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Suggestions on valve pre-amp with phono stage.

graham67

Wammer
Wammer
May 19, 2010
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Hi,

Would like to ask for suggestions on valve pre-amps with an onboard MM phono stage. It is to partner a net audio modded Quad 405-3 and Tannoy 15" in GRF cabinets.

I am currently using a Canary Audio line ECC88 pre amp and a Creek OBH 15 II phono stage which sounds very nice. However gain is a bit high on the pre and I am sure the phono stage (although surprisingly good) could be bettered. With my AT MM cart, I am using the adjustable Creek phono on 47ohm load, 100pf cap and 40db gain, so all very stock settings.

I dont want dual or stepped volume controls. And the gain must not be too high as the Quad is 1.5v input sensitivity and the Tannoys are very sensitive. I will be using mainly for rock, pop, electronic, vocal, etc so something with good pace and presence.

I have a good selection of NOS ECC82, 83, 88 valves so would be bonus to find something that uses these, but it is not a deal breaker.

And as I am trying to keep the box count down, I want a single chassis unit that preferably doesn't weigh 25 kg.... And NOT in silver or champagne!

Will consider s/h or new and would prefer something manufactured in UK or Europe as easier to get repairs etc, but will consider US or Japanese too.

I am not in a rush, as my current rig sounds good so can take my time to find a suitable unit.

Thanks for any suggestions and ideas.

Graham.

 

FunkyGibbon

Wammer
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Aug 16, 2005
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AKA
Mark
Hi Graham, just to mention that it's not difficult to reduce the sensitivity of the Quad 405-3. It's an option as it might broaden your range of pre-amp options.

 

RobHolt

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Aug 28, 2006
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Rob
If the Quad is sitting at 1.5v sensitivity it's already had a reduction and should be working well with most things. The high sensitivity of the Tannoys is the complicating factor.

You can take it lower of course - technically the lower the better if the pre can drive it.

Seems a shame to replace the entire pre/phono when a few resistors and caps will sort the issue.

I'm assuming the NET Audio input stage follows the original Quad. If it's a different circuit topology, give them a shout and I'm sure they'll advise.

 

Juancho

Wammer
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Jan 22, 2014
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David
Hi, World Designs modular kits give fantastic sound quality for the money. Of course they are kits but if you were interested I would quote you for building some.

The Pre uses ECC82s and the phono stage ECC83s

 

bmtell

Wammer
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May 9, 2010
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Northampton
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Mark
1.5v input sensitivity seems very reasonable for most active pre.....
Quite a few valve pre's can have a fair bit of gain. For example mine has 23dB.

Personally I'd adjust the i/p gain of the Quad and see if you are happy with the sound. Otherwise 2nd hand Conrad Johnson stuff is very well made and good vfm.

 

graham67

Wammer
Wammer
May 19, 2010
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hi guys thanks for comments,

yes you are correct, the Net Audio 1.5v is a lower sensitivty than the standard 405-2 boards which are 0.5v. Actually the valve pre has already been cleverly modded down from a crazy 20v to about 3.5v output for a 2v input, but it is still a bit on the high side. My Quad 34 pre with 0.5v output is about ideal!

I like the idea of having a valve phono stage again, so thought rather than just look for a phono stage, get a pre with a decent built in phono stage.

 

naxos10

Wammer
Wammer
Dec 8, 2009
610
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Staffordshire
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Alan
Hi Graham,

I used to use the original Croft Micro with a 405-2 and the result was very good, so I would imagine that the newer croft would also suit (I am using the current version with crofts own ss power amp - excellent). Believe me using the dual controls becomes second nature, I marked my typical listening levels in two places around the pot which makes things even easier.

 

graham67

Wammer
Wammer
May 19, 2010
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Croft keeps popping up. And I have heard a croft pre into my 405-2 into LS3/5a and thought it sounded very good. But I really am not a fan of those dual volume controls though.....

 

HoopsOnToast

Legend Wammer
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Feb 6, 2006
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Rob
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
I have been impressed with my Croft Micro 25 Basic, but then I am using it as a fixed output pre/phono stage and control the volume on my 'power amp' directly.

 

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