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    NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT - PH16 PHONO AMP

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    tubes4hifi
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    NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT - PH16 PHONO AMP

    Post by tubes4hifi on Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:35 pm

    Hi all,
    this new product has been under development, and kept secret, for about 3 months now.
    This product isn't for the average consumer, this is for someone that wants the ultimate tube phono preamp,
    but doesn't want to pay $2500 or more for an Audio Research PH6 or PH8.
    The PH16 is our latest and best phono preamp design. It was developed through many hours of research, refinement, and computer optimization of circuit parameters and circuit layout.
    Our phono circuit is similar to that of the PH15, but with a new AIKIDO style output buffer, and is powered by a newly developed power supply that utilizes 4 independent voltage regulators, plus a pair of Constant-Current-Sources (CCS).
    The 1st gain stage is our proven super-low noise JFET current source driving a 6922 amplification stage with the 50Hz and 500Hz poles of the RIAA filter. This staqe has a gain of around 50db.
    The 2nd gain stage has the CCS as a plate load on the 6922 amplification stage with the 2122Hz RIAA pole of the RIAA filter,
    and has a gain of around 45db. The CCS acts to stabilize the impedance and thus insure more accurate RIAA EQ, as well as increase gain in this stage by a factor of 2.
    Both of these stages are supplied with a regulated B+ voltage, one for each channel.

    A passive RIAA network will have insertion loss that varies with frequency, with roughly 0 dB loss at 20 Hz, 20 dB at 1 KHz, and 40 dB at 20 KHz. ,
    With the RIAA EQ, has a loss of around 40db, the overall gain at 1 KHz is now around 55 dB.
    The 3rd and final stage is comprised of an AIKIDO style output buffer, with it’s build in PSRR circuitry,
    and this is also supplied with a regulated B+ voltage, one for each channel.
    This stage gives a low output impedance of around 330 ohms and isolates the phono amp from interconnects and further amplification.
    This circuit design produces far less distortion than comparable circuits by using complementary, balancing load design. By loading a triode with the same triode, under the same cathode-to-plate voltage and idle current
    and with the same cathode resistor - works well to flatten the transfer curve out of that triode. The circuit reduces power-supply noise from its output, by injecting the same amount of PS noise at the inputs of
    the top and bottom tubes in the two-tube cathode-follower circuit. Since both of these signals are equal in amplitude and phase, they cancel each other out,
    as each triode sees an identical increase in plate current. The improved PSRR advantage greatly unburdens the power-supply, and results in a better than -30dB PSRR figure.
    The B+ regulators also reduce PSRR by about 60db, with near zero ripple current from the power supply

    Overall, this design delivers the sonic goods. It offers high amplification, super accurate RIAA EQ, low distortion, low output impedance,
    a great PSRR figure, and feedback-free amplification.
    The secret to its superb performance— despite not using global feedback— lies in its internal symmetry,
    and it’s channel to channel isolation resulting from using 4 independent B+ regulators.

    This board has DIP switches to set the correct load for the input cartridge.
    For use with MM (moving magnet) type cartridges, switch S1-B should be set to the ON position to give the correct 47K load.
    All other switches should be in the OFF position.
    If you want to experiment with loading, using S1-A (68K) will give a slight tilt up on the higher frequencies. Using S1-C (33K) will give a slight tilt up on the lower frequencies.

    For use with MC (moving coil) type cartridges, refer to the manufacturers recommendation
    for your specific cartridge. About 80% of MC cartridges are spec’ed to be used with a 100 ohm load on the input,
    that would be S2-H set to the ON position, and all other switches OFF.
    Depending on your cartridge and your phono interconnect cables, you may need to add resistance (switches S2-D thru H give a range of 100 ohms to 1000 ohms) and/or capacitance
    (although this is rare) which would be using switches S3-X thru Z give a capacitance range of 33pF to 201pF.
    The resistors are all in parallel with the input. Resistances combined in parallel give a lower value (100 and 221 in parallel give a load of 69 ohms).
    The capacitors are also in parallel with the input. Capacitances combined in parallel give a higher value (68 and 100 in parallel are added together to give 168pF).


    I have built and tested two of these, and have sent them to my partner Troy for some final tweaking and his independent objective review.
    Since he has built many PH15s for me, and has his own PH14 as well as some other custom built preamps, he has the knowledge and experience,
    and listening comparisons that no one else can do at this time.

    This product is more suitable to buyers who have MC type cartridges, as the gain is 55db, way too much for MM type cartridges,
    although it might be a good match if you want to directly source just MM and CD inputs as then the voltages to the amp will be similar.

    Even better news, the price will be the same as the PH15, at least on these first two builds, $795 fully assembled and tested.
    Below are a couple of preliminary photos (same chassis and appearance as PH15 & PH14) and one interior view.
    Kit price is unknown at this time, as our chassis supplier had a major warehouse fire last month and we won't have more chassis until
    at least mid-May. Also we may need to substitute the power transformer as those are from the same supplier, and out of stock.
    I would though like to find out how many people might be interested in this product so I can plan on how many circuit boards to order.





    Last edited by tubes4hifi on Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:13 pm; edited 1 time in total

    TMadden

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    Re: NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT - PH16 PHONO AMP

    Post by TMadden on Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:44 am

    I finally found some time to put the PH16 into my dedicated vinyl system and listen to some of my favorite Lp's, and I must say it is a just a wonderful sounding phono preamp, I would have to say the best I have heard to date. Just so you all know what equipment I use, my vinyl system consists of a Hitachi Ht-561 turntable, Roy's SP9 Octal preamp,(I modified mine to use 6SN7's with constant current sources on the gain stages), a Jungson JA88d Class A power amp, and DIY Cantilena speakers, which use Scan-Speak 8" woofers, Morel dome mids and ribbon tweeters. As Roy knows , I have been on a quest for the best affordable phono preamp I can find. I grew up with vinyl, and after discovering Roy and Bob's excellent preamps and amps, I became a bit obsessed with recreating the classic vinyl sounds I remembered from my younger days. I have listened to or owned Roy's PH6, PH12, PH14, PH15, and now the PH16. I have also built a clone of the classic Marantz 7 phono stage, and built my own LCR type phono stage with Hashimoto transformers and Acoustic Dimension LCR modules. Cartidges I own include the Shure M97, a Shure V15 type 4 with JICO SAS stylus (my favorite), Ortofon 2M Blue and Black, Benz Glider SM, and Audio Technica ATN-150MLX. So what makes the PH16 so special? First, you have the ability to properly load your cartridge. This is very important, for example, the ATN-150MLX has a 7-8db peak at the high end if loaded with the recommended 47K. By loading it with 19K and 200pF, the high end smooths out substantially, it becomes much more listenable. The Shure V15 sounds great with a standard 47K load. The Benz Glider requires a 200 ohm load. I can bring out the best of all these carts with the PH16. Next, you need a first stage with a lot of gain and as little noise as possible, for this Roy uses a FET/6922 cascode stage, an excellent solution. The next stage utilizes another 6922, loaded with a constant current source. This is ideal, the CCS maximizes gain, minimizes distortion, and as a bonus, eliminates power supply noise! The last stage is an Aikido style cathode follower, which also gives very low distortion, eliminates noise, and, provides low output impedance. So what does it sound like? Well, I'm hearing more detail and ambiance, incredible bass authority, clean effortless highs, and freedom from overload caused by ticks and pops, which makes them much less intrusive. I'm hearing deeper into the recording than with any of the other phono preamps I have tried, with greater realism and fantastic dynamics. It's just a excellent sounding phono pre,at a down to earth price. Thanks Roy, you have done it again!

    tubes4hifi
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    Re: NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT - PH16 PHONO AMP

    Post by tubes4hifi on Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:49 pm

    OK everyone, Troy is finished evaluating and tweaking the first PH16, it's available for sale. $795 or best offer.
    Contact myself or Troy via PM or email, will also list in the "for sale" section. The 2nd one should be ready in about a week.
    Kits are available anytime but without chassis, as our chassis supplier won't have any until at least mid-May.
    Email or PM for more info or questions.

    Avinunca

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    Age : 59
    Location : Shrewsbury England

    Re: NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT - PH16 PHONO AMP

    Post by Avinunca on Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:48 am

    Roy,

    How much is involved in upgrading my PH15 to the PH16. My girlfriend will kill me if I keep spending time on this hobby while the kitchen waits for a refit.

    tubes4hifi
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    Re: NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT - PH16 PHONO AMP

    Post by tubes4hifi on Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:42 pm

    that's just a circuit board swap!

    tubes4hifi
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    Re: NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT - PH16 PHONO AMP

    Post by tubes4hifi on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:11 pm

    PH16 kits are ready and now available (for now - without chassis).
    Starting at $240, you get the PCB and the parts that go on the board. Add $25 for the DIP switches and loading components.
    Add $90 for the 5 tubes (pre-tested, low-noise). Add $45 for the two power transformers.
    Full kits with chassis should be available mid-April for $595, including tubes, power transformers, and all chassis parts, complete.
    Email me or PM if you want to order a PCB kit now.



    Last edited by tubes4hifi on Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:17 pm; edited 2 times in total

    tubes4hifi
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    Re: NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT - PH16 PHONO AMP

    Post by tubes4hifi on Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:28 pm

    here's a copy of an email I just received from our first PH16 buyer . . .

    " It is quite remarkable, very smooth and clean , no brittleness or harshness in the high frequencies. I have it hooked up to a few different cartridges, low output moving coils(Ortofon Jubilee, Denon 103, Van Den Hul MC10 Special), using a Hashimoto HM-3 step up device. I might try and change the settings, but for now I am very impressed. Soundstage is BIG!!. The Bottlehead is not in the same league. I also have a Hagerman Cornet with a lot of expensive boutique parts, etc. But the PH-16 betters it, no question, more detail. Does so much more for the music. Opera vocals come through like never before and it can do complex orchestral like I've never heard it. The small nuances of concert hall ambiance takes me back... I can't think of any Phono preamps in this price range that can do what this can do.
    Thomas P.
    "

    Tube Nube

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    Re: NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT - PH16 PHONO AMP

    Post by Tube Nube on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:08 pm

    This is an exciting addition to Roy's VTA line-up. Congratulation, Roy!

    turbotoy

    Posts : 47
    Join date : 2012-04-15

    Re: NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT - PH16 PHONO AMP

    Post by turbotoy on Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:32 pm

    I have almost all the parts sitting on the bench to build mine, this just makes me want to find the time to do it ASAP!

    tubes4hifi
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    Re: NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT - PH16 PHONO AMP

    Post by tubes4hifi on Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:16 pm

    I've got two kits left, including the 12x12" chassis.
    Here's what our 2nd buyer had to say . . .

    "Roy, the PH16 arrived yesterday PM. Troy did an excellent job in packing. I have it hooked up into my system and first impressions are "wow'.
    I have to echo Troy's impressions and findings. Using an AT440mla cart right now, but will try others later when I get more time.
    The PH16 is the best ever, a real step up and a must have for vinyl fans. The price point for the quality and performance is unbelievable.
    You have done it again with another excellent product."



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