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post #1 of 6 Old 05-28-2019, 05:21 AM - Thread Starter
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New Phono Amp

I didn't get a lot of traction in the 2 Channel area, so I figured I'd try one more time over here...

Hey all, new to 2 channel, so please bear with me. Most of my experience is in the Dedicated HT stuff, so wrapping my brain around "More power isn't necessarily better" is hard for me.

I've been getting back into collecting vinyl, and have done a bunch of research into putting together a nice turntable system, but I'm stuck on the amp decision.

I'm looking to start what I'd call "midrange", around $1500-$2000, and want to hit double duty as "sounds great" and "awesome looking setup" in my office. I'm a huge fan of DIY, so I'm also using this as an excuse to build some more DIYSG speakers, and hopefully a tube amp (or two). In order to keep the system streamlined, I'm looking at a phono w/integrated pre-amp (Pro-ject Debut Recordmaster is in the lead). I've mostly decided on DIYSG Apollo-7s for bookshelves, and I'm trying to do the math for what I'd need out of an amp.

The room itself isn't large (12 x 16), so the max listening distance would be about 4-5 meters. The bookshelves are 85db sensitivity @ 1m, and I'd probably listen around 70db. By my math (and the handy Crown Audio calculator) I'm seeing that I'd only need 5w out of an amp. From my guitar experience, I feel like tube watts are warmer and louder than digital, so I'm sure anything in the 5-8w range is plenty. I'm also considering building a matching pair and running them each mono, further reducing the power needs of each channel.

Ok, so to the Questions:
- Anyone have any suggestions for DIY tube audio kits that would meet my needs? I'm seeing a few but would appreciate directions to trusted vendors.
- The Apollos are rated 10-120w, will I have a problem powering them with a 5-8w amp?
- Surely I'm not the first to try this? I searched but couldn't find any prior build threads?
- What else am I not thinking about?
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-28-2019, 09:59 AM
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Wouldn't using a solid-state pre-amp built in to a turntable to drive a tube amp be regarded as heresy?

Sorry that I can't offer useful advice. I'm not into DIY or vacuum tubes. Heathkit was a big name a half century ago. They still exist, but don't seem to offer much audio gear any more.

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post #3 of 6 Old 05-28-2019, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bobknavs View Post
Wouldn't using a solid-state pre-amp built in to a turntable to drive a tube amp be regarded as heresy?

Sorry that I can't offer useful advice. I'm not into DIY or vacuum tubes. Heathkit was a big name a half century ago. They still exist, but don't seem to offer much audio gear any more.
Lol, I hear you. I just can't completely go the analog route without blowing the budget completely out of proportion!

There's a lot of choices out there, but the wattage is just SO low on them that I can't understand how they could power anything?
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-28-2019, 06:02 PM
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check out musicdirect, here's a nice little tube integrated amp: https://www.musicdirect.com/integrat...rated-tube-amp

also for a budget tube or hybride tube integrated amp check out monoprice.

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post #5 of 6 Old 05-28-2019, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougUSMC View Post
Lol, I hear you. I just can't completely go the analog route without blowing the budget completely out of proportion!

There's a lot of choices out there, but the wattage is just SO low on them that I can't understand how they could power anything?
Back in the late 70s, I heard of Julius Futterman (https://jacmusic.com/techcorner/ARTI.../futterman.htm) One of his designs was a transformerless tube amp that made more power into a 16 ohm speaker than an 8 ohm. I think at best you got 25W into 8 ohms. People paid real money for them, and there was a long waiting list. Some audiophiles would rather listen to music using a 30W vacuum tube amp than a good 200W semiconductor one.

There are any number of inexpensive vacuum tube phono preamps listed at Amazon. (also some expensive ones.) I can't say whether any are worth much.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-29-2019, 03:45 AM
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For the $1500-$2000 range, this might work:

All products from Pro-Ject:

Stereo Amp w/ Tube Buffer ($1200): https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinf...umber=PRBXSTRS

Turntable ($500): https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinf...umber=PRRECMAS

Preamp ($400): https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PRTBS2

$200 over budget, not including speaker cost. You can always cut costs with the amp. Picked that one because of the tube buffer, but there’s a nice alternative that would immediately be my second choice: Parasound NewClassic 2125v2 ($600): https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinf...mber=PAC2125V2

Going with the Parasound keeps you at $1500. I have a contact that could probably get the Parasound to you for a smidge less.

Audioadvisor is a site I trust and have used in the past for two-channel stuff—including a $500 PS Audio AC5 power cable (never again—sounds just as good as my $100 power cables), a few Oppos, and a slew of high-end XLR interconnects.




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