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jfbaquero
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All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

Hi to everybody in the forum, this is my first post. I have a Rega P3-24 turntable with Elys 2 cartridge and a Cayin A-50T integrated amp with EL34 tubes. The Cayin has no phono stage, I am using a Harman Kardon HK3390 receiver as phono stage, but I am not really happy with it. I want a all tube system and phono stage. I have been looking for an all tube phono stage under 1000USD (better for less than 500USD), but have found none. There are the Bellari VP130 and VP530, the Pro-ject Tube Box II and IISE and the Jolida JD9, but none of them are really all tube, this are hybrid with a solid state 1st gain stage. As far as I know it is almost impossible to get a 40dB+ gain out of a single 12AX7 or similar tube.

Does anybody know of an all tube phono stage for less than 1000 USD?

I have consider going DIY, any suggestions?

Am I mad for wanting a all tube system? Should I consider a solid state stage instead of the tube one?

Thx for any advice.

jackfish
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

The Transcendent Sound Phono Preamp kit is $700, assembled $1000.

jfbaquero
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

Hi Jackfish, just took a look and read about Transcendent Sound Phono Preamp, it seems an excellent option. Do you own one of this? What can you tell me about it?

JoeE SP9
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

How about the bottlehead Seduction $369 or Eros $749. Both are very highly rated and both are kits.

http://www.bottlehead.com/store.php?crn=220

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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

Thx. JoeE for the information. The more options the better. I will take a look. Do you own any of this? What is your opinion about it? How does it compare against the Trascendent phono stage?

Jim Tavegia
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

I'm not sure what you mean by "all tube", but you should listen to the Jolida tube phono stage at about $400 may be what you are looking for.

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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

Hi Jim, thx for the info. When I say "all tube", it means I don't want any solid state in the signal path. The Jolida JD9 has a solid state gain stage (1st stage) which IMHO is like cheating, the signal has passed through a SS OPAmp before getting to RIAA stage and the Tube Stage, I am not really into this hybrid stuff, because actually you could buy an excellent SS phono stage for far less than 400 USD.

Esoteric09
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

Hi, not sure if you can get this where you are but the Project Tube Box is great

KBK
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

Sit by the audiogon river..and wait.

Sooner or later an MFA Magus Preamp will pop up. When it does, stab it, and take it home. It will prove to be of excellent eating. About $700, on average.

Some of the Audio Research units will also sell for under a grand. As does the 'Audible Illusions' Modulus series.

The MFA is capable of custom loading and will handle medium output MC cartridges,it is a full function all tube preamp with outboard PS. the AA and the AR units are hybrids, generally, with solid state for MC amplification.

jfbaquero
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

KBK, thx for the information, I knew nothing about the MFA Magus or the Modulus, I have done my search and read about them. Seems the Magus is a fantastic piece of hardware worth looking for. I have always been a fan of AR products, but they are just far beyond my budget.

I would like to know what models of the MFD Magus do you recommend as best option to buy.

KBK
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

There are three versions of the MFA Magus: the Magus, Magus B, and Magus C. Each are minor incremental upgrades. You can only tell the difference by closely reading the sticker on the back of the unit,or being familiar with internal parts and circuits of each version.

I believe the C version and the B version both have jumpers inside for specific loading of the cartridge section (you put the correct resistors in yourself). Even the first version may have it, but I do not know that.

The best bet is to get the C and leave it at that, if you can. However, grab one (any one) when it comes up. Bruce Moore is a master at knowing how to pull dynamically unrestricted sound and clean harmonics out of tube circuits. His units generally have one thing in common and that is VERY high output voltage capacity. One of the things he knows that are required to keep the sonics from not being altered in all aspects as the sound gets more dynamic. You may not use the full swing of 75V peak-to-peak output of the preamp, but it needs to be there to make sure the first 10 volts peak to peak have no dynamic or other types of coloration.

As an example, my Venusian 3 chassis design by him during the MFA days, will swing about 150+ Volts peak to peak sine wave under a standard 50k load. This means that the 10V to 15V peak-to-peak that I may use will have NO restrictions and consequently the damn thing sounds incredibly .....alive.

This is the same reasoning about MF (Mike Fremer) using 1000 watt mono amps. He may not use it but it needs to be there to keep things linear in the range he IS using.

His units have a certain sound but I'm a huge fan of that particular sound. Ie, music, not hi-fi.

JoeE SP9
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

My ARC SP-9 preamp is a hybrid with tubes in the phono stage. I haven't tried any of the others. I've been looking around because I'm thinking of building a passive transformer volume control as a preamp. I would need a phono preamp if I did this. I heard a Prometheus passive transformer preamp and was very impressed.

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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

Hi KBK, I am really learning interesting things from the information you have posted here, I am already keeping watch for a MFA Magus, hope a C pops up any time.

What do you think of the classic Dynaco PAS2 or PAS3? I have seen a lot of modified versions and kits available to upgrade them, are they worth the effort?

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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

I also recommend contacting Mark Voigt to have a MAGI Phonomenal Phono Stage built...it is around $650.00..It has adjustments for 0 to 100k for resistance and 100-300 for capacitance. Mr. Voigt can also add more inputs if you need it...he can be reached at soundbug1@cox.net

oh yeah, he also sells a line stage..that with the phono is about 1500.

His work is highly revered. Id go with a private builder rather than some big box company, personally.

I am having a phono stage built myself, btw. Mine is around a grand,(for labor, the parts I had to buy myself) should be done in March. but yeah..contact Mark..

he is rather well known for rebuilding Scott gear(and varied other pieces)

his ebay business is here

http://myworld.ebay.com/soundbug1/

jfbaquero
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

ncdrawl, thx for the information, I have been searching for information, reviews, specs for the MAGI Phonomenal phono stage, and have found none, can you point me somewhere where I can get information about it? It's a big bet going for a 600+ USD product you know nothing about, no even a picture.

ncdrawl
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

email the man himself..though I personally dont see what relevance reviews have?? anyway.. here is a thread that references it..pic below. I know Marc as a scott expert and vintage gear restorer..

http://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=24236

ncdrawl
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

im sure Marc has plenty of pictures and information.

it is a relatively new product(i think he just started building them)

jfbaquero
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

Hi Ncdrawl, I wrote the man, and already have an answer, with plenty of information about the Phonomenal. Pretty thing this PS. I have to admit I like to read review and see the specs of anything I buy, I know there are a lot of fancy equipment around with perfect specs which sound horrible, but because I don't live in the US or Europe, returning things or selling them again is not really an option, that is why I need all the available information. I made this post because I hadn't found an all tube PS for less than 1000 USD that really convinced me, now I have the problem of many options to choose from.

ncdrawl
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

that is a good problem to have!

Good that Marc got back to you so quickly! If I had found about about his product before ordering, I would have most certainly bought from him.

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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

Has someone compare the MFA Magus with the Magi Phonomenal? I would love to hear some opinions.

ncdrawl
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?


Quote:
Has someone compare the MFA Magus with the Magi Phonomenal? I would love to hear some opinions.

everything I have read about the magus indicates that *stock* is is "ok" but a lot better with extensive modifications.

Ive been doing a lot of reading on the phonnomenal.. and man, that really ***screams*** buy me. All the reports have been exceptionally good.

jfbaquero
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

Hi NcDrawl,

Can you point me to information regarding the Phonomenal?

tomjtx
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?


Quote:

Quote:
Has someone compare the MFA Magus with the Magi Phonomenal? I would love to hear some opinions.

everything I have read about the magus indicates that *stock* is is "ok" but a lot better with extensive modifications.

Ive been doing a lot of reading on the phonnomenal.. and man, that really ***screams*** buy me. All the reports have been exceptionally good.

That has my interest too.
But Ray Samuels just came out with a dual mono phono battery preamp with dual front controls for gain and capacitance loading.

I have one of his headphone amps that is incredible.
I should be able to hear the RS phono this weekend and I'll post my opinion.

ncdrawl
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?


Quote:
Hi NcDrawl,

Can you point me to information regarding the Phonomenal?

better yet...just call him. Super nice guy.

615 866 7170 (and it is listed publically on another forum, so I am not violating anything)

ive got photos that i will upload and get a link for..

ncdrawl
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

Teddy,

Here is a form email I send to all those interested in one or more of the things I build:

The following are links to the HANDBUILT MAGI preamp and power amplifiers I have available. These are completely US made, both here in my shop and in a friends shop in Uxbridge MA. We incorporate as many high quality US Old Stock parts as possible including American made transformers. We have BEAUTIFUL etched faceplates made for them and everything is point to point wiring. The Phono stage is wonderful in the preamp and the amplifiers are REALLY sweet and airy with a good pair of highly efficient speakers. I'm using my amp (Single ended 6EM7 tube based) with a pair of late 50's PIONEER speakers fitted with a CO-AXIAL 12" driver. The 7 watts from the single ended amplifier drives them like crazy and the image and 3 dimensional purity is magical to say the least. These products will soon be available online at higher prices. The full function preamp is second to none compared to anything under $3000.
Our Phono stage aptly named "Phonomenal" is a 4 tube, cathode follower design, completely handwired with front panel switching for resistance and capacitance settings. It is a super hot phono stage with variable gain and works for both moving magnet and some of the Moving Coil cartridges as well. The bass response is incredible and I've had many customers actually respond to this item by saying that it makes records fun to listen to. We had help with this design from a VERY reputable designer in Texas who sells his own battery powered phono stage for THOUSANDS of dollars. We think ours is just as good yet sells for one heck of a lot less money!
The Power amp sells for $650
The Full Function Preamp sells for $850
The Line Stage preamp sells for $650
The Phonomenal Phono preamp sells for $750
These prices will be going up very soon.

For comparable point to point wired US Made amps/preamps, these prices are ridiculously low and after having created a market, we will push the price up a little. A US parts company/retailer sells a comparable preamp for $1500 and it doesn't come close to the quality in either appearance or performance.
Full Function Preamp:



http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ff4.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ff5.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ff6.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ff7.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ff8.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ff9.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ff10.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ff11.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ff12.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ff13.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ff14.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ff15.jpg

Line Stage Preamp:

http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls2.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls3.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls4.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls5.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls6.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls7.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls8.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls9.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls10.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls11.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls12.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls13.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls14.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls15.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls16.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls17.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls18.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls19.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls20.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls21.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls22.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/ls23.jpg

6EM7 based, single ended power amp:

http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em2.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em3.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em4.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em5.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em6.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em7.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em8.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em9.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em10.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em11.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em12.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em13.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em14.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em15.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em16.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/em17.jpg

Phonomenal Phono Stage:



http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/phono4.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/phono5.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/phono6.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/phono7.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/phono8.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/phono9.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/phono10.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/phono11.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/phono12.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/phono13.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/phono14.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/phono15.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/phono16.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/phono17.jpg

I also have some ONE-OFF amps Not likely to be built again) for sale like the following:

A push pull amplifier base on the EICO HF35 mono blocks using original EICO transformers ($1700):
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/hf1.jpg

My rebuilds of the ST-70 are beautiful if I say so myself. I use original Dynaco transformers, a FAR upgraded power supply board that replaces the original Rectifier tube and canister capacitor and I use the SDS Labs replacement driver/inverter board.

Using the new power board allows me to increase the capacitance 10 times over. That COMPLETELY cleans the mushy low end that the stock amplifiers have. It also allows me to add both a biasing meter right on the chassis and a selector switch to choose which tube pair the meter is reading. Using the NOS OHMITE turn pots, you can dial in the bias setting perfectly using the on board meter and forget about external meters and plugging test leads into sockets where some of the pins carried hundreds of volts. Because the front tube sockets are no longer needed for biasing, I filled the empty holes with VU Meters...the mono/stereo switch on the front panel is now a High-Low meter setting switch...very few people ever ran these mono and I think its a wasted switch.
The driver board simply separates the driver tube from the inverter tube. In the original design, both functions were carried out by the 7199 (a very hard tube to find in good sounding condition). In the new circuit board, that process is separated and it cleans up the mids and highs in the amplifier while still maintaining the original characteristics in sound...Lush, airy, sweet and EASY to listen to. While many other designs create completely different amplifiers using the Dynaco chassis and transformers, my rebuilds try to maintain the original design of the amp and keep the sound quality but make it BETTER.
ALL top quality hardware is used throughout and all nuts, bolts and screws have been replaced by high quality BRASS components...the look is stellar. I guarantee that there is no better looking rebuild on the market today or ever and that time will prove that the sound is equally as good.
Sorry about the picture quality...it is VERY difficult to picture chromed or highly reflective parts.

These sell for $1200.


http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st2.jpg
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http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st4.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st5.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st6.jpg

http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st7.jpg
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http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st12.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st13.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st14.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st15.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/s16t.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st17.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st18.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st19.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st20.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st21.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st22.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st23.jpg
http://members.cox.net/sgoldreich/st24.jpg

jfbaquero
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

Hi NcDrawl,

Thx for the info. Do you of any online review or user comments of the Phonomenal?

ncdrawl
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?


Quote:
Hi NcDrawl,

Thx for the info. Do you of any online review or user comments of the Phonomenal?

it is a relatively new product, so there isnt that much in the way of comments.....but with all the features, the pedigree, and with all the respect Mr. Voigt garners for his other work...this one is a no-brainer, in my opinion.

I do know two guys personally that have this item and they both love it.

http://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=140115&sid=5b53db63e503119520d5d22f4499df75

comments don't mean much to me, at any rate.

dude, if you dont like it, ill buy it from you. I want one very badly.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

I realize this is beyond entry level but I wonder if a person can build their own custom amp purchasing a junky old tube stereo from Goodwill and so forth. You know these amp manufacturers are just reverse engineering that old technology. Think about it. You can have a one of kind amp design when you're done.

linden518
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

Wow, fantastic loading options at that price...

jfbaquero
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Re: All tube phono stage for less than 1000USD?

Hi NcDrawl,

Well I couldn't stand waiting any more, so I ordered Mark a Magi Phonomenal phono stage, needless to say may wife wasn't very happy when I told her I was buying more audio equipment. But I think I can live with that . No I'll have to wait about two weeks to get it built and travel for the US into my hands. Oh god I can't wait for the minute I can put my hands on the Phonomenal and take it for a ride!

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