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Thread: Preamp advice

  1. #1
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    Preamp advice

    New turntable for my Living Room arrives tomorrow. Controversially I have shunned a Rega or Project and gone for an Onkyo CP 1050. Itĺs a direct drive TT with retro styling and crucially for me has an S shaped tone arm with detachable headshell. I like playing around with different cartridges.
    I am going to change some of the ancillary kit in due course.
    The current TT is connected to a full integrated amp which has no speakers attached, there is a tape out that feeds my main AVR. Thinking of removing this and replacing with a preamp.

    Does anyone know of a sensibly priced preamp that includes line out, USB out and a headphone output? I can find the first two in the shape of a Rega mm phono a2d but nothing seems to include a headphone out.
    I have also found an ART USB Phono Plus PS Phono/Line Pre-Amplifier with USB that may do the job.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00...rb_top?ie=UTF8

    I need the USB to digitise my vinyl to FLAC and the headphone out so that I can listen while SWMBO watches TV.
    VB2.4 storage QNAP TS419p (NFS)
    Living Room - Joggler & SB3 -> Onkyo TS606 -> Celestion F20s
    Office - Pi3+Sreen -> Sony TAFE320 -> Celestion F10s / Pi2+DAC & SB3 -> Onkyo CRN755 -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    Dining Room -> SB Boom
    Kitchen -> UE Radio (upgraded to SB Radio)
    Bedroom (Bedside) - Pi2+DAC ->ToppingTP21 ->AKG Headphones
    Bedroom (TV) - SB Touch ->Sherwood AVR ->Mordaunt Short M10s
    Everything controlled by iPeng

  2. #2
    I can't offer advice - I'm still using my 20-something year-old Planar 3 with a Nait 3 with a phono card installed at purchase! For digitising vinyl I'm using a Behringer UFO-202 ADC which has line out and a headphone jack (and of course a USB out) - cheap from Amazon.

    You could ask over at vinylengine.com as well.

    Robert
    Last edited by Grumpy Bob; 2017-11-27 at 21:48.
    Home: Raspberry Pi 3/piCoreplayer/LMS7.9.2 with files on QNAP TS-251A
    Touch > DacMagic 100 > Naim Audio Nait 3 > Mission 752 (plus Rega Planar 3 > Rega Fono Mini; Naim CD3)
    PiCorePlayer(Pi2) with IQAudIO DAC+>Sennheisers
    2 x Squeezebox Radios, 1 X Squeezebox 3 (retired), spare Pi2/piCorePlayer
    Office: LMS7.9.2 running on WiFi MyPassport drive > piCorePlayer(PiB)/HiFiBerryDAC > Amptastic Amplifier
    SqueezePad, iPeng as controllers

    last.fm/user/GrumpyBob

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy Bob View Post
    I can't offer advice - I'm still using my 20-something year-old Planar 3 with a Nait 3 with a phono card installed at purchase! For digitising vinyl I'm using a Behringer UFO-202 ADC which has line out and a headphone jack (and of course a USB out) - cheap from Amazon.

    You could ask over at vinylengine.com as well.

    Robert
    Robert.

    I have a UCA-202 - the one without the pre-amp hooked in to a Tape loop.
    Does the UFO-202 work in line i.e. are the Line outs from it live at the same time as the USB out ?

    TT -> UFO-202 -> AMP
    Simultaneous with
    TT -> UFO-202 -> USB

    What is it like as a Pre-amp ?
    VB2.4 storage QNAP TS419p (NFS)
    Living Room - Joggler & SB3 -> Onkyo TS606 -> Celestion F20s
    Office - Pi3+Sreen -> Sony TAFE320 -> Celestion F10s / Pi2+DAC & SB3 -> Onkyo CRN755 -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    Dining Room -> SB Boom
    Kitchen -> UE Radio (upgraded to SB Radio)
    Bedroom (Bedside) - Pi2+DAC ->ToppingTP21 ->AKG Headphones
    Bedroom (TV) - SB Touch ->Sherwood AVR ->Mordaunt Short M10s
    Everything controlled by iPeng

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by d6jg View Post
    Robert.

    I have a UCA-202 - the one without the pre-amp hooked in to a Tape loop.
    Does the UFO-202 work in line i.e. are the Line outs from it live at the same time as the USB out ?

    TT -> UFO-202 -> AMP
    Simultaneous with
    TT -> UFO-202 -> USB

    What is it like as a Pre-amp ?
    Looks from the manual that the line outs are active at the same time as the USB out, though I've not tried it. The headphone output definitely works while the USB is connected to my laptop.

    I've never used it as a phono stage, as I always use the Naim phono stage that's inserted in the Nait 3. But it makes good enough vinyl rips for me.

    Robert
    Home: Raspberry Pi 3/piCoreplayer/LMS7.9.2 with files on QNAP TS-251A
    Touch > DacMagic 100 > Naim Audio Nait 3 > Mission 752 (plus Rega Planar 3 > Rega Fono Mini; Naim CD3)
    PiCorePlayer(Pi2) with IQAudIO DAC+>Sennheisers
    2 x Squeezebox Radios, 1 X Squeezebox 3 (retired), spare Pi2/piCorePlayer
    Office: LMS7.9.2 running on WiFi MyPassport drive > piCorePlayer(PiB)/HiFiBerryDAC > Amptastic Amplifier
    SqueezePad, iPeng as controllers

    last.fm/user/GrumpyBob

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy Bob View Post
    Looks from the manual that the line outs are active at the same time as the USB out, though I've not tried it. The headphone output definitely works while the USB is connected to my laptop.

    I've never used it as a phono stage, as I always use the Naim phono stage that's inserted in the Nait 3. But it makes good enough vinyl rips for me.

    Robert
    Cheers


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    VB2.4 storage QNAP TS419p (NFS)
    Living Room - Joggler & SB3 -> Onkyo TS606 -> Celestion F20s
    Office - Pi3+Sreen -> Sony TAFE320 -> Celestion F10s / Pi2+DAC & SB3 -> Onkyo CRN755 -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    Dining Room -> SB Boom
    Kitchen -> UE Radio (upgraded to SB Radio)
    Bedroom (Bedside) - Pi2+DAC ->ToppingTP21 ->AKG Headphones
    Bedroom (TV) - SB Touch ->Sherwood AVR ->Mordaunt Short M10s
    Everything controlled by iPeng

  6. #6
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    Not sure if it's what you're looking for

    I use a Creative Sound card X7 fed with a NAD phono preamp.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...und+Blaster+X7

    https://www.amazon.com/NAD-PP-2e-Pho...ywords=NAD+pre

    Which is more expensive than what you are looking at.

    But I also use iZotope RX6 to eliminate pops & hiss. Then I use Ozone 5 it's up to 8 now to remaster my rips. I find it improves the sound.

    https://www.izotope.com/en/products/...d-edit/rx.html

    https://www.izotope.com/en/products/...ver/ozone.html
    (1) Pi 3 w/ HifiBerry Digi + Pro & piCorePlayer 3.5.0 LMS 7.9.1, (1) Touch, (1) Transporter, Samba w/ 2 TB USB Drive for files

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tex View Post
    I use a Creative Sound card X7 fed with a NAD phono preamp.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...und+Blaster+X7

    https://www.amazon.com/NAD-PP-2e-Pho...ywords=NAD+pre

    Which is more expensive than what you are looking at.

    But I also use iZotope RX6 to eliminate pops & hiss. Then I use Ozone 5 it's up to 8 now to remaster my rips. I find it improves the sound.

    https://www.izotope.com/en/products/...d-edit/rx.html

    https://www.izotope.com/en/products/...ver/ozone.html
    Thanks but as you say that is definitely more expensive that what I am looking for.

    It terms of functionality I am looking for something like these but more hi-fi ish

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Behringer-V...nger+vmx100usb

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/ART-USB-Pho...t+phono+preamp

    In both cases these will do exactly what I want but ideally I'd like something more ergonomic for the Living Room rather than a DJ Mixer or the ART box - the latter would need power supply as I don't intend to leave the USB permanently connected to a laptop.
    VB2.4 storage QNAP TS419p (NFS)
    Living Room - Joggler & SB3 -> Onkyo TS606 -> Celestion F20s
    Office - Pi3+Sreen -> Sony TAFE320 -> Celestion F10s / Pi2+DAC & SB3 -> Onkyo CRN755 -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    Dining Room -> SB Boom
    Kitchen -> UE Radio (upgraded to SB Radio)
    Bedroom (Bedside) - Pi2+DAC ->ToppingTP21 ->AKG Headphones
    Bedroom (TV) - SB Touch ->Sherwood AVR ->Mordaunt Short M10s
    Everything controlled by iPeng

  8. #8
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    Interesting explanation

    For it's price range I don't think you will do any worse. I have always used a sound card.



    https://www.amazon.com/ART-USB-Phono...s=phono+preamp

    For this device, the direction of signal flow is from the low signal level analogue domain (vinyl/LP/phono) to the digital domain (USB/Optical). Thus, this ART unit is not a Digital-to-Analog(ue) Converter (the "DAC" sort of unit which you specify) but its "opposite" an "ADC" (Analogue-to-Digital Converter). This unit is also a phono preamplifier which boosts the low voltage signal from the moving magnet or moving coil phonograph pickup to higher "line level" in order to drive a subsequent (in the signal path) separate amplifier--or to supplement a hi-fi receiver or preamp lacking (as is often the case) a phono input.
    In other words, this ART is primarily a phono preamplifier--something to supply gain (amplification) to drive headphones or the just mentioned follow-on analog(ue) audio switching, processing, or amplifying units.
    You might think of this ART USB Phono Plus as a tidy little combination of two functions: (1) Phono Preamp/Headphone Monitoring Amplifier and (2) ADC (Analog to Digital USB or Optical).
    By the way, this unit is at least the equal of anything else in its price range with respect to preserving the audio signal quality. It is capable of passing the usable dynamic range of which LPs are capable without the compression mentioned by another person answering your question... and without adding distortion you are likely to be able to hear considering the masking effects of the much larger combined distortions which are inherent to the recording and playback medium that is vinyl (e.g., the "LP" phonograph record). (There are many who disagree with this last point, however.)
    Finally, the quality or fidelity of the music or other sound which you play "off" your computer's hard drive can be no better than the quality of the original signal encoded in digital format to your hard drive. If you have high bit-rate, high definition source material (CD quality or better) on your hard drive, the sound processor chip on your laptop's motherboard is almost certainly going to degrade that signal by contaminating it with noise and compromising its dynamic range (or degrade other aspects of the signal as well). If high quality sound output from high quality source material is your goal, then you'd do better to use a high quality "soundcard" (installed in desktop computer OR use an "outboard" soundcard (i.e., a so-called "audio interface"). ASUS makes a fine soundcard for the consumer market (http://www.amazon.com/PCI-Express-XO...und+card+xonar) but be sure to read the review comments to get the installation right from the get-go on Windows machines. If you are an audiophile, you can find computer soundcards costing almost 10 times what the ASUS does... but not sounding appreciably better. As far as the external audio interfaces go, there are many excellent, quite affordable (from $100-$500... or more, of course) devices aimed at musicians and recordists for use in their semi-pro (or pro) home studios.
    These days, in a given price range, the digital signal processing chips used in these devices are either the same or very close cousins of one another (sourcing from just a few chip makers). You can see that in how close the specs are between brands and models in a given range. Thus, the differences in price often have more to do with features and flexibility (e.g., numbers and types of inputs and outputs), build quality and best engineering practices, and, of course, "brand reputation"--than the fundamental parameters
    (1) Pi 3 w/ HifiBerry Digi + Pro & piCorePlayer 3.5.0 LMS 7.9.1, (1) Touch, (1) Transporter, Samba w/ 2 TB USB Drive for files

  9. #9
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    One reviewer recommended this

    (1) Pi 3 w/ HifiBerry Digi + Pro & piCorePlayer 3.5.0 LMS 7.9.1, (1) Touch, (1) Transporter, Samba w/ 2 TB USB Drive for files

  10. #10
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    (1) Pi 3 w/ HifiBerry Digi + Pro & piCorePlayer 3.5.0 LMS 7.9.1, (1) Touch, (1) Transporter, Samba w/ 2 TB USB Drive for files

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