Roderic G Stephens :
With an overload point of just 35 mV heavily modulated records will severely
overload this preamp.
And if the music is not loud enough on a given record then the ticks and
crackles will do this constantly since such disturbances will provide for
mechanical forces on the stylus tip well in advance what can be cut so the
actual voltage output is much higher on the ticks and crackles than any
music can provide.
The Sub Sonic filter is completely useless having a very low cut off at 6 Hz
with no information what the roll off rate is.
To really be effective the absolute minimum requirement is 18 dB/octave at
15 Hz to even start making some inroad in the copious amounts of low
frequency disturbances coming off vinyl disks.
Using +-15V dc powering, standard for anything op amp based I would excpect
to see an output clipping level of minimum 8.9 V RMS but this device clips
at 2.9 V output.
The S/N figure specification is completely useless as it is not stated
whether this is with shorted input or with an actual cartridge connected.
Shorted input always gives a much better S/N figure compared to with an
actual cartridge connected.
The Re-Equalizer is the same with very low values of clipping level at 3.5 V
With such mediocre specifications I would not even bother to listen to this
The very low overload level of the RIAA preamp is a real killer and makes it
unusable in a professional setting. I prefer minimu 100 mV and most
"Professional" ones will easily give you 200 mV.
In no way can I agree to the claim of "Professional" in its name, Rek-O-Kut
Professional blah blah. This is just sales babble.
Looks like a cheap two transistor implementation of an RIAA preamp for home
use with its attendant problems......600 ohms output impedance means nothing
at all since no indication is given to its actual current delivery,
loadability, but true professional equipment usually is below 50 ohms and
can be loaded down to 200 ohms with little change in its specifications.
Also when I look at the printed RIAA response curve on top of the box I note
that the response is elevated below 1 kHz and depressed above 1 kHz.
Such an inbuilt chosen EQ inaccuracy will always sound nicer than a really
accurate RIAA preamp having basically flat response from 20 to 20 kHz.
This Rek-O-Kut RIAA curve inaccuracy will tend to lessen perceived mid freq
harshness and increase the LF warmth since the errors are over at least 5
octave either way.
Sorry, no cigar.
The Mastering Room AB
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Learn from the mistakes of others, you can never live long enough to
make them all yourself. - John Luther