HiFi Haven Group Project - Building The "World's Best Tube Phono Preamp"

prime minister

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With so much interesting chat on phono preamps of late, it seemed a Shame to not actually make use of that great information.
So with all of your help, here is what I am suggesting:

"The HiFi Haven - World's Best Phono Preamp"

How this would work is we would as a group design as good of a Moving Magnet phono preamp as we can. Enough gain to handle most MM cartridges. Plus, the flexibilty to load cartridges properly.

Esoteric is fine, but it must be made with readily available parts. No one off 1930's transformers or unobtanium tubes.

One or two chassis is fine. Cosmetics are also important. Having seen what folks like @Redboy and @Alexz have done to make professional looking gear, to do otherwise would be just lazy.

What we come up with will be shared openly with all HiFi Haven members. To make it somewhat realistic, I'd like to set a project parts cost of $2000. Is that realistic? And that's $2000 in available parts, not $200 in parts and $1800 in tubes from Upscale Audio. :)

The whole process will be shared in ongoing threads here.

Thoughts? Who's in? Let's build something fantastic.
I'm really excited to see where this goes. May even start scraping together nickels and dimes. :)
Obviously, no opamps.
Not all opamps are ICs -- heck, not all opamps are solid state.




Cool idea! I'm not use from a technical standpoint, but apart from that I'm certainly interested!
Another circuit possibility is the Audio Note phono preamp. The schematic was on the Audio Note Kit website for a long time. If it isn’t still there I can locate it in my files. There are two versions. The earlier one uses 3 tubes (6072/12ay7) with a SRPP input stage and passive eq between the two stages. I believe the audio circuit is the same as the one used in AN UK preamps for a long time. The more recent Kit circuit uses two tubes—-a 12ax7 input stage and 6dj8 output. I suspect the current design was motivated more by tube availability issues and noise problems with the original circuit than it was motivated by sonic considerations. (Audio Note Kits in Canada is no longer owned by or controlled by AN UK).

Each of the ANK phono circuits uses a tube regulator similar to the AN UK preamps but not identical. My inclination would be to use a brute force PS with more iron and no regulator.

Each of the AN circuits would be easy to build point to point, and the parts cost would be cheap to expensive depending on your comfort level.

Actually I was thinking of the ANK L3 which used three 6072 tubes and the L3 v.2 which uses one 12ax7 and one 6dj8. I don't know how either circuit sounds but they seem pretty simple to build.