Thread: PLZ pre-preamp
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Old 4th July 2019, 11:49 PM
bikerhifinut bikerhifinut is offline
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Default Re: PLZ pre-preamp

Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Yes very subjective given the various combinations of equipment and set up of a vinyl replay system, unless there's obviously something wrong or a confirmed problem found on test that everyone would agree upon.

Strange how things change, when moving coils made a come back in the 70's transformers were then considered the cheap and chearful way to get them into a MM input. A good head amp was usually preferred. Since the later valve renaissance of the 90's it seems transformers have regained popularity in some areas albeit at a cost.
Indeed Richard.
I think the transformer option has changed in the years, in as much as we seem to have progressed, at least at the quality end, from the likes of the ortofon (sony) T5 which were an effective and affordable solution but definitely to my ears lacked that bit of extra "sparkle" for want of a better word.
Now it seems to me that step up transformers specifically for MC cartridges are highly developed and costly items, and no surprises there as there really isn't a cheap way to make a good audio transformer.
The issue arises I feel where some MC cartridges seem to interact with the transformers, possibly due to their bieng a complex load comprising of Inductance, DC resistance and a bit of capacitance which might possibly mess about with the frequency response of some MC cartridges, but not all.
I do think my Ortofon Quintets that I have owned seem to synergise better with an active step up stage and that essentially means silicon if a quiet background is to be had. I'm not at all "religious" about solid state versus Valve electronics, all I am interested is how well they do their job at providing a satisfactory performance and allow me to listen to a record with pleasure. I really don't listen to the sound rather I just sit back and if it makes my feet tap then its working.
I wasn't being iffy when I said I didnt think my opinion of "Musicality" was really worth that much. As you point out Richard, there are so many variables that what works in one persons environment may quite possibly sound awful in another. So I concern myself with what can be measured and what obvious differences can be heard.
I've just surfaced from a session of listening to a fairly eclectic selection of old and new vinyl in the new living room and the system seems to be gelling very well with the new dimensions and layout etc, much nicer than the box shaped room I used downstairs until now. There seems a lot more life and bounce to the sound now and I can hear things that were lost in the old room.
I would simply advise Stuart to put a couple of AA cells in, his PLZ will probably be identical to Bob O's which I have on loan and notwithstanding any perceived issues with electrolytics he'll get a flavour of what its all about. Then maybe swap them over. The parts as fitted are bog ordinary, I saw nothing inside that suggested witchcraft or "Special" components and it looked to me like a fairly standard working of the W Marshall leach design. Which is to say it obviously works as intended. i.e. provide a nice flat response without adding any colour to the signal coming from the cartridge.
I made what I feel was the most relevant comparison by comparing it to the Rega fono MC mk2 that I have, which is a very high quality bit of amplification especially at the price and I have seen the circuit diagram and can say it's a well thought out design and uses very good quality parts throughout if not especially "Audiophile" whatever that means.
Anyway I think the modern unit wins but I can't say how the PLZ would sound into a different silicon or Valve phono stage except to say I felt it simply gave me the same flavour of sound as the unit it was plugged into. Which is what I'd want.

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