Do-It-Yourself DIY Audio Projects - projects for audiophiles, hi-fi enthusiasts, music lovers, electronic hobbyists, woodworkers and those who like to learn, build and listen to music. This site exists to promote the hobby of DIY Audio.

diy audiophile phono preamp

There is nothing for sale here. All project documentation presented on this site is free for personal non-commercial use. Questions about a specific projects can be sent to the project author noted at the top of the project page. Last update: 10 November These are some of our featured DIY audio projects. For more DIY projects, use the navigation menu on the left hand side of the page. Last updated 10 November The schematic is similar to the PoddWatt design and able to use a huge variety of tubes.

The circuit is biased into Class-A, ultra-linear operation and output power will be dependent on the tubes utilized. At full output the amp produces a clean 1. This amplifier did a little better than this having a -3dB bandwidth from about 46Hz to about 30kHz.

The 6CY7 stereo amp uses a 6CA4 tube rectified power supply with excellent channel separation. Matt reports: This is quickly becoming my favorite amp. I highly recommend that anyone looking for a little iPod or computer amp give this one a try.

The builder will need to provide a VDC power supply, an enclosure and miscellaneous hardware like connectors and switches. Mark uses 9V batteries for the power supply and is very pleased with the results. The single-ended 6EM7 amplifier is housed in a vertical wooden chassis that has been styled after early vacuum tube equipment of the s.

Matt reports that the 6EM7 amplifier sounds wonderful! The bass is well articulated without being boomy, mid-tones are clear and even, and the highs are crystal clear.

The speaker cabinet plans are from the FEEn driver datasheet. The horn loudspeaker cabinets are made from 21 mm thick pine plywood and use a single FEEn fullrange driver and no crossover.

Australian beeswax is used on the outside of the horn cabinet and heavy cedar oil was applied to the mouth of the horn.

Mark reports that the horn speakers can draw an extremely accurate soundstage, sound excellent and have lead to a whole new listening experience with Paris, a 2. This is a complete amp kit that includes all the necessary parts and enclosure to build a stereo amplifier. The LM amp kit comes with audio-grade capacitors and toroidal transformer.While building an extensive collection is never cheap, there are ways that you can still get affordable phono preamps that are also high-quality.

Those looking for a simple plug-and-play phono preamp will love the Rolls VP29which has no buttons or knobs and is designed to perform one task and one task only — amplifying the sound of your favorite vinyl to standard playback level with RIAA equalization. ART Pro Audio has made a name for itself as a purveyor of solid studio gear for some time now.

A clean, plug-and-play preamp from one of our favorite manufacturers of affordable turntables, the Pluto adheres to the traditional RIAA equalization standard, and adds high-quality internal components to boost your signal chain via simple RCA connection. OK, so if you want to go big but not Manhattan trust fund bigthe Graham Slee Communicator is the phono preamp for you.

Designed exclusively for moving magnet cartridges sorry moving coil fansthis handmade, aluminum-encased phono preamp out of the U. Made-to-order, the Communicator delivers audio with beautiful detail via gold-plated RCA inputs and outputs on the back.

DIY Vacuum Tube (Valve) RIAA Phono Preamp

For the money, this is the audiophile preamp of choice. Graham Slee. The Recording Industry Association of America established this equalization EQ standard in for playback of vinyl records for two reasons: To standardize sound quality in all vinyl recordsand to permit greater recording times by assuring the actual grooves in each record conformed to a smaller size.

It is always connected to the cartridge, which converts its physical inputs into electrical outputs. Typically, styluses are tipped with a small diamond or other industrial-grade gemstone. It is imperative that the stylus is kept clean and free of static electricity to maintain quality playback, which is why experts recommend you use a record brush for every spin, every time.

A phono cartridge is a small electromechanical device that relays analog signal from the grooves in the vinyl disc to your entire audio system. Moving magnet cartridges create an electrical signal from the analog inputs of the stylus by you guessed it a moving magnet set within two copper coils. Moving coil cartridges are different than moving magnet cartridges in that when the stylus moves, it moves coils around a magnet to produce an electrical signal, rather than moving the magnet itself.

They are also usually much more expensive than moving magnet cartridges. The best wireless headphones for 40 minutes ago. The best earbuds for 2 days ago. The best smart speakers for 2 days ago. Veritone launches DraftClips. These are the best Amazon Echo deals for April 1 day ago. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. Samsung Galaxy Buds 2: Everything we know about the true wireless earbuds 1 day ago.After more than 25 years of faithful service, it seemed that it might be time to redo my phono system.

After all, I like to think that I've picked up a few tricks in the intervening years Given that the Troika cannot be retipped for anything less than a California mortgage payment, new MCs are priced like the fashion accessories that they are, and that the deck end of the phono system still worked reasonably, my attention focused toward upgrading the phono preamp and accommodating it to whatever cartridge I could dig up.

That ended up being a vintage Technics MC, which was a nice find- I'm a big fan of Technics' high-end cartridges from the late '70s to mid-'80s.

JFET RIAA Phono Preamplifier Kit

Second priority went to bringing the VPI up to a higher standard, but that's a story for a different time. To celebrate the acquisition of the Technics, I decided to just chuck the old phono preamp and build a new one from scratch. The old one, a hybrid tube-FET cascode design, suffered from less-than-optimal noise and distortion, insane power supply sensitivity, and OK-not-great RIAA conformance, so the new one is designed to be better in those respects.

And it turns out to be simpler than my old unit, which is a bonus. This article will describe the preamp design and construction. An intermediate builder can duplicate this circuit in a point-to-point or perfboard build, but if you're an advanced builder, you've probably got your own way of doing things.

Beginners will probably want to use a PCB just to make sure that all is stable and quiet. And, as usual, I will make some very unpopular design choices. Background May I let you in on a little secret? All electronics are not created equal. Some parts are more critical and difficult than others. In any analog system and music is originally and ultimately analogthere's some sort of input transducer, some sort of output transducer, and a bunch of wires and circuit elements in between.

The difficult bits, and the most critical, are where the output of the electronics meets a transducer speaker or headphones and where a transducer meets the input of the electronics mike amps, phono amps, tape amps. The output part of the electronics chain has been well-handled by many fine power amp designs.

In the tube world, the phono end has been much less successful. So-called classic preamps have terrible distortion and noise performance, poor drive capability, lousy headroom, and unmentionable overload recovery. Too many of the more recent designs are just lipstick on a pig; someone takes a circuit out of a tube manual, designed for the cheapest s department store record consoles, slaps in a few designer caps, and proclaims it a wonder.

Or a straightforward circuit is badly crippled by stuffing it full of fashion statements without regard to basic engineering. There are a few good ones out there, but not many. I think we can do better. If you're going to do something as irrational as build a piece of tube gear, it's worth engineering it properly. And there are actually good, sound, rational reasons to use tubes for this application in the first place: headroom, overload recovery, and linearity.

Requirements Accurate shooting requires a target. We will start by defining requirements: 1.

$30 Audiophile Grade RCA Interconnects, DIY Better Sounding High Quality Cables

Low noise. The cartridge chosen has chillingly low output 0. Tight RIAA conformance. I don't think that 0. Channel-to-channel should be at least twice as close if not betterand this conformance ought to be robust toward change in tube characteristics with age.Site Announcements. No Medical Threads. Forum Problems. If there is a forum related problem please leave a message here so an Admin will see it. Request to have account Today AM.

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Soldering a 4 layers board. Software Tools. Speaker Design Toole says a lot of room EQI'm a sucker for a simple kit and a hot iron. That is where it all stopped. The circuit board remained complete and laying about for a few years. It appeared the Hiraga had too much output and was over-driving the tube stage.

So I needed another MC stage. The kit builder needs to supply their own power supply, enclosure and hardware connectors, switches The kit contents are shown below. Four Stand-offs for mounting the PCB are included. You have to provide your own chassis, power supply VDCand various connectors.

The MC PrePre kit only has a handful of components and for the practiced DIYer the whole soldering chore can be over in less than an hour. Some of the solder pads are quite small so a fine soldering tip and some soldering experience is required.

Some solder points I found a challenge and I have been on the cooler end of a soldering iron for over forty years. The schematic shown in Figure 1 below is from the kit assembly manual. If you take a look at the circuit you will see it is very simple. The tweaks I think have been quite smart and I believe have really advanced the basic Le Pacific designs. Boozhound Labs is known for their designing and supplying audio kits around the Russian paper-in-oil PIO caps. In every case I have been pleased with the results.

The Russian PIO caps are inexpensive and good sounding. A lot of other DIYers sing their praise also. As stated above, the circuit board had been assembled for quite some time, but now it is time to finish the project. These enclosure boxes I source from my local electronics store where I also work. They are light weight but with the addition of some bitumised heavy Aluminum foil, the enclosure can be considered reasonable.

diy audiophile phono preamp

Most of my MM and MC phono stages have been powered by batteries. I like batteries for a few reasons; the operation of the unit is usually very quiet and they are very portable.

I arrive at others homes with phono stages and no mains power required. Generally battery changes are infrequent because power drain is very low with most devices using only a few jFETs. For this build I decided to use better RCAs.

diy audiophile phono preamp

I have always used gold plated RCAs but in this instance I used a premium grade gold plated connectors. The kit was designed to run on 12 to 24V.

Using two 9V batteries put the supply voltage right in the sweet spot at 18V. Using quality batteries is not essential but generally means few battery replacements. I'm currently using Panasonic batteries. To further assist in battery monitoring I include a battery test point at the front of the units. Thus battery testing does not require the enclosure be opened. Bitumanised heavy Aluminum foil lines the inner lid and bottom of the enclosure to help control vibration and resonance.

Battery clips hold the 9V batteries and a low-glow yellow led indicates "ON". The kit is so simple that any possible improvements means different resistors and caps. Vishay Dale resistors could be used though I think the provided metal film types are sufficient.A phono preamp aka phono stage raises your turntable's output to make it compatible with modern amps.

At the same time, it adds standardised equalisation. So why do you need one? Your turntable either doesn't have one, in which case you won't be able to play records without one. Or maybe you just want to upgrade its sound beyond what's possible with the built-in preamp.

As with many product categories, models span all kinds of price ranges. But whether you're looking to pinch pennies or break the bank, we've got a phono preamp for you: we've drawn on our extensive reviews back catalogue to pick the best around right now, so you can be sure that you're buying quality. The Rega Fono MM MK2 was one of the finest phono stages available, so to say expectations were high for its successor is a bit of an understatement.

Thankfully, it meets them and then some. The design has been fine-tuned within an inch of its life, making for a much sleeker product that retains the winning simplicity of its predecessor. The Award-winning sound of the MK2 now has a greater dynamic range and greater clarity, making an already fantastic performance even better. The best sound-for-pound phono preamp around. With moving magnet and moving coil compatibility, a headphone amp and corking performance, this is a solid effort.

Well this is certainly a looker. With an offset volume dial, minimalist styling and mirrored rear labelling that's easy to read even if you're peering over the top of the unit, it's clear a lot of thought has gone into this device.

Phono Preamps

And no less attention has been paid to the audio quality. The presentation is very good indeed, being spacious and cohesive, while the sound is dynamic and the timing spot-on. It doesn't quite match the Rega Fono MM MK2, but it certainly holds its own, which makes it certainly worthy of consideration. Sure, it's small and fairly basic looking, but every effort has been made on the innards: they give sufficient body to a song's vocals without overloading it with bass.

It has a great sense of timing, too. One of the best budget phono preamps around. Tracks are served up with lashings of zest and enthusiasm, along with a side serving of musicality and dynamics. And because it has a USB out, you can also use it to digitise your vinyl collection. Another oldie but still a goodie, the Gram Amp 2 holds its own a full five years after first coming on the scene.

And you can see why - simplicity is the name of the game here, an approach that ages remarkably well.

diy audiophile phono preamp

It's a moving-magnet phono stage with one set of inputs, one output, no bells or whistles. Sound quality is first rate: fantastically detailed, with the upper register particularly impressive. There's also an optional PSU1 linear audio upgrade, a 24V DC brick that evens out the variations from a household power supply.

It will cost you a bit more, but if you want to elevate this already excellent budget model then it's worth it. With its smart, understated looks, you can tell this will impress before you even plug it in.

And once you do you won't be disappointed: it handles both moving magnet and moving coil cartridges, and even comes with a handy tool for adjusting the settings. The sound is superlative, packing plenty of power, with generous scale and pleasing stability. Add in a smooth and refined tonal balance, and you've got quite a package on your hands. Hurry though, as Arcam has just discontinued the rPhono and it's getting hard to find. Read the full review: Arcam rPhono.

Catering for both moving magnet and moving coil cartridges is a rarity at this price, and doing so with such aplomb is even rarer. This has bags of features - some of some might be overkill, but this phono stage still performs with plenty of gusto.If the ohm resistors are not available from your supplier, use 2 x 1k5 resistors in parallel. Alternatively, you can use the originally specified 82nF cap with a ohm resistor.

The worst case error with any of these networks is less than 0. The original network was used before E24 resistor values became commonplace ohms is an E12 value, which used to be all one could get easily.

RIAA equalisation is the standard for vinyl disks. It's been in use for a long time some time aroundand was 'tinkered' with by the IEC to tame the bottom end. The 'amendment' by the IEC was apparently withdrawn in IMO it never worked, and never sounded right.

Many active EQ stages can't continue the rolloff much beyond 25kHz or so, because the gain of the amplifier stage can never be less than unity. A few use fully passive EQ in the belief that it somehow sounds 'better', but the stage featured here uses a combination of active and passive, in separate networks. The design was used by me long before the Internet, and the version shown with a few minor updates along the way was first published on the ESP website in Most RIAA equalised phono stages have an additional and undesirable zero at some frequency above 20kHz.

This extra zero is avoided in the design described, because the circuit uses a passive low pass filter that continues to roll off the high frequency response above 20kHz, with the final rolloff limit somewhere well beyond 10MHz depending on the capacitor's self inductance. The terms 'pole' and 'zero' need some in this case simplistic explanation.

If a zero is introduced after a pole as shown abovethe effect is to stop the rolloff - back to flat response. The flat response is seen between Hz and 2,Hz. The next pole 2,Hz causes the signal to roll off again. The 'indeterminate' zero above 20kHz is caused because many preamps cannot reduce their gain below some fixed value determined by the circuit although the effect is often seen well before the gain falls that far.

Not all have this issue, and it's not present in P As noted further below and elsewhere on the ESP website, striving for 'perfect' accuracy is pointless, as so much depends on the pickup cartridge itself, the tone arm, and of course the recording.

When you purchase vinyl, no-one tells you what EQ was applied during the mastering and cutting processes, the high frequency response degrades after the disc has been played many times, so ultimately you have to let your ears be the final judge of what sounds right to you. The phono preamp described here has an accurate RIAA equalisation curve, is very quiet, and offers better sonic performance than the vast majority of those seen in magazines and application notes.

This is of course subjective, and is based on countless reports from those who've built it.


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