For those who listen to vinyl, bought a receiver without a phono input, and are on a budget - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-23-2012, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I just bought the Denon AVR-2312ci which doesn't have a phono input. The next model to include the phono preamp was the AVR-3312ci which had a lot of additional features I'll never use and was quite a bit out of my budget. I figured on getting a cheap $50 stand alone phono preamp.

Now what Ididn't understand is that getting a separate phono preamp has a lot of advantages. There's more gain to offer a higher level output and the preamp can be connected to any audio source with an input as a PC, minisystem or even a portable stereo.

I ended up buying the Art Artcessories DJ PRE II which is a great phono amp. It never did offer sensisitivity specs but offered 90 db of signal to noise ratio under clipping and a 45 db gain along with a tolerance of .5 db for the audio range, bettering Denon's of 1 db. It also states a max output of 1.4 v.

Well I did a little math and got a few figures for people who want to go this route. I calculated the sensitivity at the normal 2.5 mv. Here's how. Normally specified gain is at 0 db reference level, and the phono preamp offers an additional 10db of gain on the level knob. So that's a max of 55 db of gain. Take that from 1.4V and you get 2.5mv.

1.4V log (20) = 2.922db

2.922 db - 10 db(extra gain over 0 db reference level) = -7.077 db

(-7.007 db / 20 ) inverse log (or 10 ^x) = 442.7 mv at 0 db reference level

-7.007 - 45 db (phono amps built in gain) = -52.077 db

(-52.077 db/ 20) inverse log ( or 10 ^x) = 2.48959 mv (~2.5mv sensitivity)


By the numbers this is a pretty good preamp. However the clipping LED infrequently flashes red at anything over +4 db on the dial, so going by that, your max output is ~700 mv. BUT most have said, like other equipment, that the red intermediate fashes are NOT clipping and the LED is very conservative. They have said clipping sets in where the LED is more solid red. My HK CD Recorder is the same way, it doesn't clip until the red leds are more steadily staying lit.

So far, the sound quality is just awesome on this preamp. Without A/B comparing against the phono preamp section in my Denon AVR-3803, I can't say for sure, but it offers no degradation in SQ and offers flexibility conveniences I didn't have with a built in phono preamp section.

Hope this helps anyone else looking at doing the same.
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-24-2012, 12:42 PM
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Thank you, your post is very timely for me. What other preamps did you consider and which landed in your top 3?

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post #3 of 10 Old 06-24-2012, 08:43 PM
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I've heard good things about the Art preamp. I've heard very good things about the TCC offerings. Did you try anything else other than the Art? BTW, love the Maiden avatar.

"Guns for show, knives for a pro..."
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-25-2012, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I considered Technolink (TCC) but was uncomfortable by their limiting US sales with one vendor, Phonopreamps.com.

After reading reviews for Technolink, I came back with really great reviews and some negative reviews on sound quality. It was sort of a wash. I also did not like their packaging where they seemed to have a power supply just slapped with it from phonopreamps.com . It may be the good regulated one on their higher priced offerings or a none regulated one that was reviewed by several to make the preamp sound inferior to others.

Simply stated, I just didn't feel good about how I would purchase the Technolink and how it would perform and how it would be supported.

I looked at other budget Preamps but their sensitivity and gain seemed inferior to my other receiver's phono preamp section. These were reviewed by others which were said to have hum and higher noise levels. There were many different preamps and I just passed on those.

I then came across the Art DJPre II and read nothing but glowing reviews where others felt this was on par or equal to much more expensive preamps. I did not come across any negatives other than some feeling the clipping indicator came on to soon. BUT this has been said to be from being to conservative and clipping doesn't actually occur until the LED is a more solid red. However I never read anything negative about the performance of this preamp, only glowing reviews even from the reviewers siting the clipping indicator sensitivity.
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BTW, love the Maiden avatar

Thanks, Maiden is one of the few bands I just can't get enough of. They still rock today, like yesterday. Bruce doesn't act on stage like he's aged a bit but does fly their 757 jet like an experienced senior pilot.

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post #5 of 10 Old 06-25-2012, 08:40 AM
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Glad some people in these AVS forums still talk vinyl.

I have a Sansui SR-hooked to my Denon 1912 via a Behringer PP400 phono pre amp. http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-PP400-Ultra-Compact-Phono-Preamp/dp/B000H2BC4E

It might not be the most fancy, expensive or technical pre amp, but it gets the job done, it pumps the frequency up to line level, plus i laso raised the input gain oh the TT source 10dB.

I love listening to my records on my system. Usually on Stereo, only two channles plus the sub, but i'm trying Dolby PII Music lately and i kind of like it.

And oh yeah, Up the irons!
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-25-2012, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I re-read that email from phonopreamps.com and I guess it was somewhat friendly. I must had been in a bad mood when I read it the first time. However I still wasn't impressed with the limited sales outlet to one vendor. I consider this preamp second to the Art I got but the Art is a very well known and popular pro audio company and I bought the preamp from Guitar Center which is an excellent retailer that I can only say praises about, at least in our area. They are so friendly, helpful, and honest, plus I can walk in, talk to them personally, and buy what I want at a decent price.
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-25-2012, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Szeppelin75 View Post

Glad some people in these AVS forums still talk vinyl.
I have a Sansui SR-hooked to my Denon 1912 via a Behringer PP400 phono pre amp. http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-PP400-Ultra-Compact-Phono-Preamp/dp/B000H2BC4E
It might not be the most fancy, expensive or technical pre amp, but it gets the job done, it pumps the frequency up to line level, plus i laso raised the input gain oh the TT source 10dB.
I love listening to my records on my system. Usually on Stereo, only two channles plus the sub, but i'm trying Dolby PII Music lately and i kind of like it.
And oh yeah, Up the irons!

I'm glad there's quite a selection of budget phono preamps as I didn't want to spend a fortune on a preamp when the receiver was $500 and the turntable was $200. $40 for a phono preamp is a decent price considering most still use their receiver's phono preamp section as I did with all previous receivers.
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-25-2012, 12:28 PM
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I know, more than $40-$50.00 would have bee too much for me.

So asides from Maiden LPs what else do you listen to in vinyl?
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-25-2012, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Szeppelin75 View Post

I know, more than $40-$50.00 would have bee too much for me.
So asides from Maiden LPs what else do you listen to in vinyl?

Well I got everything but not a huge collection of over 1000 albums like my buddies.

I have Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Dio, Krokus, Judas Priest, Nazareth, Deep Purple, Accept, Motley Crew, Ratt, Quiet Riot, Tesla, Steppenwolf, Beatles, ZZ Top, 3 Dog Night, Ozzy, Heart, Bad Company, and lots, lots more! I even have some vintage 40's 78 LPs that would even be politically incorrect by todays standards (handed down). I have a lot more true Metal, more 80s hair rock, more acid rock and a lot more classic rock. Hek even a few country records.

On CD, I have so much more Metal. I had more music on cassette in the 80s as that was the thing then BUT most of them wore out or broke.mad.gif
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-26-2012, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchoolMETAL View Post

Well I got everything but not a huge collection of over 1000 albums like my buddies.
I have Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Dio, Krokus, Judas Priest, Nazareth, Deep Purple, Accept, Motley Crew, Ratt, Quiet Riot, Tesla, Steppenwolf, Beatles, ZZ Top, 3 Dog Night, Ozzy, Heart, Bad Company, and lots, lots more! I even have some vintage 40's 78 LPs that would even be politically incorrect by todays standards (handed down). I have a lot more true Metal, more 80s hair rock, more acid rock and a lot more classic rock. Hek even a few country records.
On CD, I have so much more Metal. I had more music on cassette in the 80s as that was the thing then BUT most of them wore out or broke.mad.gif

Great. I started out in the 80s with cassettes, but i gave them most ar almost everyone of them away when i made the swtich to Cds in the early 90s mad.gif, dumb of me.

I have a lot of metal, hard rock, classic rock, rock, hair metal, you name it Cds, but i've only been able to get about 40-50 of them from my mom's house to my apartment due to time and space.

I started collecting vinyl maybe about 10 years ago, but heavily in the last 2 years, i have about 300, not that much but getting bigger every year, mostly Hard Rock, Classic Rock, some metal (Priest, Metallica, Maiden, Sabbath and some others).

It's a great, great expereicne everytime i play an LP, tring to get my young son into it, as you can see from my avatar.
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