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The last phono preamp thread (?)
fewtch
post May 31 2002, 09:49
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Hi everyone,

OK... I found another phono preamp, built into an old (mid 80's?) Fisher amplifier. It seems like overkill to use this thing just for recording to digital (this is a 115 watt amp!), but I like the sound better than the one built into the Denon turntable, and I think you will too (will you let me know?)

Denon:

http://home.attbi.com/~fewtchmon/denon.mp3

Fisher:

http://home.attbi.com/~fewtchmon/fisher.mp3

Both wavs were recorded at the same point on the record, normalized to the same levels, then encoded using --alt-preset extreme. The "phono input" and "Tape record output" was used on the Fisher amp, and no equalization of any kind was done in both cases.

I like the sound of the Fisher better, but can't tell a drastic difference visually with Cool Edit Pro (but I'm not experienced reading the graphs). Any opinions, ABX results, etc? smile.gif

Edit - there's an extra click in the "fisher" mp3, so ABX probably won't do it rolleyes.gif

Edit2 -- I could also make these available as .PAC files if anyone's interested.


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JonPike
post May 31 2002, 19:29
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As per my post on the original thread.. it might be an idea (for us spectral analysis users) to put up really short pac's of isolated clicks..

I see in these mp3's have a wider freq range.. the earlier ones had a decided rolloff around 16Khz.. not --alt preset extreme, I'll bet..

I tried using a click buried in the music, maybe I got too much other stuff in there, but it seemed very flat, no 6db/octave rise or fall. Probably me, or the background filling in.
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fewtch
post May 31 2002, 21:36
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QUOTE
Originally posted by JonPike
As per my post on the original thread..  it might be an idea (for us spectral analysis users) to put up really short pac's of isolated clicks..

I see in these mp3's have a wider freq range..  the earlier ones had a decided rolloff around 16Khz..  not --alt preset extreme,  I'll bet..

Strange, cuz I think they were --alt-preset extreme. I don't know what the cause of the rolloff was.

Anyway, I'll see what I can do about the clicks (it depends on the nature of the tick -- if it's on the 'edge' of a waveform rather than a 'discrete' click, it can't be isolated at all, it's mixed into the music).

Anyone with a subjective opinion on the two MP3's?


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fewtch
post May 31 2002, 22:53
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Ya know... after listening again today, I can't decide which I like better... the "smoother" sound of the external preamp (with more bass) or the apparently better midrange of the preamp built into the turntable.

I think I'm gonna have to apply Occam's Razor... and stick with the built-in preamp. Case closed, until I can get an external preamp that I know is reproducing frequencies accurately.

???


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JonPike
post May 31 2002, 23:39
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Actually, looking closer there isn't that much difference, or a sharp rolloff. I started looking in (freq) linear mode, then log mode.. it's easy to think it's rolling off fast, when it's more slowly rolling off around 18Khz..

Another thing.. the mp3 encoding is probably doing SOMETHING

Heh.. ask me if I know it's easy to get sucked into technical fiddling with something, and not getting anything done.. If it's resonably good.. good.. keep doing the records.

Macdaddy and I will be your (and any later readers on the thread) guinea pigs for that Hagerman Bugle kit..
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JonPike
post May 31 2002, 23:48
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GRRR... been a while since I punched the tab and sent something in the middle of editing.. rolleyes.gif

Anyway.. was adding that the mp3 encoding, even -alt preset extreme, has to do SOMETHING to the near perfect impulse of a click.. so a non compressed file would be best..

I'd be interested in swapping click collections.. still haven't made any yet myself..

Also, I notice that most clicks do not seem the same, left to right channel. Either your setup is emphasizing left over right (possible cartridtge misalignment?) or more likely, the left side of the groove was the more damaged in the few clicks I found in that sample.. Probably impossible to find an "equally scrached" click..

Though on some test records I've heard of, they have a 1Khz balanced tone, that if you measure phase diff left to right, you can tell if you have cart set up right that way..
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Pio2001
post Jun 1 2002, 00:29
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I think I prefer the Fisher sound. The Denon has a tiring lack of detail that reminds me of my old low-grade Grado ZC catridge.
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fewtch
post Jun 1 2002, 02:46
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Pio2001
I think I prefer the Fisher sound. The Denon has a tiring lack of detail that reminds me of my old low-grade Grado ZC catridge.

I don't think a phono preamp will change the sense of detail much (?). It's a low-end turntable (Denon DP26F), so don't expect miracles... a lot of cartridges cost more than this turntable does ($150). Also, the records I play (including the sample) are about 30 years old, and purchased off Ebay (you can't expect a modern sound from early 70's mastering, I don't think).

What I hear in the Denon preamp is good midrange, but weak everything else (especially bass). Unfortunately after listening to the Fisher again, I find a *lack of* detail in some music that I could hear loud & clear with the Denon preamp, which suggests weak midrange. When I say lack of detail in this case, I mean weak presence of certain instruments.

What i really need is a good quality (proven) preamp, it would answer questions that otherwise have no answers. Unfortunately, my bank acct. is not amenable to another major purchase right now... rolleyes.gif


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fewtch
post Jun 9 2002, 07:04
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Update on this subject --

I'm now considering one of the following two:

(1) Terratec phono preamp:

http://www.terratec.net/products/preamp/preamp_overview.htm

(2) B-Tech BT-926:

http://www.btech-usa.com/bt926.htm

Any opinions? smile.gif Am also shopping for a used direct-drive turntable on Ebay, cuz the Denon DP26F is not gonna cut it... it won't even accept P-mount cartridges, and the built in cart. is crappy.


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JonPike
post Jun 10 2002, 06:55
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Have seen the Terratec in ads, and never heard of B-Tech.

As far as having a clue.. we would need to read comments by owners, or reviews by somewhat discerning testers to get any idea how good/bad these are..

If they are designed to be in the >$100 range.. they are just about guarenteed to have "low cost" as design critera #1..

Remember, if you are going to have a company, and make things to sell.. you aim to 15-30% parts cost.. or you won't be making money enough to stay in buisness..

So, $100 sales price = about $20 cost in parts, labor, packaging..
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fewtch
post Jun 21 2002, 03:49
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OK, I ended up winning a Music Hall MMF-1 phono preamp on Ebay (no longer sold, apparently -- I couldn't find any specs).

If I don't like it I'm gonna turn around & sell it again, but it couldn't be any worse than a NAD PP-1 or similar device. Anyone have any opinions or heard of this piece of gear?


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smg
post Jun 21 2002, 12:01
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Check out this fewtch Doesnt sound like what you have though
http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/sh.pl?anlg...AAAmusic%20hall[/url]
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fewtch
post Jun 21 2002, 16:14
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QUOTE
Originally posted by smg
Check out this fewtch Doesnt sound like what you have though
http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/sh.pl?anlg...AAAmusic%20hall[/url]

Yes, it's the Music Hall MMF-1 turntable. Here's what I bought:



Maybe they originally included a preamp with the turntable, or sold one that matches the turntable. Anyway, the guy selling it was honest and said it sounded decent but not earth shattering. At this point i'll probably settle for that.


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smg
post Jun 21 2002, 16:44
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QUOTE
Originally posted by fewtch

Yes, it's the Music Hall MMF-1 turntable.  Here's what I bought:



Maybe they originally included a preamp with the turntable, or sold one that matches the turntable.  Anyway, the guy selling it was honest and said it sounded decent but not earth shattering.  At this point i'll probably settle for that.

You bought the pre-amp for the MM cartridge. If you reciever is not set up for that type of cartridge you must preamp the signal from turntable to amp
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