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ARSCLIST  February 2012

ARSCLIST February 2012

Subject:

Re: Phono Preamps

From:

Roderic G Stephens <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 16 Feb 2012 18:08:05 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (235 lines)

This thread has taken on a life of its own when all I wanted to do is find a reasonably priced preamp to filll in for the one I will lose when I get my new tuner/amplifier.  I guess we're missing that it won't be used for mastering old disks.  However, as far as the rumble filter issue, I don't pre equalize when feeding into my computer for re-mastering.  I think it works better to tailor the notch using my Cool Edit/Audition FFT filters and looking at the frequency annalysis to see where the peaks are.

--- On Thu, 2/16/12, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Phono Preamps
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Thursday, February 16, 2012, 10:45 AM


Well, there have always been a lot of ways to skin the cat with phono preamps. Check out a store like Acoustic Sounds and you can see they go as high in price as you have dollars. I think Goran was touching on some of the problems of the typical "op-amp spec sheet" design -- you run into headroom problems and if you use cheapo components you won't track the RIAA curve accurately.

Some of the moderate-priced and higher-priced units do passive EQ between amplification stages, and use discrete transistors throughout or in the last amplification stage. This design can work well if good components, an adequate power supply and careful building are employed. Goran's point about the rumble filter definitely tracks with my own results. You want the filter frequency to be much closer to 20hz than the filter described in that "Rek-o-Kut" unit. It's actually quite interesting to have some control of exactly where the filter falls because different records sound better with a rumble filter employed at different frequencies. I assume this is due to cutter rumble and perhaps physical issues with how the stylus is tracking that particular vinyl. Even though it's not the best high-pass filter ever made, the UREI Little Dipper is an interesting thing to experiment with, just to make yourself aware of how filtering rumble at different frequencies
 effects things like the upper bass frequencies and sometimes the midrange, depending on what out of phase stuff is being attenuated.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- From: "Dan Nelson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2012 1:01 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Phono Preamps


How accurate will the playback curve be when 10%/20% off the shelf components in the feedback loop be ?
I have 4 RIAA Preamps from Op-Amp labs here in LA, that track within a couple db off test records with Shure 55 cartridges in each turntable. They cost like $40 each. Op-amp labs made a lot of plug and play building blocks with good results for those who didnt want to hand build stuff.
I would suspect that with 1% components the typical data sheet preamp would track pretty close to calculated values with off the shelf audio chips.

dnw

Beautiful Music you will never forget, at; http://www.americanbeautiful.podbean.com/




________________________________

--- On Wed, 2/15/12, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Phono Preamps
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 7:09 PM

Yeah, whatevs. Horses for courses. I suspect all of these little relatively inexpensive phono preamps are the same designs, right out of the various opamp spec sheets. There's a little tweaking here and there but two preamps that adhere to the RIAA curve as closely as all of these claim should not sound radically different. I also suspect this "78" setting on the Esoteric is something close to the old Orthophonic curve. There is no one "78" curve, but you will do OK with many records from about the mid-30's onward with the Orthophonic curve. You get something like the TDL if you want a lot of options, plus understanding that late in the 78 era, there were some significant differences in the curves used by the various companies. Plus it's good to have the high-pass and low-pass filters.

If anyone has done anything close to apple-apples tests of these little preamps, I'd be interested in the results. This would be same source material, same photo and cartridge, transfer at a high resolution, use as direct a chain as possible (ie no extra EQ or DSP). I'll never say never with audio, but I'd be surprised if they sound very different. If any sound really different, we'd need to compare circuits and components.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- From: "Roderic G Stephens" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 9:50 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Phono Preamps


Well, the TLD is a bit out of my pocketbook, especially when you consider it MONO! As far as the NAD, this is from a comparison which mentions it this way:
"I’m not going to blab on and on about how this phono stage is a revelation, and kills phono stages costing thousands. The sound is very good. There are better sounding units, and they are all significantly more expensive. To compare it to a relevant “rival,” by price-point, I tried listening to the little NAD phono stage. The NAD can’t touch the Rek-O-Kut. The NAD was borderline unlistenable at times, where the Rek-O-Kut provided pleasurable listening." http://www.esotericsound.com/Electronics/PMMPREQII/page1.htmI'm sure we could go on and on about which units are the best, but I think I'll settle on the bigger brother of the Rek-O-Kut ($10 more) with switchable EQ for LP or 78 disks.This customer review from the Needle Doctor's site. John, a customer says,I'm using this with an old (but good) ortofon VMS 20e cartridge, and the results are wonderful.
I was using an Apex ATP1 ( paid~$30) before. This one is better in the following respects
1.The noise floor is very very low, there are no random ticks and pops whatsoever.
2. There is audibly less distortion.
3. The lower mids sound more natural (probably due to the better RIAA spec).
It's in an attractive case. It's also small enough to stash out of site behind your amp or something.
The price is right too. It comes with a good quality RCA cable and a female RCA to male 1/8" TRS jack (for standard sound card use).http://www.needledoctor.com/Esoteric-Sounds-Rek-O-Kut-Professional-Phono-Preamp-Incredibly-Accurate-Frequency-ResponseSo, I think I'll probably go with the switchable EQ version. Thank to you all for your usual excellent input.Rod Stephens--- On Wed, 2/15/12, Tom Fine
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Phono Preamps
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 5:05 PM

I use and very much like the TDL 4010 Restoration Preamp. I also used to have one of the little ART
units, just to play records into headphones while I did desk work. It sounded surprisingly good and
the headphone amp was surprisingly good. The USB interface was not good due to no jitter
remediation.

Keep in mind that the TDL preamp is MONO in its output. So if you plan to deal with stereo records,
you need a stereo preamp. NAD now
makes a USB phono preamp that is not very costly:
http://nadelectronics.com/products/turntables/PP-3-Digital-Phono-Preamplifier
I have read a good review of the preamp section (the older version without the USB), I forgot where.

I'm still an advocate of keeping the phono preamp as a separate analog device, doing whatever
sweetening or cleanup you can do with your best analog gear and then taking it into digital
high-resolution through a good ADC. That then gives you a high-quality digital file which you can do
further DSP on. And, of course, the best thing you can do from the get-go is obtain non-damaged
records and clean them properly before playing. It goes without saying that RIAA records should be
played through an RIAA preamp and that your stylus and cartridge should be in great working order.

-- Tom
Fine
----- Original Message ----- From: "Corey Bailey" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 7:49 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Phono Preamps


> Hi Rod,
> 
> The ART website lists the USB phono plus as discontinued:
> http://artproaudio.com/discontinued_products/
> 
> Based on what you've submitted, I would suggest the Rek-O-Kut.
> 
> If you have vintage records and need to bypass the RIAA curve and/or wish
> to transfer them, you might consider the TDL 4010. It's shown at the
> bottom of the page here:
> http://www.kabusa.com/frameset.htm?/phonpre.htm
> 
> Cheers!
> 
> Corey
> Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
> 
>> Of course, if I were using this phono preamp for my re-mastering, I'd
> probably go for this
>> one:http://www.garage-a-records.com/proddetail.php?prod=ES-ReEqualizer
>> 
>> --- On Wed, 2/15/12, Roderic G Stephens <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> From: Roderic G Stephens <[log in to unmask]>
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Phono Preamps
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 12:29 PM
>> 
>> This University of Georgia notice made me start to ask a question about
> my
>> future audio updates.
>> I'm about to purchase a new 7.1 Yamaha RX-V671 tuner/amplifier to
> replace
>> my old TEAC 5.1 which needs its caps replaced if it's to have a new
> career. Â However, the old trusty and true retiree does have a phono
> preamp which the Yamaha doesn't, so in checking the web, I found this one
>> that seems to do everything than bake bread (or
>> reels).http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/USBPhonoPPSOr would you
> recommend the tried and true plain wrapper in the same price
>> range?http://www.garage-a-records.com/proddetail.php?prod=PreampMKII
>> 
>> --- On Wed, 2/15/12, Daniel Roth <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> From: Daniel Roth <[log in to unmask]>
>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] University of Georgia Brown Media Archives in new
> facility
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 11:01 AM
>> 
>> Greetings,
>> 
>> As a staff member of the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody
> Awards
>> Collection, I would like to share the press release
below with the ARSC
> community regarding the grand opening of a new special collections
> building on the campus of the University of Georgia.
>> 
>> It is with great pride that we share the news about this
> state-of-the-art
>> facility and the impact it hopes to have on media collections throughout
> the southeast.
>> 
>> As audio technician for the department, I will be overseeing the
> operation
>> of 3 new audio production suites. Each will be outfitted with
>> industry-standard technology as well as several top end analog pieces.
> This includes an Ampex ATR102 1/4" tape reproducer from ATR Services, as
> well as the KAB EQS MK12 Disc Mastering Phono Preamp, expertly
>> hand-crafted by KAB Electro-Acoustics. A complete equipment list will be
> made available on our web site shortly.
>> 
>> Be on the lookout for
more postings from the Brown Media Archives at UGA
> in the coming months as we embark on a new era.
>> 
>> Thank you,
>> 
>> Dan Roth
>> ARSC Member
>> Audio Technician
>> Walter J Brown Media Archives and
>> Peabody Awards Collection
>> University of Georgia
>> Main Library
>> Athens, GA
>> 
>> Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection ready for Grand
> Opening!<http://www.libs.uga.edu/blog/?p=5503>
>> 
>> 
>> The Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection has
> taken
>> up residence in its new offices at the Richard B. Russell Special
> Collections Library Building<http://www.libs.uga.edu/scl/>. Preparations
> are
underway for the official building dedication
>> ceremonies<http://www.libs.uga.edu/blog/?p=5426>, scheduled for Friday,
> February 17, 2012 at 11:00a.m.
>> 
>> 
>> 2011 found the Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection in a
> state of transition as we undertook the massive project of barcoding all
>> of its physical assets for transfer to a new, state-of-the-art storage
> vault located below the Special Collections Buildingâ?Ts main floors. As a
>> result of these efforts, we are poised to provide unprecedented access
> to
>> materials not previously available to the campus and research community
> at-large.
>> 
>> 
>> As we continue moving and unpacking in early-2012, we would like to
> welcome visitors to our newly-designed web site, and invite
them to
> explore the expanded content offerings found there. As well, we have
> established a YouTube
>> channel<http://www.youtube.com/user/BrownMediaArchiveUGA> on which can
> be
>> found footage from a wide variety of our collection inventory for your
> enjoyment.
>> 
>> 
>> We look forward to continued service of the University of Georgia, the
> people of the state of Georgia, and the community worldwide by
> maintaining
>> the highest standards of excellence in the curation of this valuable
> collection of media assets.
>> 
>> 
>> Ruta Abolins
>> Director, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and
>> Peabody Awards Collection
>> [log in to unmask]
>> 
>> ------
>> 
> 

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