Hello from Paris

Hi all the DIY’ers !

First, sorry for my english...
I discover this forum, and I like it very mutch !

20 years ago, I discover also the tube amps and horn speakers. Thanks to the fantastic review Sound Practices (salutation to Joe Roberts 😉...), were I learn all that I love now. Reading Gordon Rankin, I build my first amp (The Buggle) with 45 tubes.
Then, reading Herb Reichert (salutation too, I meat him at Munich several time...), I build a modified version of the Flesh and Blood SE 300B with Tango Trans. Then I fall in love with DHT triodes !

Note that I have the chance to go to Munich since 2 years, and the Silbatone + WE horn system is outstanding ! JC Morrison is a really great designer, and Silbatone make really jewells, also for transformers and phono. The sound is so beautiful, and far better than the majority of modern stuff... Not to say the great vinyl set up (Frank and Thomas are fine analog specialists).

Four years ago, I build the great preamp 26, reading the big thread on DIY Audio, and the good site VT52.
The combination 26 + 300B is fantastic on horn speakers.
So, it’s a long time than the Altec VOT A5 are in my living room : 416/8B, 299-16A on 1005B Horn, EV ST 350A for the tweeter, all in 6dB crossover, and a mix of PIO Leclanché and small ITT PP caps. Important : the Low Pass on the 299 A, that make a good combination with the EV. Soon, I add a JBL subwoofer with a 2240A drived by a Yamaha PX8 for Home Cinema : the big show ! (My wife is 100% OK !).

I love the vinyle, and also my Garrard 301 grease with Schick tonearm, plus FR64S (soon a Schröder CB9), with SPU retiped Linear Contact by Ana Mighty Sound, and also an EMT TSD 15 retiped by AMS too. Step up Peerless, and Acteon (a little french builder, using vintage trans. from mic. LEM).

My tube phono preamp is a RCA passive RIAA with two 6SL7 and a third stage 6J5 (not cathode follower, I prefer). So it invert phase, but no matter, the 26 too ! I’m modifiying it, to a split RIAA like the Hagerman Cornet (octal version). It’s on the table...

But, at the end, I’m very interested by the phono of Salectric, based on the D3A + 5687, a very good project I think.
But a phono preamp is difficult to make, the more difficult thing that I ever build.
With my job, journalist at the french review Haute Fidelité, I can hear pretty good phono, but the best ones are very expensive ! So, better to build one !...

Lately, I will post some pictures of my system. But the amp + pré have not a really good look, very grunge 😀
( I want to modify them easely...).

A bit too long, but I’m happy to read you soon...


Hi Bruno, and welcome to the Haven! Your English is waaaaay better than my French, so no worries!

You have some really nice equipment and a DIY ethos that will fit in just fine, here. I look forward to the photos!



Staff member
Welcome Bruno! Great to have you with us. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more about your system.
Hello all !
Thanks for the « bienvenue ».

I’m quite busy this days...
But I promise to send you some pictures this WE.
Garrard 301 grease + Schick 12" + SPU retiped Linear Contact. The Schröder CB9 will soon arrive with the EMT TSD15, in a new plinth for two arms. The new phono RIAA passive split RIAA (I will post the schematic later), modified this WE. The choke Stancor is quite too near the tube, but it's OK. I like the sound, far better than the RCA basic, specially in the bass. Some mods will come (best capas in the RIAA section, now it's simple Wima Blue).


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The electronics : 300B amp schematic Flesh and Blood ala Reichert, but the PS is separate for each stage, with 2 choke and two PS rail : it's far better ! Cerafine capacitor, Tango XE-60-5, 5K on the primary (very good transformer, no default, musical). 6SN7 Hytron. On the VOT, it's the perfect match, when you try a good DHT, impossible to go back... The 300B are my favorite Sophia mesh, not really the sound of the real 300B, like WE Replicas, but they are so airy, detailed, liquid. The other I like very much is the PS Vane WE 300B Replica, little pricey, but the best closed to the real Western Sound (we compare on a WE 91A Replica of Maison de l'Audiophile of my friend, with Partridge Trans). The PS Vane were compared so to the Takatsuki, and there were little better in the mids. (for my taste). Other good candidate is the EML 300B mesh, but it's also expensive. To me, the Sophia mesh are the better for the price, widely.


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Now the 26 préamp, the beast :smile: ... but it sound so good.
The important things are : valve AZ1 mesh (so good...), the current regulation for filament like VT52 did (the Rod Coleman module work very well also), the fixed bias grid with a 9V battery (yes, the cathode capacitors impact very hard on the sound of the triode), good capacitors (I like vintage ITT ones). Chokes are Audio Note ones. I would liked to try an output TS, why not the Tango NP126 one ? the advantage is to keep the phase at the secondary (while here it is inverted) and lower impedance,. The wires are all silver cryo treated with KLE silver RCA.

PS : sorry, it's really a prototype, but the sound depend off all the éléments. Just putting some rubber feet don't sound the same... (I try and and I don't like it). The problem is that I'm afraid to change the sound I like, rebuilding it. A kind of supertistion :) Again, I have an intuition that the chassis in medium wood sound good, I don't want to change to metal. Perhaps I will choose a bakelite one...


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