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  »  New  A new generation of full-function preamps...  Preamps vs. music servers....  Audio Discussions  Forum     4  46440  08-29-2011
07-07-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Seattle, WA
Posts 93
Joined on 07-07-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 2641
Reply to: 2641
Where are the full-function preamps?
Vinyl almost died after the launch of CDs, but today the popularity of vinyl playback is on the rise. Music stores are selling more music available on LPs, and many audiogon systems include turntables.

So where are the full-function preamps?

Before digital, preamps were used to amplify low level signals like tape and tuners, and amplify and equalize phono signal inputs. They also had funtionality for input selection and volume control. After the launch of CD, phono inputs became optional in preamps as demand for LP playback fell. Now, there are many systems with only a single high-level digital input. Yet line stages are still considered essential by many. Why, unless the system is poorly designed and implemented?

The standard recommendation is for outboard phono units. Of course, this means at least one more set of interconnects. And some phono units need an outboard step-up transformer for sufficient gain with low-output (<0.5 mv) cartridges. And this means another set of interconnects, in an application (between transformer output and phono stage input) where the wire has a huge detrimental effect on the signal. The trend is for more equipment, requiring more ancillaries like power cords, interconnects and line filters, and more shelf space. And is this resulting in improved performance?

Why aren't consumers and LP enthusiasts lobbying for full function preamps to better serve our interests? And why aren't manufacturers, dealers and reviewers taking the lead by discussing this topic? There are a few exceptions that come to mind (CAT, Shindo, Supratek) but for the most part, we have few commercial preamps that properly serve vinyl playback.
07-07-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat

Boston, MA
Posts 10,044
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 2643
Reply to: 2641
Re: a full-function opposite thing?

Well, there are many full-function preamps. It is a common tendency nowadays to make an add-in board with phonocorrector to a line-function preamps. Recently even the full blown tube preamps use the j-fet phono-boards.

Interesting that I would like to see opposite thing that unfortunately no one use. If you look my thread:

The ultimate buffer – light in the end of a tunnel

then you might realize that I do not believe in the absolute transparency of the tube buffers, at least I was not able to witness one. So, I would like to see an attempt of making a full-function preamp with: two stages 70dB phono stages (for instance around the 7788) and a Placette-level  SS buffer. It might be very interesting…

The caT

"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
07-08-2006 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
guy sergeant
United Kingdom
Posts 260
Joined on 08-03-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 2645
Reply to: 2643
Re: full-function Pre-amp
Hi Romy,

I have listened to one of these alot recently although unfortunately I don't own one!


I'm sure you wouldn't enjoy it at all but others might and ought to try to at least hear one if they have the opportunity. I think it works very well and allows all types of music to be enjoyed.

I would like the opportunity to hear the Placette but they don't seem to have distribution outside the US.


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