Phono pre-amp discussion

Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by JoshMorr, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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    New pre/phono pre from Parks Audio. Their former product was a tube-based phono stage with a good rep, this one is (I'm guessing) op amp, but my god the versatility is off the charts, especially for the price! It's too bad it only has one set of inputs because the adjustable gain goes low enough for a digital player, but I guess for $400.00 you can't have it all. Might be a good buy for the loaner program?:rolleyes:

    http://parksaudiollc.com/
     
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  2. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    So this does RIAA in the digital domain?
     
  3. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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    Yeah, I think so. I'm trying to be open minded.
     
  4. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Saw some specs in the manual:

    ADC: pcm1808
    DAC: pcm5102a
    DSP: ARM Cortex M4 80 MHz
    Analog stage: NJM2122M opamp

    I asked a while ago if there was an audiophile digital RIAA and this could be it. Very curious what this is like.
     
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  5. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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    400 bucks, it's tempting....though I think it's sold out until mid June.
     
  6. Dusty

    Dusty Acquaintance

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    I've got the Parks Audio Budgie and love it. I have only compared it to my dads Jolida JD9 and yes the Jolida did beat it out but not by much. The Jolida did get new caps put in and that was a huge difference in that sound but as for the Budgie I only rolled tubes and settled on some russian rockets. I tried the Amperex Bugel Boy tubes but overall the Rockets sound a touch fuller.

    I run the Budgie into a VPI Scout.

    I did see Shannons new post about the new Parks Audio preamp and thought..."hmmm".

    If anyone gets one I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    db
     
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  7. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    I think if you are using a turntable to get analog audio, you'd kill the joy of analog with a digital phono stage, especially one performing DSP.
     
  8. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    I've applied RIAA in the digital domain for needle drops and a decent phono stage does a way better job. It's not even close.

    I wish I still had comparison files around but I did this almost a decade ago.
     
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  9. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    If going A/D -> D/A, it kind of defeats the purpose of analog.

    I'd be all about DSP RIAA if recording though for transfers. You could do this in the box with preamp that bypasses the EQ circuit.
     
  10. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Friend

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    Your budgie has some pedestrian output caps (and bypasses) just like the Jolida had. Very easy to swap those out if you are willing to give it a try.
     
  11. Dusty

    Dusty Acquaintance

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    Thats great to know for the next time I go tweaking :) Thanks!

    db
     
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  12. Chris F

    Chris F Boyz 4 Now Fanatic - Friend

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    For needledrops digital RIAA can be very good thing. The filter has perfect response and with enough taps and phase/ringing optimization it will sound extremely good; essentially you're in the digital domain so might as well take advantage. For the analog side you can get away with a single gain stage which greatly simplifies design. The channel D Seta stuff (I still have a model L) is a good example.

    For a complete loop... ehhhhhhh. Maybe. I heard the CH integrated (which does digital RIAA) in Montreal with a big dollar setup (Kronos/Lyra/Magico) and it was OK but not amazing especially given the $$$ involved. I'm not sure if I would like a budget implementation. You are at the mercy of the digital side (ADC/DAC/DSP) and for what you can stick in a budget phono pre.... highly skeptical this will sound better than keeping it analog.
     
  13. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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    I'm skeptical too, but who knows? With some searching I haven't read a single first-person review. Would a basically one-man show market a well-accepted tube based pre, drop it totally, and move to a shitty sounding digital product, and risk losing all the good will his company has built up? It's hard to imagine, but I'm guessing we'll eventually find out.
     
  14. sfoclt

    sfoclt Friend

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    Chris F, drfindley, dmckean44 and 2 others like this.
  15. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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  16. JoshMorr

    JoshMorr Friend

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    Speaking of phasing out the 834p, doing a A/B shootout at the house right now.

    20180611_183035.jpg

    834p and a ECPA. I've had the 834p for a year or so, ECPA for an hour. Really like the blackness of the EC and bigger stage. Also has more gain. Sonically have not figured out all the +/- going each way, but excited to figure it out over next few days / weeks
     
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  17. recstar24

    recstar24 Rando

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    EC has a phono stage? How did I miss that one lol
     
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  18. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Friend

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    I think it's long discontinued and very low production from that period. If ec put one out today I bet it'd sell better than it did in the past.
     
  19. JoshMorr

    JoshMorr Friend

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    From my brief understanding of the history of EC Phonos (mostly 1 head fi post and a bit of banter from associates here) there was the EC Transcription. Awesome name, well recieved.

    Then there was the Phono Amplifier (ECPA) which was a second run, slightly modified. Rumors of slightly better step up trans, higher price tag. Not sure of how many were made in either run, and was quite confused when one popped up in the used market, I've never seen it mentioned before. Thought it might have been a one off or a prototype transcription for a bit.
     
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  20. sfoclt

    sfoclt Friend

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    I wish Craig would do another run. I like the form factor with the internal SUT's at least.
     

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