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  #1  
Old 26th February 2006, 05:21 PM
A.N. Beal A.N. Beal is offline
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Lightbulb Integrated valve amp with phono stage

I'd like to suggest a low cost valve integrated amplifier (like the KEL84) but with a built in (MM) phono stage. Why? I know that phono stages are hard to do with valves and there are advantages of having them separate from the power amplifier but:
(a) most valve enthusiasts are also vinyl enthusiasts;
(b) a low cost valve amplifier without a phono stage means either using a transistor (Goldring/Project etc.) phono amp, which rather negates the point of 'going valve', or else spending several hundred pounds on a separate valve phono preamp - which rather negates the point of the amplifier being 'low cost;
(c) there are several moderate cost intergrated valve amplifiers and kits on the market but nobody else seems to do an integrated with built in phono section - so there is a gap in the market.

Thoughts on how to do it? I assume it would be 15 watts or so (EL84s or the like). The 'on board' phono stage would take power from the main power supply, saving costs there as well as in casework compared with a separate phono stage. Either the relevant transformer taps, circuit board space etc. could be provided to accomodate the phono stage, which could be offered as an extra cost option, or else (probably cheaper overall) just go for it and design a fully integrated arrangement. (My old Rogers HG88 has an interesting circuit where the phono is the main input and radio, tape etc. are fed in through resistors to step down their voltages, rather than there being a separate stage to add gain for phono.)

If you fancy giving the circuit a novel twist, how about a new kind of rumble filter? Most rumble filters roll off the low frequency response. Is it possible to do it another way and produce a rumble filter which kills rumble and cone flap but maintains full low frequency output and improves bass power handling? It is well known that frequencies below 100Hz contain very little directional information - hence the success of subwoofers. It is also well known that most rumble and disturbance caused by record warps is vertically modulated. A filter which rolls the left and right channels together to mono (like a subwoofer) at low frequencies would filter out this undesirable muck, while letting the full (laterally modulated) music signal through. In theory the result should be (i) greatly reduced rumble and speaker flap but (ii) minimal loss of stereo effects, (iii) fully maintained bass response down to (say) 20Hz, and (iv) with less of the amplifier's precious watts going on spurious low frequency signals it should have more left to produce music. If it is feasible to do this without too many components it should not be expensive and it could be an interesting novel feature to catch the eye of potential buyers.

What do you think?

Alasdair Beal
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  #2  
Old 26th February 2006, 08:10 PM
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Greg. Greg. is online now
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Default Re: Integrated valve amp with phono stage

Hi Alasdair,

Why would you want a rumble filter? Why do you need it? There is no reason today for a source to introduce rumble. Even Garrard 401's can be mounted so they don't rumble. A warp filter might be good but how many of us use warped vinyl? In my view, fettle the rest of the kit correctly and you don't need these options.

Best wishes,

Greg
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  #3  
Old 26th February 2006, 08:45 PM
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NealG NealG is offline
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Default Re: Integrated valve amp with phono stage

Quote:
It is well known that frequencies below 100Hz contain very little directional information - hence the success of subwoofers.
In this months HFW NK suggests the acceptance and sucess of the subwoofer is down to the direction loudspeaker designers took in the 80's and 90's. Few of them fully understanding how to build a 'big banger' (why does that term grate?). His review of the Tannoy Yorkminster also hinted that Bass F may have Stereo affects that hardly any 'speakers today can produce.

TBH I think having a built in phono would be too much of a compromise in terms of layout and chassis size, better to keep it external and close to the deck IMHO.
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Old 26th February 2006, 08:48 PM
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Paul Barker Paul Barker is offline
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Default Re: Integrated valve amp with phono stage

You mean subwoofers are a success? They all sound like failures to me.
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  #5  
Old 26th February 2006, 08:51 PM
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NealG NealG is offline
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Default Re: Integrated valve amp with phono stage

Well, yes Paul! But there's enough out there buying them for the likes of REL to make a business out of it!
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  #6  
Old 26th February 2006, 09:05 PM
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Paul Barker Paul Barker is offline
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Default Re: Integrated valve amp with phono stage

Yes, in my world you could call combis a success on that basis. Wheras only stupid people buy a combi.
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  #7  
Old 26th February 2006, 10:43 PM
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Shane Shane is offline
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Default Re: Integrated valve amp with phono stage

Paul, I am a plumbing ignoramus about to buy a Combi (Worcester). Why am I stupid, before I blow 2 grand?
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  #8  
Old 27th February 2006, 12:11 AM
Will Cowen
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Default Re: Integrated valve amp with phono stage

I think what is being said is that speakers became part of the furniture, narrow, sleek, unobtrusive, wide baffles became old fashioned. They are difficult to change and sell on and blame shortfalls in the sound on other components.
My first real speakers were Mission 730 mk 2, three way 10" Seas bass which looked like the World-Design 10" real wood veneered on all 5 sides and when the stuffing was removed and lined with carpet felt sounded great with 300b's.
Narrow speakers loose foreward projection and interact with walls giving the impression of a wider sound stage while loosing projection and sensativity.
How many times have you heard AN speakers look old fashioned, but they dont have a choice, there needs to be a change and Peter C. is having a go at integrating Bass.
Will.
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Old 27th February 2006, 02:16 PM
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petercom petercom is offline
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Default Re: Integrated valve amp with phono stage

Shane, nice to see you at the weekend. Do you take baths? If so don't buy a combi unless you are willing to wait for half an hour for your bath to fill. It's good for showers providing you tell the rest of the family not to wash up at the same time. I quite liked the one we had in Devon but had to get an engineer out to it every six months.

Last edited by petercom; 27th February 2006 at 02:39 PM.
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  #10  
Old 27th February 2006, 02:56 PM
Black Stuart Black Stuart is offline
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Cool Re: Integrated valve amp with phono stage

Shane,
if you can ****** about with valve amps - if you have a south-sih facing piece of roof, why not check the market thoroughly and buy a solar water heating system and fit it yourself.
When we lived in northern Galicia, we rented a flat in a small apartment block, 5 years old and had no built in heating system (I kid you not) we used 3-4 more gas bottles for hot water than we did for cooking ( we rarely eat out in Spain, we like good food too much). It is a totally proven form of alt. energy and get this - the American gov. reckons your a dummy if you don't fit one. You will never be held to ransom on the price or supply of gas - which will only ever go up.

Black Stuart
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