >doesn't have the EQ you want? It gets close, but not quite what you want.
> That is not an issue with either the Scott or the McIntosh preamps.
> >8. If the phono preamp has accurate EQ(s), is quiet, and has low
> >distortion, does anyone prefer tube versus solid-state
> >electronics? Does this matter?
> Obviously, I'm partial to tubes, but for RIAA EQ, I also use
> solid-state (including a McIntosh C-24, a Stanton 310 and some other
> broadcast preamps with balanced outputs
> >9. Do you use a custom-built phono preamp or a commercial phono preamp?
> They're all commercial devices.
> >And if there's a phono preamp that supports historical EQs that you
> >really absolutely love, let me know, because maybe I should be buying
> >instead of building.
> As I said earlier, I like both the Mac C-8 and the Scott 121-C.
> Unfortunately, both are subject to the demands of the loony
> collectors' market, so the prices are out of line with their value as
> playback tools. You can find relatively inexpensive C-8s, but they're
> useless without an expensive MC-30 or 20W-2 amplifier to supply power
> to the tubes.
1) The "label specific" EQ setting on vintage hi-fi gear apply to those
labels only for a very short period...just before the standardization of
RIAA curves. Prior to that, the settings were actually side-specific...
and if noted at all refer to settings on long-since-scrapped equipment
at the original recording site.
2) It is possible these days to buy comparatively inexpensive multi-band
equalizers...10/channel are quite common, and, IIRC, others ran all the
way up to 31-channel.
3) Actually, "tube sound" is usually slightly distorted...but the distortion
appears more pleasant to our ears than does solid-state distortion, and thus
many of us (especially if we grew up during the tube era!) find the not-
perfectly-accurate sound of vacuum tubes preferable...
Steven C. Barr